Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents
If I was partially at fault for a car accident, can I still recover compensation?
Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that even if you were partially at fault for an accident, you may still recover damages as long as you were found less than 50% to blame for the accident. Your percentage of fault is what determines how much money you are eligible to claim. For example, if you were injured in an accident and you suffered $50,000 in damages, and you were found to have been 30% to blame for the accident, you may be able to get $35,000 in compensation ($50,000 minus 30%). However, if you were found 50% to blame for the accident, you won’t be able to recover anything under Georgia law.
Never assume that you don’t have any legal options just because you think you may have been partially to blame for your accident. There are many reasons an accident may occur and sometimes it isn’t as much your fault as you may think. Contact an attorney who can review your case.
Why did the insurance company deny my claim?
There are many reasons why an insurance company may deny a car accident claim. They may allege the following:
- Not reporting an accident on time
- The driver was not listed on the insurance policy
- The driver was engaging in illegal activity
- Insufficient coverage
- Not getting immediate medical attention
- Confusion about what a policy does and does not cover
- Pre-existing conditions
- Disputes over who caused the accident
Insurance companies will look for any reason to deny a claim, often using underhanded tactics masked as legitimate reasons not to pay you. Regardless of the reason you were given for your denied claim, the Atlanta car accident attorneys at Pratt Clay LLC can help you fight for the fair financial recovery you are owed. We have experience handling all types of serious auto accident cases and know how to help you win.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is a soft tissue injury commonly suffered in car accidents. Whiplash is characterized by a rapid, forceful back-and-forth movement of the head that is caused when the body is subjected to an external force. Whiplash often results from rear-end car accidents and can result in pain in the neck and shoulders. Although this injury will likely heal on its own with home care and time, victims should still seek medical attention and should discuss their legal rights with an attorney after an accident.
I was in a car accident, but I don’t feel injured. Do I need to see a doctor?
Yes. It is common for accident victims to feel uninjured right after an accident because the adrenaline coursing through the body can mask feelings of pain. After a few days, however, the symptoms start becoming apparent.
There are several reasons why you should see a doctor after an accident even if you don’t immediately feel injured. First, it isn’t worth it to risk your health by foregoing a checkup – if you don’t have a potential injury diagnosed right away, you run the risk of it worsening or causing lasting complications. Second, the longer you wait, the more that delay may harm your personal injury claim. The other driver’s insurance company may construe the delay as evidence that you really aren’t injured at all.
Can I still recover compensation if I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt?
If an insurance company brings up the seatbelt defense, they are trying to avoid having to pay out a claim, or at least pay as little as possible. However, even if you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, you may still be able to recover damages, although there may be some reduction. An attorney can help you present your case and argue that ultimately, the other driver should be held accountable for causing the accident in the first place.
Should I speak with the other driver’s insurance company?
If you are contacted by an adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company, politely decline to answer any questions, provide any statements, or sign anything until you have consulted an attorney. Remember that insurance companies are not in the business of paying claims, so it is likely that they may try to offer you a lowball settlement or try to use something you say to deny compensation outright. Don’t take any chances – have an experienced attorney review the circumstances of your case and determine whether what you are being offered is fair. If it isn’t, it may be in your best interests to file a legal claim seeking a more reasonable amount.