If you are not at-fault in an accident, you are generally entitled to damages by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance. But settling a claim can take a long time in some cases, leaving many wondering how they can handle their medical bills and other expenses or losses in the present.
Your own car insurance or medical insurance may be responsible for providing coverage in the interim before you are able to settle with the other driver’s insurance company. Once you settle, you may be required to reimburse your insurance company for the medical bills or other expenses it paid on your behalf. Consult a personal injury law firm in Atlanta for help through the process.
Reimbursing Your Insurance Company after Settlement
An accident is stressful enough, especially if you suffered serious injuries. It can be difficult to focus on your healing and recovery when you start to receive medical bills or you realize how much income you are going to be without as a result of not being able to work.
After the accident, inform your insurance. Responsibilities on behalf of the company may include covering your medical bills and other expenses. If you run into issues with your insurance company, consult a personal injury law firm in Atlanta at Shane Smith Law.
Georgia law states that reimbursement may not be required as long as the amount that you recover from the at-fault driver’s insurance is not in excess of the damages you experience resulting from the injury, “exclusive of losses for which reimbursement may be sought.” (Georgia Code §33-24-56.1)
If your settlement does not exceed this amount, your insurance may be able to seek a judgment inquiring as to its right to obtain part of the settlement. But if the judge finds that the settlement doesn’t completely compensate you for your damages, your insurance company may not be able to recover any of the settlement.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
In some cases, the driver at fault in the accident will not carry insurance or will carry insurance that does not cover the full extent of your damages. If this is the case, your own insurance company may make up any difference provided that you have un/underinsured motorist coverage as part of your policy.
According to the Insurance Research Council’s (IRC) ‘Uninsured Motorists, 2011 Edition’, about one in seven drivers are not insured. Including this as part of your coverage may prove extremely beneficial if you were to find yourself in this situation. Uninsured motorist coverage can even cover you if a hit and run driver is at fault for the accident.
Ways to Avoid Problems with the Insurance Company
Unfortunately, some accident victims may run into problems with an insurance company, whether that of the other driver or their own. Being diligent in collecting evidence and following all necessary steps may prove helpful in avoiding or dealing with complications as they arise.
Some of the types of evidence that will be helpful in proving the other party’s negligence in an accident include the following:
- copy of police/accident report;
- photographs of vehicles, scene, and injuries;
- statements from eyewitnesses;
- video footage; and
- anything else that demonstrates you weren’t at-fault for accident.
It’s also important that you know how to deal with the insurance company as far as what you say. Despite not being responsible for the accident, an innocent comment can be twisted and used against you. Before agreeing to anything or giving the insurance company a statement, consult with your attorney.
Seeking Help from a Personal Injury Law Firm in Atlanta
Atlanta is a busy metropolitan area with great sights to visit such as the Georgia Aquarium or the World of Coca-Cola. Unfortunately, serious accidents may occur on the highways and streets of Atlanta, effectively ruining any trip to these or the many other landmarks.
If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact the Shane Smith Law, a personal injury law firm in Atlanta. We will explain insurance responsibilities as they apply to your specific case and how you can protect your legal rights if you aren’t at-fault in an accident. Call us at (888) 927-6955.