The Importance Of Seeking Medical Attention After A Car Accident
In this article, you will discover:
- The Importance of under-insured or uninsured motorist coverage
- The information to share with your attorney after a collision
- How Georgia treats being partially at fault in an accident when attempting to recover financially
It is always important to seek medical treatment after a car wreck because you want to create a paper trail. You want to document your injury with the medical professional as soon as possible, and you also want to establish medical bills as a result of your accident because one factor in determining how much your case is resolved for is the sum of your medical bills. If there’s a delay in treatment, insurance companies will raise that as a defense. They’ll say things like, “Your client was in an accident, they didn’t leave the scene in an ambulance, and it was a week before they went to the doctor.” And sometimes, if they hire an attorney before they go to the doctor, they’ll try to claim that the attorney suggested they go to a doctor when they really didn’t need a doctor’s care.
So, it’s always good to immediately seek treatment, at the emergency room and follow-up with your family doctor or a specialist to either get a physical therapist or orthopedist referral if you have sprain strain type of injury or broken bones to follow through with any treatment plans regularly until your injuries are resolved if you want to maximize the value of your personal injury claim.
The Critical Information To Share With Your Personal Injury Attorney
All the information surrounding the car wreck is critical to share with your attorney. Insurance adjusters will try to get you to say it was a “ car accident” suggesting the collision was unavoidable and no one’s fault so make sure you refer to the incident as a car wreck or automobile collision. You want to talk with your attorney about the accident and why it was the other party’s fault. You also want to share with your attorney how you were injured in detail throughout your body starting from the top of your head to the top of your toes, where you are hurt, how that pain and injury has progressed, what areas resolved or are pain free, what areas didn’t, who you’ve treated with, and what doctors you’ve seen. You also want to tell your attorney about any prior injuries that you have that may be related to the accident or aggravated by the collision. After all, the insurance companies will always try to ascribe the injury to the previous incidents and minimize the injury for the current car wreck because insurance companies want to pay as little as possible. They don’t want to pay claims, they want to receive premiums, and insurance profit is the difference between premiums received and claims paid. Insurance companies call it the float.
Insurance companies are always trying to maximize their income so they can invest in the stock market and make money with their clients’ premiums. They’re not interested in paying claims; they’re interested in minimizing claim payments. So, you have to do everything possible to make sure you’re not giving the insurance company ammunition to minimize whatever claim they will have to pay you for your injury.
How Being Partially At Fault Can Impact Your Georgia Personal Injury Claim
In Georgia, we have what is known as a Modified Comparative Fault state, which means that if the jury can decide what percentage at fault you are as an injured plaintiff versus the defendant. For example, let’s say the jury decides the defendant is 75% at fault and you’re 25% at fault. If the jury awards you $100,000, the court will reduce that by 25% so that you would get 75% or the defendant’s percentage of fault or injuries. If you’re more than 51% at fault or more than 50% at fault, then you don’t recover at all. But if the other party is more than 50% at fault, you just get your damages reduced in proportion to your fault in the accident case.
The Chances Of Financially Recovering After Being Hit By An Uninsured Or Under-insured Driver In Georgia
When you buy insurance, you have the option of purchasing Uninsured or Under-insured motorist coverage for yourself for other drivers who don’t have enough insurance or don’t have any insurance. And in Georgia, you’re only required to have 25,000 per person, 50,000 per accident liability insurance, and ten days in intensive care can cost over $100,000. So, if you want to protect yourself and your family, you should always buy as much uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage as money can buy.
Now, the problem is insurance companies don’t want you to buy uninsured or under-insured coverage. They’ll try to talk you out of it by saying things like, “Well, you have health insurance in case you get hit by someone else.” Still, health insurance doesn’t pay for pain and suffering or lost wages. Uninsured motorist coverage or under-insured motorist coverage is some of the cheapest and comprehensive health insurance you can buy. So, you should always try to buy as much under or uninsured motorist coverage as possible.
Now, in Georgia, you could waive UM altogether if you sign a document from your insurance agent agreeing to the waiver. The default insurance coverage is that you get add-on UM equivalent to whatever your liability insurance is. So, if you have 300,000 UM insurance, the default is that any UM coverage would be add-on to the other person’s liability insurance. So if the other person had $100,000 in liability insurance and you had $300,000 add on UM, then you would have a total of $400,000 of insurance coverage available for your claim But your insurance company can also get you to sign a waiver and get what’s called Setoff UM, where if both parties have the same coverage, you get nothing. If you have an add-on, then the other party has a $100,000 insurance coverage, you add your $100,000 to that, so there’s a total of $200,000. If you have $100,000 in set off UM because you signed a waiver and the other person had $100,000 in liability insurance then you have no UM available and only have the other parties $100,000 in liability insurance available. Add on UM can be added for very little additional premium sometimes as little as $10.00 a month. The insurance companies can also trick you into getting reduced limits. They can get you to sign a waiver to get less than 100/300 uninsured motorist coverage so they can get you down to 50/100 even though you had a 100/300 limit for other people. They’ll get you to reduce it even though they won’t often tell you the difference in the premiums. It might be just dollars a month to get that extra protection. They will say thinks like only pay for what you need but you certainly won’t be in good hands if you are hit by at fault driver. You will be dealing with some serious mayhem. So, you should always get as much UM as money can buy and have it added on or stacked to your injury liability limits.