At some point in your life, you’ll probably get into some sort of car accident. It may be a minor fender bender. Hopefully, for your sake, you only suffer minor damage to your car. And, if you’re lucky, nobody will be seriously hurt.
However, even in a minor car accident, there are certain things you need to do:
- Call 911 – Even if you don’t think anyone is hurt, you should call the police. They’ll send an officer to the scene to conduct an investigation. They’ll talk to both drivers and get their version of what happened. They’ll also talk to witnesses to see if anyone saw the crash. They’ll take pictures of the cars and the accident scene. They’ll even make notes of the road conditions at the time of your car accident.
- Get medical attention right away – You may not think you’re hurt. However, you still need to get medical attention. You could have internal injuries. Or, you may have injuries that won’t show up for a day or two. They’ll run the necessary tests at the hospital to make sure you’re okay. They’ll also create a medical record that your Augusta car accident lawyer can use in your lawsuit.
- Call an experienced car accident lawyer in Augusta, Georgia – You may decide to handle the case yourself. However, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer anyway. You have no idea if your insurance claim will be paid. For all you know, the other driver may decide to file suit against you. Things can get complicated really quick. You’ll want a skilled attorney by your side to guide you through the process.
Regardless of how the accident takes place, it’s never a good idea to handle it yourself. The insurance company may try to take advantage of you. And if the other driver hires a lawyer, you’ll be at a serious disadvantage.
The Other Driver Will Claim You Were at Fault
Nobody ever wants to admit that a car accident was their fault. Including you. Why would you claim responsibility for a car accident when that means you’ll automatically have to pay the other driver’s damages?
What this means is, there’s a very good chance the other driver will say you caused the accident. When you first file your insurance claim, there’s a chance it will be denied. Insurance companies deny claims for a variety of reasons, including:
- The policy wasn’t valid
- The policy had lapsed for non-payment
- The driver wasn’t listed on the policy
- You didn’t file your claim in time
- The insurance company doesn’t believe you were hurt
- They think you caused the accident
- You have a history of filing false claims
If they truly believe their client was the victim, they’re not going to pay your claim. This means your August car accident attorney will have to prove the other driver was at fault. It also means the other driver may file their own claim.
Don’t be surprised if they file a counter-claim against you. If you have to file a lawsuit for damages sustained in your Georgia car accident, the other driver won’t be happy. They can file their own claim (called a counter-claim) alleging that you were the one responsible. They’ll also demand that you pay them damages for their injuries.
How is Liability Determined if the Other Driver Claims You Were at Fault?
If the other driver files a counter-claim, you’ll have a chance to respond. Your August car accident lawyer will file something called an answer or response. They’ll lay out all the reasons why it is the defendant (and not you) who is responsible.
Usually, in cases like this, the lawyers for both drivers will get together and try to settle the matter. Neither of them wants to go to trial. Trials are expensive and time consuming. However, if this happens, don’t expect to get all the damages you mentioned in your complaint.
Settlement negotiations are just that – negotiations. You’ll have to compromise, as will the other driver. Your attorney will do their best to get you the best possible outcome. It will come down to who has the stronger evidence.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Augusta, Georgia
If you get hit by someone who claims you were at fault, you can still file a legal claim. You should call and schedule your initial consultation with an experienced auto accident lawyer at Ted A Greve & Associates. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.