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Common Misconceptions About Car Accident Claims in Georgia

the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC June 23, 2023

No one is ever prepared for a car accident. In fact, a car wreck can occur no matter how experienced and careful you think you are as a driver. Unfortunately, the prevalence of car accidents on Georgia roads can breed misinformation and misconception about car accident claims because many people do not verify their sources of information.  

The car accident attorney at The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC, has dealt with numerous misconceptions about car accident claims in Georgia. Often, one of the first things Attorney Walter Gabriel has to do when starting to work on a client’s case is tell the client that what they’ve heard or read about car accident claims is not accurate. With five offices in Georgia, Walter Gabriel serves clients in Atlanta, Georgia, and surrounding areas, including Alexandria and Dunwoody. Set up a consultation today. 

What Are Common Misconceptions About Car Accident Claims?

When filing a car accident claim, you may not fully understand your rights and the process as a whole—especially if you have never been involved in an accident before. To make things even worse, not everything you believe to be true is, in fact, true. There are many misconceptions out there about car accident claims and personal injury claims in general. Below, you will find some of the most common ones:   

“My Insurance Policy Will Cover All of My Medical Costs and Damages to My Car”

One of the most widespread misconceptions about car accident claims in Georgia is that your own insurance policy will cover your medical expenses and any damages to your car. However, the state of Georgia follows the “fault” system, which means that the driver who caused the accident is typically responsible for covering the damages and injuries sustained by the other driver. Thus, your ability to get compensation after a car accident hinges on your ability to prove the other party’s fault, which typically involves establishing that the other party: 

  • Owed you a duty of care;

  • Breached the duty;

  • The breach resulted in the accident; and 

  • The accident caused your medical expenses and other damages.  

According to the Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, all motorists in the state are legally required to purchase liability insurance that meets the minimum limits. It’s important to contact a skilled attorney to get help in filing a claim for compensation and proving the other party’s fault. 

“Medical Attention Is Not Necessary If I Feel OK”

Another common misconception about car accidents is that you do not need to visit a hospital or go to a doctor if your injuries seem minor or you feel okay after the crash. However, some injuries like concussions or whiplash can take a while to manifest symptoms. The problem with not seeking medical attention right away is that you may miss out on medical benefits and compensation that you are entitled to.  

Therefore, regardless of how you feel after a car accident, it is always advisable to get checked out by a qualified doctor for your own well-being and to document any potential injuries. If you forgo medical care after your accident, you will have a hard time proving the cause of your injuries.   

“Filing a Police Report Is Not Necessary When the Accident Is Minor”

Some people believe that if it is a minor car accident, it is not necessary to file a police report. However, whether it is a minor or major accident, it is important to file a police report for documentation purposes, especially if you plan on seeking compensation. Police reports can provide witnesses, accident scene details, and legal documentation to support your claim. 

In Georgia, drivers should report accidents to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles regardless of whether they need to file a police report. The state law requires filing a police report when the accident causes injuries, death, or property damage that exceeds $500.  

“I Can’t Get Compensation Because I Was Partially at Fault”

This is untrue. Georgia is a comparative negligence state, which means that even if you were partly responsible for the accident, you may still be able to recover damages as long as you were less at fault than the other party. The state follows a modified comparative fault law, which means that an injured individual’s compensation will be reduced by an amount equal to their percentage of fault.  

Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to help you understand liability and fault in your particular case. If you think you contributed to the accident, an attorney will help determine your percentage of fault and ensure that you are in a position to get the compensation you need.  

“I Do Not Need Legal Counsel to File a Personal Injury Claim”

Many people think they can file a claim and handle the claims process on their own without the assistance of an attorney. While you certainly can file a personal injury claim without anyone’s help, being represented by an attorney can vastly improve the outcome of your case and increase your compensation amount. Having legal counsel can help ease the stress of the unknown because an attorney will handle every aspect of the claims process on your behalf, including preparing documents and communicating with the insurance company. Last but not least, having an attorney by your side allows you to focus on your treatment.  

Get the Answers You Need

If you have been involved in a car accident and are not familiar with the claims process, you probably know how difficult it is to find factual information online. Attorney Walter Gabriel can explain the law and provide you with the answers you need if you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Atlanta or anywhere else in Georgia. Contact The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC for a free consultation.