Will The Insurance Companies Have Access To Past And Present Medical History And Treatments, And Can They Use That As Part Of Their Defense To Avoid Paying Out On My Injury Claim?
If you’ve been involved in an automobile collision, wreck or accident and you file a lawsuit, then you will typically be subject to what’s called discovery, which by Georgia statute lasts for six months after the defendant files their answer to the lawsuit and can be extended. The discovery period is a period where the defendant, through their attorney (who is usually hired by the insurance company to represent the other driver), has a right to send written questions, request documents, and have an in-person question-and-answer session called a deposition. The deposition is sometimes video recorded and is transcribed by a court reporter.
Georgia law does allow for the defense to ask questions about prior medical treatment and prior injuries that may have some impact on your current injury case’s value. However, just because you were injured before doesn’t mean you can’t sue, as long as your injury was aggravated or increased by the current automobile collision.
Will Any Past Unrelated Injuries Or Illnesses Hurt My Case?
Unrelated injuries and illnesses won’t have any impact on the value of your case; only injuries or medical conditions that directly affect your current injuries will have an impact.
What Is My Responsibility, If Any, In Notifying My Insurance Company Or The At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company Of The Incident That Caused The Injuries?
In Georgia, a 30-day notice of potential claim is required under most insurance policies, and you have a 30-day period to notify your insurance company of any lawsuits that you are served with or that you know have been filed against you.
If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, then you need to let your insurance company know that you’ve been involved in a collision in case the other party’s insurance is not valid or is not adequate to cover your injuries. According to Georgia statute, your insurance rates will not be affected by reporting a collision that was caused by someone else.
What Do I Do If The Other Party’s Insurance Company Contacts Me? Should I Ever Give A Statement Of Any Kind Without My Attorney?
It is our advice to potential clients not to speak with the opposing party’s lawyers, investigators, or insurance adjusters. The liability and damages in many legal actions will turn on various subtle facts and circumstances, and you may not be aware of the law or the particular elements of a claim. As a result, you may inadvertently damage or lessen the value of your case by giving a statement without having an attorney review the claim and advise you on how, when, and what you should say during your interview.
What Compensation Or Damages Should I Seek In My Serious Injury Auto Case?
When you’re involved in an automobile collision or any kind of personal injury, you have several different types of actual damages, including past, present, and future medical expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and diminished capacity of a labor in the future.
When you treat with a medical healthcare professional after a collision and have reached what they call maximum medical improvement (MMI), the doctor will give you a disability rating that applies to one part of your body or your entire body. This disability rating comes from the American Medical Association’s Guides for Permanent Impairment, and can be used as an element of damages. For example, if you have a whole-body disability rating of 10 percent, it will indicate that you’re going to be essentially 90 percent as effective as you were prior to the collision. If you were making $100,000 a year, then a 10 percent disability rating would indicate that in the future you may only be able to make $90,000 a year.
A spouse can have damages for loss of consortium, which means the loss of the services of their husband or wife because they’ve been in a collision and might not be able to help around the house or be as intimate with their spouse as they were before the collision.
There may be punitive damages if the other party was dangerous, extremely reckless, and consciously indifferent about the consequences of the people who were affected by their actions. For instance, someone who was drunk driving and caused a collision could be subject to punitive damages. Punitive damages don’t have any direct relation to your injury, but are damages to punish the other party. A person injured by someone who’s awarded punitive damages will keep some portion of that, and a portion will go to the state. There are certain caps and limits on punitive damages depending on the type of claim.
For more information on Personal Injury In Georgia, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (770) 961-5511 today.