While injury victims have a right to pursue compensation following a car accident, things can get much more complicated if the offending driver fled the scene. While you can certainly file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company if they are caught, you will likely need to recover damages from your own insurance company if the other driver is not found.
Georgia is a Fault-Based Insurance State
Georgia uses a fault-based system for insurance claims, rather than the no-fault system used in neighboring Florida. This means that after an accident, you must first attempt to recover damages from the responsible party and their insurance company.
In a hit and run collision, however, you most likely will not have any information about the other driver. This means that you must go through your own insurance company to recover compensation. Georgia is one of a handful of states that does NOT allow you to use uninsured motorist coverage to pay for property damage and vehicle repairs.
What to Do if You’re Involved in a Hit & Run
First, you should absolutely stop, pull over, and make sure everyone in the car is okay. If anyone is injured or if the crash was serious, immediately seek medical attention.
Second, write down as many details about the accident as you possibly can. This includes a description of the car, as much of the license plate number as you can remember, and a description of the driver. You should also record the location and time of the accident, as well as your memory of how the accident occurred. If there are any eyewitnesses around, get their name and contact information.
Third, report the accident to the police. This is a crucial and often overlooked step. Even if you have very limited information about the accident, the mere existence of the police report can act as evidence in your insurance claim.
Lastly, you should report the incident to your insurance company, and contact an experienced Marietta auto accident attorney to help you pursue your claim. Many people assume that their insurance company will automatically act in their best interests, but this is rarely the case. Even with your own provider, they will often do everything possible to mitigate the value of your claim.
Hurt in a Car Accident? Call (770) 427-5498.
At Jones & Swanson, our Marietta personal injury attorneys have more than six decades of collective experience with personal injury claims. When you retain our firm, we will tirelessly work to get you the compensation you deserve.
Don’t settle for the first check from the insurance company – call our firm today to pursue fair recovery!