Initiating the process of a car accident claim in Georgia is as simple as having someone contact the insurance companies, both your own, and the other driver’s, to report that you have been involved in an accident and to open the line of communication between your representative and the insurance companies about how to best address your recovery. It is important that you open a claim following an accident as early as possible, and it is even more important to have an Atlanta car accident lawyer open that claim for you so that you do not make any statements about how you are feeling, or the treatment that you have received, because that information may compromise your claim down the line.
Most drivers in Georgia carry the state minimum acceptable liability limit auto insurance policy that provides coverage for $25,000 per person in an accident. What this means in the case of an injury is that many drivers’ insurance only covers up to $25,000 in damages per person in the accident, and is often limited to $50,000 in aggregate. This is one reason why it is so important for Atlanta drivers to carry the maximum additional uninsured motorist coverage to ensure that, should the driver sustain injuries at the hands of another driver with a state minimum level of coverage, that the uninsured motorist coverage will cover damages beyond the $25,000 state minimum.
Oftentimes, and even in cases that do not seem serious initially, people can incur tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. It is important that injured individuals have access to a portion of control when it comes to protecting themselves, which is made possible with uninsured motorist added-on coverage. There are two types of coverage: added-on coverage, and reduced coverage. Atlanta drivers need to ensure that they contact their insurance agents to confirm that they have the maximum available added-on policy for uninsured motorist coverage.
In the case of an Atlanta car accident, contributory negligence or comparative negligence is the idea that the claimant, or the injured client of the lawyer that is trying to recover damages, has done something to contribute to or enhance the factors that caused the accident. Ultimately, comparative negligence works to assign a percentage of fault to the claimant regarding how their actions contributed to the situation that caused their injuries. In Georgia, if a judge or jury finds that the plaintiff was more than 50% at-fault for their injuries, regardless of what the other driver did, then the claimant cannot sue the other driver for the injuries.
Speaking candidly and truthfully with a car accident lawyer is an important first step in defending against allegations of comparative or contributory negligence later on during the litigation of a claim. The best representation comes from an attorney who understands the accident and is able to thoroughly address every element of it.
The range of damages that individuals can recover include compensation for property damage to their vehicle, medical expenses for treatment, physical therapy to get back on track, and pain and suffering caused by the other driver’s negligence. It is impossible, at the beginning of a case, to know what medical expenses will be needed, but the full extent of injuries are unknown in the hours following an accident, and sometimes even the days and weeks after. It takes time to feel the impact of the car accident’s effect on a person’s physical well-being. Injured people are entitled to receive reimbursement for lost wages because of time spent away from the workplace, and of course, because of the injuries sustained in an accident.
It is important that your attorney understands what you do for a living and how much time and money was spent away from work to receive necessary treatment. There are currently not any caps on damages as of 2016 for Georgia car accident cases, but there are insurance minimums that may limit your recovery because of the other driver’s insurance coverage or your own uninsured motorist coverage. It is important to understand the limits that are in place by the insurance companies so that you and your attorney can make an informed decision as to how to best address your claim for damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses toward your recovery after an Atlanta car accident.