Georgia’s laws for car accidents are based on the concept of fault. Fault means that the person who caused the accident should have to pay for the accident—and since all drivers are required to carry insurance, the at-fault driver’s policy is the one that should pay the claim. Seems nice and fair, right? Yes, in many cases. But there are ways where you can end up paying money even if you were the victim and didn’t share any of the fault at all. One of those ways is through your deductible.
In Georgia, here is how your deductible works when you’re not at fault:
- Technically, the other driver (the at-fault driver) is the one who is supposed to pay, not you.
- That means they owe the full amount—including your deductible.
- So the driver or their insurance should pay your deductible in most cases, leaving you with no bill at all. But it may not happen right away.
As a result, when you are in an accident and you’re not at fault, you may have to pay your deductible at first, but you will get reimbursed later in most cases.
Here’s how it works.
Why wouldn’t I get my deductible paid if I’m not at fault?
When you’re in an accident that someone else caused, you can get your costs covered in several ways:
- You seek money from the at-fault driver, or
- You can file a claim with your own insurer
Many people choose the second option, because it’s usually much faster. Your insurer should be able to help you pay for costs right away, even if you intend to seek a financial recovery from the other driver later.
However, if your own insurer pays those costs—even just for now—you will have to pay your deductible, or have it taken out of the total amount you are given.
But since you’re not at fault, you can still seek payment from the other driver—and so can your insurer.
How to Get Your Deductible Paid When You’re Not at Fault
You can file a claim against the at-fault driver or their insurance company to get the money you’re owed. Depending on the circumstances, this may be a legal claim through the courts or it may start as a simply insurance claim. The money you seek can include the full amount of your costs, including your deductible. In other words, even if you paid your deductible yourself, the at-fault party will have to reimburse you.
Your insurance company can also get reimbursed if they paid out some of your costs. This involves a process called subrogation, where one party pays the costs owed by another, and then seeks reimbursement from the at-fault party.
These types of cases can be complex. The best way to navigate the process—and make sure you don’t have to pay your deductible—is to talk to a car accident lawyer.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
You should be stuck paying the deductible in an accident you didn’t cause. We can help you. We will give you a FREE consultation and help you get the money you deserve. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.