Auto Accident Insurance
To register a vehicle, Georgia motorists must carry minimum insurance. Currently, the minimums are $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability insurance (up to $50,000 per occurrence) and $25,000 in property damage liability insurance per accident. Georgia motorists can also purchase collision insurance, which will cover damage to a vehicle regardless of who is at fault.
If you have been involved in a crash, you probably already know that dealing with an insurance company is a pain. At Slappey & Sadd, we are here to help you get the compensation you need. Reach out to us today to discuss your options by calling 404-255-6677.Understanding Liability and Collision Insurance
Bodily injury liability insurance will cover medical bills and lost wages for anyone you injure in a collision. It does not cover your own injuries. Because it is liability insurance, you are only responsible if you were at fault for the crash. If someone else is at fault, then you can make a claim with their insurer to get them to cover your medical bills.
The same is true of property damage liability coverage. If you caused an accident, you can’t tap your insurance policy to repair your car since you were to blame. However, your policy will cover any property damage to other people if you were at fault for the crash.
Things are different with collision coverage. This insurance will repair your vehicle regardless of who is at fault. If you have collision coverage, then you can make a claim with your insurer for the damage done to your vehicle.Information to Submit to an Insurer
After a collision, you should get the insurance information from all drivers involved in the crash. You can submit your claim to the insurer for the driver who you believe is responsible or you can contact your own insurance company, which will work with the other driver’s insurer.
The key in auto accident cases is determining who is at fault for the collision, which is called determining liability. The insurance companies will have liability investigators look into who is responsible. As part of their investigation, they will look at the police report and interview any witnesses. You will also probably need to give a statement about what you remember happening.
Collect other important information to submit to the insurer, such as:
- Bills for any medical care you received for your accident injuries
- Receipts for any drugs or assistive devices purchased to help you with the injury (such as crutches or bandages)
- Proof that you missed work (if any), such as a letter from your employer or a pay stub
- Proof of the costs to repair your vehicle, such as repair estimates
These documents will help establish how much money you have lost as a result of the accident and how much you want to be reimbursed for.
If you have collision insurance, you can submit bills for repairs made on your car directly to your insurer. Liability should not be an issue, though your insurer might investigate to make sure your accident is actually covered by the policy.Problems that Can Arise in Auto Accident Insurance Claims
A major problem is often liability—no one can agree on who is to blame for the accident. For example, imagine that two vehicles collided in an intersection. Each driver claims that they had the right of way, and there are unfortunately no other witnesses to the crash. In this situation, the insurance companies might disagree about who is responsible, and your claim will be denied.
Another issue that can arise is when you have suffered catastrophic injuries like spinal cord damage, severe traumatic brain injuries, or burns over a large part of your body. These injuries can leave victims permanently disabled and suffering for the rest of their lives. In these situations, a motorist’s losses far exceed the $25,000 in liability insurance that many drivers carry. However, there might be other policies available that can dramatically increase the amount of compensation available—but you need an attorney to help you.
How Slappey & Sadd Can Help
Injured motorists do not have to accept a car insurer’s denial of their claim. Instead, they generally have many options—an internal appeal with the insurance carrier, continued negotiation, or filing a lawsuit. Each path has its advantage and disadvantages, which an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney can explain.
Often, insurance companies feel more comfortable denying a claim when they know a claimant is unrepresented. When that claimant hires a lawyer, however, some insurers will feel pressure to reopen the claim and take a look at it with fresh eyes. We can help point out information the insurer might have overlooked the first time when denying liability.
In other situations, an insurance company accepts liability but does not want to fully reimburse you for all your losses. The insurer might discount the severity of your injuries and offer a small amount in compensation. Here, our attorneys can accurately present the severity and scope of your injuries and get a bump up in compensation.
Also, we can find out whether additional insurance policies apply that can increase the amount of compensation available. For example, you might have underinsured motorist (UM) coverage, which can step in and pay out compensation above and beyond what the other driver’s liability insurance will pay. UM coverage is a great benefit, especially when a motorist suffers catastrophic injuries.
Speak with an Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyer Today
After a car crash, you need compensation to immediately begin paying for medical care and to replace any lost wages if you can’t return to work. In this difficult time, the last thing you need to do is haggle with an insurance company over whether they will accept your claim.
If your claim has been denied, or if you were not offered the full value of your losses, please reach out to us today. One of the Atlanta car accident attorneys at Slappey & Sadd can meet with you to go over what happened. Based on our experience, we have helped countless motorists get the compensation they deserve. Call today, 404.255.6677, or submit our online contact form.