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Should I Report a Minor Car Accident?

Asked by user in Georgia.

I was pulling into parking spot, I was almost parked when person parked next to me backed out, bumped into my car and drove off. I was able to get license number of car and reported to police. The police were able to get driver name and insurance info. Do I call my insurance company or theirs? Will my insurance go up? I want them to pay but with minor damage I don’t know if it’s worth it if my premiums go up.

Answered by attorney Todd Shugart of Scholle Law:

Given the facts that you provided, you are clearly not at fault and should pursue the claim. The easiest and most hassle-free approach is to contact your insurance company and let them handle everything. Since you were not at fault, your rates should not go up. Have this discussion though with your agent. They, in turn, should handle everything and pursue the at-fault driver’s insurance company for reimbursement of the expenses paid pursuant to your claim. If it were me, that is what I would do every time. It is why you pay for insurance.

With that said, you can certainly pursue the claim on your own and without the assistance of your insurance company, but be forewarned that it may be a difficult process that is time consuming, inconvenient, and with an end result that may be disappointing. In any event you should make your insurance company aware of the wreck. In fact, pursuant to your policy, you may have an obligation to do so. That does not mean that you must pursue the claim through them, only that you notify them of the occurrence of the wreck and whether you believe you suffered any injury.

If you did suffer injury, this notice is very important, particularly if the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits are insufficient to cover your damages. You would then pursue those remaining damages against your own uninsured/underinsured motorist policy. You should have such a policy unless you affirmatively waived it. That is another discussion to have with your agent. All of this can quickly become complicated.

If you were injured, I advise that you contact a personal injury law firm immediately to discuss your damages and possible recovery under Georgia law. To navigate this on your own can be perilous. We wish you the best.

Enjuris Partner Attorney Spotlight

Todd I. Shugart

Mr. Shugart’s first exposure to personal injury law was with nationally renowned law firm of Spence, Moriarity & Schuster. There, he worked closely with Gerry Spence, the founder of the Trial Lawyer’s College and Bob Schuster who has mentored him throughout his legal career.

He took that experience with him when he served as an Assistant United States Attorney, handling complex and voluminous white-collar cases involving fraud, cyber intrusion, trademark and copyright violations as well as large-scale drug conspiracies and violent crime.

Now with Scholle Law, Todd Shugart is a skilled trial lawyer who fights tirelessly for his clients.

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