If you are hurt in a car accident in Atlanta, your medical bills may come out of a car accident settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, insurance claims and injury lawsuits can take time to resolve, so how do you cover costs in the short term? In Georgia, there are several options:
- Auto insurance medical payment coverage up to policy limits
- Private or government health insurance, such as Medicare or Medicaid
- Receiving treatment on a medical or attorney’s lien
- Personal injury medical funding
The option most suitable for you will depend on the circumstances of the accident and the coverage you have available to meet medical costs.
When Is the Other Driver Responsible for Paying My Medical Bills?
Georgia follows a fault-based system for auto insurance claims, and all drivers in the state must purchase liability insurance, per the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire. If a driver is negligent behind the wheel and causes an accident, they are financially responsible for paying the injured party’s medical expenses and other related losses.
While asking the at-fault driver’s insurance company to pay your medical bills and other damages may seem straightforward, things can quickly become complex when pursuing compensation, especially while you are still trying to recover from your injuries.
Many factors can affect your financial recovery after an auto collision regarding damages, liability, and source of recovery. As such, seeking advice about your legal options can be beneficial to gain some clarity before proceeding with your claim or lawsuit.
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What Are My Options for Seeking Compensation After a Car Accident?
The circumstances of the accident will largely determine your options for seeking compensation for injuries and other damages. Your lawyer can review the facts of your case and help you understand which of the following options is most suitable for your situation:
- Filing a claim directly with the at-fault party’s insurer
- Filing a claim with your auto insurance provider (for example, if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured and your policy has uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage)
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit in court against the at-fault party
Can I Claim Anything Else Besides Medical Bills?
In a personal injury lawsuit, you may be entitled to recover losses beyond medical expenses, such as:
- Lost wages and lost earning potential if your injuries affect your ability to work in the future
- Pain and suffering for things like emotional distress, physical impairments, or loss of enjoyment of life
- Ongoing medical bills and rehabilitation costs
- Lost or damaged property
Remember that there is limited time to file your case, per O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. This statute allows people injured by another driver’s negligence just two years to begin legal proceedings, after which it is unlikely the courts will hear your case.
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Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Car Accident?
While you may be able to resolve a minor car accident without legal representation, many others can certainly benefit from the experience of a personal injury lawyer. Here are a few examples of when this may be the case:
- The other driver is refuting blame for the accident.
- You or a loved one sustained severe injuries.
- The accident involved several parties.
- You are unsure of the financial extent of your injuries and associated losses.
- You would like us to shoulder the legal responsibility of managing every aspect of your case so that you can focus entirely on your recovery.
Additional Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
In addition to the above, there are many more benefits of seeking legal representation for your case. For example, because Georgia is an at-fault state, proving the other party’s negligence is an essential part of the legal process in an injury lawsuit, as it directly affects the compensation you could recover.
Our accident attorneys can help you gather the evidence from the car crash, collect information about your damages and use this to negotiate an appropriate settlement amount with the other party’s insurance company.
Remember that insurance companies may seek to keep settlement offers as low as possible, since they operate as for-profit organizations. As such, it is our job to ensure the insurance company treats you fairly during the legal process while fighting to ensure they compensate you appropriately.
Where Can I Learn More About My Legal Options After a Car Accident?
At Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, we understand how difficult it can be when you are hurt in a car accident, especially when it wasn’t your fault.
With our award-winning legal team on your side, we can help to take the strain out of pursuing the compensation you need to get back on track. Contact us for a free consultation today to learn more about your legal options.