Georgia is an at-fault state, but sometimes the driver responsible for causing an accident will not respond to insurance. You may need an Atlanta car accident lawyer to help you seek financial compensation for your injuries. Dealing with drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions can be frustrating, but you do have legal options available to you if an at-fault driver does not respond to insurance.
The Duty to Cooperate and Insured Drivers
Insured drivers have a duty to cooperate with the insurance company’s investigation and the defense of an insurance claim. Most automobile liability insurance policies contain a clause related to the duty to cooperate. Sometimes motorists will not contact their insurance company regarding the automobile accident in which you suffered injuries.
Under the duty to cooperate, all drivers must contact their insurance company to put the insurance company on notice that an automobile accident has occurred. Insurance companies retain records and statistics regarding accidents that help them make determinations about the overall costs of insurance coverage. An insurance claim adjuster will speak with an insured before accepting liability for an automobile accident.
Important Issues Relevant to Insurance Claim Adjusters
Insurance claim adjusters want to know specific information about the cause of the automobile accident involving the at-fault driver. Traffic collision reports may contain false information. A law enforcement officer may have made an incorrect determination of cause.
Official reports and documents produced by law enforcement agencies and other governmental entities help insurance claim adjusters determine the cause of an accident. At-fault drivers may not be interested in speaking with representatives of an insurance company. Speaking with an attorney about how the at-fault party is acting can help you protect your legal rights.
What to Do When the Insurance Company Cannot Contact the At-Fault Driver
Collecting all the relevant evidence related to the automobile accident is necessary to establish the liability of the at-fault driver. Photographs of property damage, the at-fault driver’s contact information, and witness statements are some examples of relevant evidence. You can use these items to substantiate your legal claims.
You can reach out to your own insurer if you do not know the at-fault driver’s insurance company. It is important for you to request a declaration page from your insurance company. Requesting information at an early stage will provide you with an advantage if you seek financial compensation for your injuries.
Do Not Communicate with the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company
Communicating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company can expose you to many different types of risk. Most insurance company representatives will attempt to procure a recorded or written statement from you. Do not provide any statement to an insurance company because it will be used to weaken your personal injury case.
Insurance companies may attempt to confuse you by asking confusing questions designed to trick you into admitting liability. Do not let an insurance company representative make you doubt what you know about the accident in which you suffered injuries. Most insurance companies will offer you low settlement amounts so they can preserve more of their profits.
The Duty to Respond and At-Fault Drivers
All automobile liability insurance policies require that the parties adhere to a duty to cooperate. An insured must cooperate with the other party if they were responsible for causing the automobile accident. However, many at-fault parties do not communicate with the injured victim after an automobile accident.
You should keep a record of any conversations you have with the at-fault driver or their representative. Do not be afraid to keep recordings and other documents related to the communications you have with the at-fault driver. This documentary evidence will be useful if you file a civil complaint against the at-fault driver.
The Consequences If the Other Party does Not Respond
The insurance claim may be filed with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Typically, an insurance claim adjuster is assigned to the case immediately. If the at-fault driver does not respond to any person, then the injured party can file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
A complaint is a document that initiates a civil lawsuit. However, a lawsuit should be a last resort when a party is trying to work with an at-fault driver’s insurance company. The majority of civil lawsuits are settled before trial, and it is likely that your civil case will be resolved through settlement negotiation.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
You can pursue an insurance claim under your own policy if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Some policies also automatically contain underinsured motorist coverage. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may not be able to help you because the at-fault driver is being uncooperative.
You can assert an insurance claim under the uninsured motorist coverage provision in your own automobile liability insurance policy. Speaking to a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in Atlanta can help you determine if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
The Benefits of Retaining a Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta
A skilled car accident attorney can help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your own case. You may have never been involved in civil litigation before, and having legal counsel can help you avoid costly mistakes. Also, by retaining a lawyer you can benefit from attorney-client privilege and attorney-client confidentiality.
Having legal counsel can also make insurance companies and defense attorneys more likely to offer you a reasonable settlement amount early in the case. If you do not retain an attorney, then opposing counsel may attempt to have your claims dismissed. By hiring a lawyer you can protect your legal rights while sending a message that you are serious about pursuing monetary compensation for your injuries.
Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
We have years of experience representing clients in automobile accident cases. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your case. Our attorneys are here to help you enforce your legal rights.