Hawk Law Group | November 30, 2023 | Car Accidents
Augusta, GA, is no stranger to car accidents. It’s important to remember that in Augusta, you have to report these accidents. It’s not just a good thing to do; it’s the law. This rule helps keep our roads safer and ensures everyone involved in an accident receives fair treatment.
Understanding when to report a car accident in Augusta, GA, can help you be prepared after a collision occurs.
Do I Have to Report My Car Accident?
In Augusta, you must report a car accident if:
- Someone gets hurt: Whether it’s a small scratch or a big injury, if anyone gets hurt (drivers, passengers, people walking by), you need to report it.
- Someone passes away: If, unfortunately, someone dies because of the accident.
- Major damage to cars or property: If the accident causes more than $500 in damage.
If you don’t tell the police about an accident like this, you could get in big trouble. Think about it: you drive away from a small crash. But the other person might tell the police it was a hit-and-run. Now, you might have to pay a fine, lose your driver’s license, or even go to jail.
If the accident is really bad, and someone gets very hurt or dies, and you leave, it’s even more serious. In Georgia, leaving after such an accident can mean you might go to jail for up to five years.
Also, if you caused the accident and didn’t stay to help, the injured person or their family might sue you. It’s always best to report the accident and help make sure everyone is okay.
Should I Inform My Insurance Company?
Right after a car accident, it’s important to tell your insurance company about it, ideally within 24 hours. Insurance companies have different rules about when to report an accident. If you’re unsure when to call your insurance, it’s a good idea to ask them about their specific deadline.
What Is Georgia’s Fault System?
In car accidents, a big question is always who caused it. Georgia uses an “at-fault” system. This means the driver who caused the accident has to pay for the damage. This differs from “no-fault” states, where each driver’s insurance pays for the damage, no matter who caused the accident.
If you want to sue someone after an accident in Georgia, you need to prove they caused it.
You can do this by looking at:
- The police report from the accident.
- What witnesses saw and said.
- Any proof of broken traffic laws (speeding or running a red light).
- Physical clues (skid marks, car damage, and where the cars ended up).
- Videos from security cameras, dashcams, or phones.
- What the drivers said at the accident scene.
The more evidence you have in your favor, the more likely you are to recover damages for your accident. A police report detailing what occurred in the accident can help to strengthen your claim.
What Are Georgia’s Minimum Insurance Requirements?
In Georgia, drivers must have insurance that covers:
- At least $25,000 for injuring or causing the death of one person.
- At least $50,000 for injuring or causing the death of more than one person in an accident.
- At least $25,000 for damaging someone else’s car or property.
This insurance helps pay for the other person’s medical bills, car repairs, and other costs if you caused the accident. Insurance can also cover you if the other driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough to pay for your damages. This is called Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage, and it helps pay your bills up to your policy’s limit.
If you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured/underinsured motorist, filing a police report will be crucial to recovering compensation.
What Are the Time Limits for Car Accident Lawsuits in Georgia?
If you’re involved in a car accident in Georgia, it’s important to know that you’re working against the clock regarding legal action. The state has set specific timeframes within which you must file a lawsuit. Missing these deadlines can mean losing your chance to claim compensation.
Here’s a quick guide to understanding these crucial timeframes:
- General rule: You have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
- Injuries discovered later: If injuries from the accident are not immediately apparent, the two-year period starts when you discover or should have discovered the injury.
- Accidents involving minors: If a minor is injured in an accident, they have until two years after their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.
- Accidents involving government entities: Different rules apply for accidents involving government employees or agencies:
- Local government agencies: Notify about your claim within six months of the accident.
- State of Georgia or county government: Notify about your claim within one year.
It’s crucial to keep these timeframes in mind following a car accident. Whether it’s a minor injury that shows up late or an accident involving a government vehicle, you should report it. Knowing the applicable deadlines ensures that you can take appropriate legal action without missing your window of opportunity.
Don’t delay the process of getting justice. Report your car accident and consult an experienced Augusta car accident lawyer.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers In the Central Savannah River Area at Hawk Law Group for Legal Assistance Today
For more information, please contact the car accident lawyers at Hawk Law Group at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and its surrounding areas:
We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.