Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents
Your legal rights explained by a nationally recognized attorney
A car accident may be over in an instant, but if you've been hurt, you may be left with more questions than answers. That's why we're here. Gary Martin Hays & Associates has been helping Georgia residents injured in car accidents since 1993, and we're happy to answer your questions.
- What do I need to do at the accident scene?
- How can I get my medical bills paid?
- If I was hit by a drunk driver, can an attorney help?
- I keep getting calls from the insurance companies. What should I do?
- I had to use sick time at work while recovering from my injuries. How does that affect my case?
- Do I really need to see a doctor?
- When should I accept a settlement offer from the other driver's insurance?
We hope this information will give you an idea of where to begin after your car accident. For specific information on your individual case, contact us right away. Call 1-800-898-HAYS for a free consultation.
Your top priority should be to make sure the scene is safe. Call emergency services and assist if you are trained to do so. If your car is still drivable, you may need to move it to make sure you aren't blocking traffic.
Get names and contact information for anyone else involved in the accident as well as any witnesses and the investigating police officer. Exchange insurance information with the other involved drivers as well. Stick to the facts of what happened and never say anything that could be construed as admitting fault. Determining fault for an accident is complex, and you're not in a good position to make that call at the scene.
If you have a smart phone or camera, take pictures of the accident scene, visible damage to vehicles and any visible injuries as well. That evidence will help you with a potential claim. See a medical professional as soon as possible and let him or her know that you were in a car accident.
Notify your insurance company of the accident promptly, but again, stick to the facts of what happened. Don't say anything regarding fault for the accident.
Finally, contact us right away. Retaining an attorney from our firm early in the process gives you the best chance of successfully resolving your case.
Ultimately, if another driver was at fault for your accident, we feel he or she is responsible for your medical bills. However, the other driver's insurance company will not pay out until after your medical treatment has been completed. To get your bills paid during treatment, you have three options:
- Med Pay Coverage. This is a type of insurance coverage available in Georgia that covers anyone injured in an accident while in your vehicle. If you have Med Pay on your insurance policy, then your auto insurance company will cover your medical bills up to the policy limit. If another driver is at fault for the accident, your insurance company may ask the at-fault driver's insurance company for reimbursement - this is called subrogation.
- Health Insurance. If you don't have Med Pay, but you do have health insurance, then your health insurance company should pay your medical bills, subject to the usual terms and conditions of your health insurance. Some health insurance companies will tell you that they won't pay for injuries suffered in a car accident, but that's absurd. Give us a call and our attorneys will speak with them on your behalf. Again, if you later recover from the at-fault driver, your health insurance company may be reimbursed through subrogation - and this can help you keep your insurance rates down, depending on your policy.
- Attorney's Lien. If you don't have Med Pay or health insurance, you definitely need us on your side. We have relationships with healthcare providers who are willing to provide treatment to our clients on the condition that they will be paid once you recover from the at-fault driver. This is known as an attorney's lien.