Hawk Law Group | April 27, 2022 | Car Accidents
The Georgia statute of limitations (deadline) for filing lawsuits for most car accident claims is two years from the accident date. The other person involved in the car crash may sue you for damages if your insurance company denies liability or refuses to agree to a fair settlement. Alternatively, their damages may exceed the limits of your policy.
Continue reading to learn more about what you should do if you are sued after a car accident in Augusta, Georgia.
Immediately Notify Your Insurance Company of a Lawsuit
If another party accuses you of causing a car accident or you receive a lawsuit summons, you should immediately contact your insurance provider. Georgia car insurance policies require the company to provide you with an attorney to defend the lawsuit. Failing to report the lawsuit to your insurance provider could give the company a reason not to defend you.
You do not get to choose the attorney the insurance company hires to defend the lawsuit. However, you may seek legal advice from an attorney of your choice at your expense.
Indemnification for Damages Up to Your Policy Limits
If you caused a car accident, your insurance company should indemnify you up to the policy limits.
Georgia requires drivers to have minimum auto insurance in the amount of:
- $25,000 property damage liability insurance per accident
- $25,000 bodily injury liability insurance per person ($50,000 per accident)
However, you are liable if the jury awards an amount above your policy limits. Therefore, if two people were injured and the jury awards $75,000, you are liable for $25,000 if you have minimum car insurance coverage. You can purchase higher liability car insurance coverage to protect yourself if you are sued for causing a car accident.
Discuss the Reason for the Lawsuit With Your Attorney
Find out why you are being sued by the other person involved in the accident. What is the person claiming as damages? Why did your insurance company refuse to settle the claim to avoid a lawsuit?
Notify your insurance company that you expect it to pay the policy limits if it can obtain a release or limit your liability for the accident. If your insurance company acted in bad faith to settle a claim, you might have a claim against your insurance company.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Being Sued After a Car Accident in Augusta, GA?
You cannot prevent a person from filing a lawsuit against you after a car accident. However, filing a lawsuit does not mean the person has a valid legal claim against you for damages. The defense attorney will analyze the case to determine the best way to defend you against the allegations.
For example, the attorney might discover evidence that the other driver contributed to the cause of the car crash. If so, the person’s damages can be reduced by their percentage of fault based on Georgia’s comparative negligence laws. However, the person cannot recover any compensation if the jury finds they were 50% or more at fault for the cause of the car crash.
Other ways you can protect yourself after a car accident include:
- Report the car accident to the police and wait on law enforcement officers to arrive.
- Document the accident scene by making a video and taking photographs. Try to capture the position of the vehicles, damage to each vehicle, skid marks, traffic signs, etc.
- Ask eyewitnesses for their names and contact information.
- Report the accident to your insurance company immediately.
- Seek medical treatment for your injuries. You need to prove that the car accident caused your injuries if the other person is at fault or partially at fault for causing the car wreck.
- Do not apologize for the car accident or otherwise admit fault for the accident.
- Avoid talking to claims adjusters and insurance investigators until you speak with an attorney. Providing a written or recorded statement can work against you later in the case.
- Do not post photographs or information about the accident or your injuries online. It is best to avoid using social media or discussing the accident with anyone other than your lawyer.
- Document your damages by keeping copies of all receipts, bills, and invoices.
The aftermath of an accident can be frustrating and frightening. However, the primary goal is to remain calm and seek medical treatment for your injuries.
Contact an Augusta Car Accident Lawyer if You Are Sued For Causing a Collision
As soon as you can, talk with an Augusta car accident lawyer. Understanding your legal options and the laws regarding car accidents in Georgia is the first step in protecting your best interests.
Having a legal team fighting for you after a car accident is another way to protect your best interests and ensure that you’re not being unfairly blamed.
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Contact the Car Accident Lawyers In the Central Savannah River Area at Hawk Law Group for Legal Assistance Today
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and its surrounding areas:
We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.