After a car accident, you may wonder if you need to report the collision to your insurance company. Accidents on your record could increase your monthly premiums, leading to financial hardships for many people. In addition, Georgia law mandates drivers to report certain accidents to the police—and if the accident is serious enough for a police report, you will likely need to report it to your insurance company.
Georgia Accident Reporting Requirements
According to Section 40-6-273 of the Georgia Code, drivers must report any accident to the police that results in injury, death, or over $500 in property damage. If you do not report the accident to law enforcement, you can face penalties such as license suspension and fines. You can report the accident by calling 911 immediately after the collision.
Insurance Rates After a Georgia Car Accident
If you are in an accident in Georgia, you will likely need to report the collision to your insurance company, even if someone else caused it. However, not all car accidents will increase your monthly rates. The insurance company will determine whether to increase your premiums based on who was at fault for the accident.
If you are responsible for the accident, your premiums will likely increase. The insurance company will likely reassess your risk based on several factors, such as whether you received any marks on your driving record and the extent of the other driver’s damages. It can be difficult to predict how much your rates will increase; different insurers follow different policies.
If you did not cause the accident, the company should not increase your premium rates. Under Section 33-9-40 of the Georgia Code, insurance carriers are prohibited from raising insurance premiums if the policyholder is not at fault for the collision.
If you are in an accident with an at-fault uninsured driver, the company should not increase your rates. Section 33-9-40 of the Georgia Code also prohibits insurance carriers from increasing premiums if you use your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to pay for your damages.
What to Do After a Georgia Car Accident
If you are in an accident with another driver, it is in your best interests to prove that you were not at fault. By proving the other driver’s liability, you can prevent your company from raising your insurance rates after you report the accident. You will need to take the following steps to preserve and document as much evidence as possible.
After the accident, call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement. The officer will create a report that details how he or she believes the accident occurred, which may provide valuable evidence in your case.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your records will document the nature and extent of your injuries, as well as the treatment you received.
Document as much evidence at the scene as possible. Take photographs, ask witnesses for their contact details, and preserve physical evidence such as clothing or damaged possessions.
Exchange information with the at-fault driver. Keep your interactions with the driver brief; you do not want to volunteer information that could harm your future claim.
In addition to these steps, you should seek the assistance of an Augusta personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can conduct an in-depth investigation into your accident and help prove to the insurance company that you are not responsible. After you seek medical attention, contact a Georgia car accident lawyer as soon as possible.