The fundamental question before tackling any claim or lawsuit that arises out of an auto accident is the issue of who is at fault for the collision.
In law, this is known as liability. This determines who should pay for accident damages, and how much they will be accountable for. As an at-fault insurance state, Georgia allows injured parties to seek compensation from the at-fault party and, if applicable, their insurance company.
In addition, an injured person may have a claim against their own insurance company depending on the policy’s terms. So what are the best ways to determine fault and what evidence is needed?
Police Reports and Evidence at the Scene
After an accident, it is generally a good idea to call the police. When the cops arrive, they will often assess the situation. This includes an injury, major damage to the vehicles, and (usually) a determination of who is at fault.
The officer may also issue a citation. The police report may or may not be admissible in evidence, depending on the facts and circumstances. Regardless, however, this accident report is important in gathering information for who is at fault.
Even if the police are called, it is important for any person involved in an accident to gather as much information as they can. This means getting the contact information for drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Often, these folks may not stick around until the police are able to speak with them.
Pictures are also a good idea. This includes taking pictures of the accident scene. Skid marks, location of the vehicles, and other information from the scene can be important in determining which driver is at fault. It is also a good idea to take pictures of the vehicles involved, and the damage incurred.
If there are local businesses, they may have video. Some businesses will willingly provide that information. Others will not. A seasoned car accident attorney can help you.
Dealing with the Insurance Company
It is important to contact your insurance company as soon as you can after an accident. Most insurance policies require notice of a claim at the earliest reasonable opportunity.
If you are the at-fault driver, the insurance company will want all the information related to the incident. If you are the injured person, then it is important to also contact the other driver’s insurance company to make sure they’re aware of the claim.
When investigating a personal injury claim, an insurer may want to review the following:
- Police reports,
- Car repair bills,
- Pay stubs establishing lost wages,
- Medical bills,
- Medical records,
- Witness statements, and
- Photographs or video.
A good car accident lawyer can help place this information in the most compelling case for the insurance company.
If the case is not resolved pre-suit, then an injured party has the right to file a lawsuit against the other driver. This is why it is important for everyone in a car accident with injuries to make sure their insurance company is aware of the accident.
Contact Weatherby Law Firm, P.C. Today!
If you are involved in an auto accident with injuries, you need an experienced car accident attorney.
The Atlanta firm of Weatherby Law Firm, P.C. represents clients in a variety of personal injury matters, including car wrecks.
Contact our office via phone at (404-793-0026) or our online contact form.