After an accident insurance companies will start an investigation immediately. It is their goal to try to limit the recovery of the injured person to the lowest possible amount. In order to accomplish this insurance companies have established very specific and elaborate procedures on handling auto accident claims, especially in the early stages of the claim. During this time the insurance company will take recorded statements from the persons involved in the car accident, have the vehicles examined, have photographs taken, obtain the police report and try to establish the extent of the injuries suffered in the auto collision. The insurance company is usually able to accomplish all of these items within the first week after the auto collision and in some cases within the first 24 to 48 hours after the auto accident.
Although the approach or tactics of insurance companies vary, many insurance companies try to reach a quick settlement with those who have been injured. Since the law only allows an injured person one chance to recover, the insurance companies goal is to avoid responsibility for future medical expenses, lost wages and other damages that are likely to develop. Don't get caught in this trap! When a person is injured in an auto accident, it very often takes months to completely assess the person's injuries. At that point, the person may need surgery or other extensive treatment. The injuries can leave the person permanently disabled even after corrective surgery. The true value of a claim can only be assessed after a firm prognosis has been established by a physician. The State of Georgia provides in most cases a two-year period of time, called a statute of limitation in which to file a lawsuit on a claim. Because of this there is no need to rush to a settlement with an insurance company. You may seriously regret the settlement later when your injuries have become progressively worse.
There are many other significant issues that develop for persons injured in an car accident. If your health insurance company pays for your medical bills they will very often seek to obtain reimbursement from your settlement with the other driver's insurance company. There are significant limitations on their right to obtain such reimbursement which we have been very successful in using to help our clients limit the amount of money owed to the insurance companies. Likewise, if you were on the job when injured, the worker's compensation insurance company will try to obtain reimbursement of their payments for medical expenses and lost wages. There are significant limitations on their right to receive reimbursement. These are important issues that you should understand prior to agreeing to any settlement with the other driver's insurance company.
In the State of Georgia, individuals are required to have liability insurance coverage for their automobiles. The minimum requirements for bodily injury liability insurance coverage in Georgia are $25,000.00 per person and $50,000.00 per accident. These insurance limits may be insufficient to cover the claim of an injured person, so very often the injured person must explore what other insurance is available. The driver who caused the accident may have the right to coverage from insurance policies of family members, an employer, a rental car company or from an “umbrella” policy. Sometimes other unknown persons or entities may also have liability for the auto collision. For example, if the road or a light was defective, a government agency may share in the responsibility for the collision. In addition, your own insurance policy may provide coverage for your injuries.
Determining the appropriate value of a claim for personal injury can be very complicated. It involves evaluating numerous variables such as the nature and extent of the injury, the economic losses that are recoverable, and the liability issues related to the accident. The location where a trial would take place and any prior injuries suffered by the injured party are issues that are also factored into any evaluation of a personal injury claim. Since insurance companies have vast experience in evaluating personal injury claims and will seek to obtain the lowest settlement possible. In order to have the same advantage that comes with experience, it is important to have a person with considerable experience dealing with the insurance company on your behalf.
- Disobeying traffic signs or signals
- Failing to signal while turning
- Driving above or below the posted speed limit
- Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
- Failing to drive on the right side of the road
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney today at 1-855-54INJURY to schedule a free consultation.