Car accidents occur because of drivers who do not pay attention to the road. Car wrecks can lead to thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Serious collisions may result in catastrophic injuries or even death. Properly handling a car accident claim starts from the moment you start talking to the insurance company. It is the insurance adjuster’s job to resolve your claim for the least money possible. Insurance companies are in business of making money and paying fair compensation on car claims hurts their profit margin.
Tactics of Insurance Companies
Insurance adjusters use the same tactics over and over again to pay less on injury claims. The most common tactics are: showing photos or car damage estimates which show little to no property damage; police reports indicating no injuries; delays and gaps in medical treatment; negative medical tests; and considering medical bills excessive, inflated and unrelated to the collision. A knowledgeable car accident attorney knows how to deal with these tactics to get fair compensation. Never accept an unfair settlement and ensure that your attorney is willing to go to court to get you a fair result.
Accident Claims Process
Clients contact my office weeks after they are hurt in a car accident. Most have been given bad advice and don’t even have the proper documents to start the claim. Getting fair compensation on an injury claim starts the minute a car collision occurs and continues until the claim is resolved. Certain procedures should be followed in every car injury case to ensure that you obtain fair compensation. Dealing with these issues immediately will save you a great deal of time and effort later on in the injury claim process as well as ensure a fair and speedy resolution.
Determining Fair Compensation
There is no set formula in determining the value of a car injury claim. An experienced attorney should know that each case is different and that unique facts about each case will determine the fair value of that claim. However, all claims share common categories of damages that make up the true value of a claim. Damages that you are entitled to seek include: medical bills, future medical bills, past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, lost wages, and in certain cases, punitive damages. It is your attorney’s job to address each one of these items of damages to truly determine how much your claim is worth.
More accidents in Georgia now involve trucks, tractor trailers, semi-trailers and 18 wheelers. Trucking collisions occur mostly on the highway and involve vehicles travelling at high rates of speed. Unfortunately, many truck wrecks result in death or life changing injuries, such as herniated disks, because the human body is not built to handle such forces. Trucking cases are not like car accident cases as there are special rules involved. Trucking companies know these rules and have employed on-call attorneys to minimize their financial exposure. Trucking claims start immediately after the truck wreck where these on-call attorneys will ask that you provide a recorded statement. Never provide a record statement until you have had the chance to speak with an experienced injury attorney.
Who is Responsible for your Injuries?
Trucking cases are unique as numerous persons and companies may be financially responsible for your injuries and the pain and suffering you have endured. Trucking claims can be brought against the truck driver, the employer of the truck driver, the company that owns/leases/rents out the truck, as well as the insurance company which provides insurance coverage. In some circumstances, you may be able to pursue a claim against the truck company broker as well company that owned the cargo being transported. Each of these persons may share responsibility for your injury and claims must be brought against these entities to ensure that you obtain fair compensation. Failure to bring claims against these entities in a timely manner may lead to no recovery at all, or inadequate recovery in cases involving death.
Federal Rules & Regulations Governing the Trucking Industry
The trucking industry is highly relegated by the Federal Government. Unfortunately, enforcement of these regulations are non-existent until after an accident. Most times it is the trucking attorneys job to retroactively enforce these rules when bringing trucking claims. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration lists those regulations that trucking companies and truck drivers must follow. Regulations range from who is qualified to drive a truck, how many driving hours are acceptable, as well as how trucks are to be maintained and inspected. Violations of these rules can be used to establish that the truck driver and trucking company is responsible for your injuries.