If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident, you may wonder what the process is to receive a settlement for any injuries or damages. One of the most common questions people have is – How long will it take for me to get a settlement after a car accident in Georgia?
There is not an easy way to answer that question. Every car accident case is different, and there are several factors that go into a Georgia car accident settlement.
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety tells us that there were nearly 400,000 vehicle crashes during the last full reporting year in the state. Out of those accidents, there were:
- 1,430 crash fatalities
- 19,405 serious crash injuries
Because of the regularity of car accidents in Georgia, citizens of this state should become familiar with the settlement process.
What factors go into the settlement process?
Georgia law requires that most car accident cases be reported. In this state, you must call 911 if the accident:
- Occurred in a jurisdiction that requires a report
- Injures or kills anyone
- Causes property damage over $500
- Is required to be reported by the insurance company
Reporting the incident is only one part of the process. The police will investigate and there will be an accident report, but what happens next?
Reporting the crash to the insurance companies
Once a crash is reported to the insurance companies, both yours and the other driver’s, they will begin their own investigation of the incident. It may be beneficial to secure assistance from a qualified Newnan car accident lawyer to help you navigate the insurance claims process.
A settlement is a process that allows those involved in a crash to get a guaranteed payout for their damages without having to take the case to trial. The main obstacle to most settlement, even when the other driver was at fault for a crash, is the willingness of their insurance company to offer a fair settlement. Insurance companies are not our friends and will do whatever they can to lower the amount they have to pay. They may even try to lay the blame for the crash on the other driver.
What are the Georgia car insurance minimums?
In Georgia, the minimum liability coverage amounts that each driver has to have to legally drive are:
- $25,000 for injury or death of one person in an accident you cause (this includes a passenger, another driver, motorcyclist, or pedestrian).
- $50,000 for total injuries or deaths of more than one person in an accident you cause.
- $25,000 for property damage resulting from an accident you cause.
What if the insurance minimums are not enough to cover for my damages?
Even if the at-fault driver’s insurance company does offer a settlement, that does not mean it will cover all of your crash-related expenses. Think about all of the things that will need to be covered:
- Medical bills
- Car repairs
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages from time away from work
If the insurance minimums are not enough, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for injury claims in Georgia is two years from the date of the crash. For property damage lawsuits, the time limit is four years from the date of the crash.