Articles Posted in Auto Insurance

dont-do-it-yourselfReported motor vehicle accidents resulting in death have increased for the second year in a row.  Currently the number of fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents in Georgia is more than twice the national average.  Distracted driving, speeding, and alcohol have all been linked to this increase and currently the statistics show no indication that the numbers will decrease.  Even though thousands of motor vehicle accidents take place each year most people are ill-prepared when they find themselves involved in a fender bender.  After an accident occurs many people are tempted to handle insurance claims without legal assistance, and while it is possible to settle a claim without help there are dangers associated with do it yourself accident claims negotiations.

Friendly Claims Adjusters

It is not unusual for claims adjusters to present themselves as caring and concerned individuals who are eager to help you move forward with the claim.  In reality the claims adjusters are the employees of a company that expects them to spend as little money to settle a claim as possible.  They want to protect their company and ultimately want to look out for the other driver who pays their company for coverage.  Often people handling their own insurance claims are lulled into a false sense of comradery that is used to get them to make statements that ultimately hurt their claim.

In Central Georgia, a truck driver walking to a Family Dollar store after leaving his truck was killed by a two-car collision.  The car accident left the drivers and any passengers in the vehicle without injuries and was considered a minor accident by authorities.  However, the pedestrian struck by one of the vehicles died less than an hour after the accident at a medical facility.  The recent Georgia pedestrian accident is a reminder of the danger of the roadways, even when vehicles aren’t traveling at high speeds and pedestrians exercise caution.

Injured pedestrians or family members of walkers and runners killed by an automobile may be able to recover compensation for the cost of medical expenses, lost wages from the inability to work, funeral expenses, and other applicable kinds of economic loss.  The injured pedestrian or estate of the deceased must show the driver responsible for the accident was acting negligently, and that this negligence caused the accident and the resulting injuries.  Drivers are obligated to follow the rules of the road and to drive safely, but failure to do so means they are liable to those who are injured.

black shoes - runningWhen serious, or catastrophic, injuries are sustained, other avenues of compensation or legal relief may be necessary to pursue.  Occasionally, other people or entities may share in the responsibility for damages to be paid to the injured or the deceased’s estate.  If the at-fault driver was under an “umbrella” policy, the driver’s family member’s or employer’s policy may be available for additional compensation.  The pedestrian’s own auto insurance policy, depending on the type of coverage obtained, may also be available if policy limits fall far below the cost of medical expenses.  In Georgia, all motorists are required to carry bodily injury liability insurance coverage for $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, but not all drivers follow the law and an injured’s Uninsured/Underinsured coverage may be called upon to provide the financial relief needed. Continue reading

House Bill 459, if passed, would require motorists to get out of the left lance when a faster car comes up from behind.

Left-lane “slow pokes” better speed up or move out of the way.  Legislation flew through the Georgia House last month with a staggering vote of 162 to 9.  If it becomes a law, it will be a misdemeanor if you don’t move out of the left lane when a faster car approaches from behind.

Rep. Bill Hitchens, author of this House Bill told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that “everyone knows this is the slow-poke bill.”  While enforcing the law may be difficult, Hitchens believes it to be likened to the “good manners your mother should have taught you.”

The start of a new year is good time for setting new goals, cleaning out crowded closets, and reviewing important paperwork.  Now is a great time as a driver in Georgia to look at your auto insurance policy and see if you have enough coverage in the event of an auto accident.  Most drivers understand that their insurance policy covers costs like medical bills for accidents that they cause themselves, and some may understand that their policy covers car accidents that are caused by other drivers who have no insurance (known as Uninsured Motorist Coverage or UIM).   But what about auto accident where the bills are high and the other driver only carries the minimum amount of coverage required by law?  Underinsured motorist coverage (UM) is meant to cover these types of scenarios.  As a consumer, it is essential to understand what you may need from your insurance policy.

paper workGeorgia requires drivers to carry automobile liability insurance which covers costs related to bodily injury and property damage in the amounts of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.  So if you were in an accident with $65,000 worth of medical bills, and the at-fault party only carried the minimum amount of coverage, there would still be $35,000 worth of medical bills left to pay.  Depending on what you accepted or rejected when selecting your insurance policy, you might not have enough coverage if you elected “setoff” or “reduction” UM coverage. For example, if you had a policy with UM coverage of $50,000 a person, but the policy you carried was a “setoff” UM policy, the at-fault party’s coverage would be subtracted from that amount.  That means only a total of $50,000 of the accident would be covered, leaving you with the $15,000 difference.

Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage laws have evolved in Georgia over the last six years, vastly improving the motorist policy options for Georgia drivers  Now, Georgia law allows for UM coverage to “stack” on top of the at-fault party’s coverage.  Using the example above, if you had “stacking” or “excess” UM coverage, your policy limits would be in addition to the at-fault party’s insurance limits, leaving you with $10,000 of excess coverage instead of a $15,000 deficit.  As you can see, while there may have been a limited amount of monthly savings by electing the “set-off” option for UM coverage, the difference between policies can greatly affect you in the event of an accident.

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I am the attorney for the two young women who were seriously injured by this horrific car crash.  Please contact my office if you have any information relating to this accident at (770) 217-4954.

Bryce C. Angell

Securing Compensation for Bus Related Injuries

While many passengers see bus transportation as a safe alternative to cars, the fact is that many bus accidents occur every year, and 15 out of every 19 accidents are due to avoidable error on the part of the bus driver. In other cases, bus accidents may be due to improper maintenance, the lack of seat belts, or mechanical failures to systems such as the brake system.Unfortunately, due to the common lack of seat belts or other restraints, bus accidents are actually more likely to produce traumatic injuries, especially to the head and brain, than accidents involving passenger vehicles. For this reason, bus accidents have a higher rate of passenger fatalities than other forms of vehicular accidents and can require the services of a skilled Atlanta bus injury attorney.

Types of Bus related Transportation and Bus Accidents

Many Georgia auto accident victims who have never dealt with the government programs involving Medicare and Medicaid mistakenly believe liens asserted by these two entities can be easily resolved. If you have experience with these two government entities then you know that resolution of Medicare and Medicaid liens can be very frustrating and time consuming.

MEDICAIDmedicare-insurance-atlanta-lawyer

Medicaid is a state run program that provides hospital and medical coverage for people with low income and minimal financial resources. Each state has its own rules about who is eligible and what is covered by Medicaid.

There are several factors that can increase your car insurance costs.  Some of the following factors may cause your insurance costs to be higher than desired.

1. Your vehicle’s location.

Insurance companies price all policies based on the risk that a driver will eventually make a claim. One of the factors they will consider when calculating this risk is your zip code. Accident Statistics are factored in so if your insurance premiums are higher than normal, chances are that you live in a zip code that experiences a high rate of auto accidents.atlanta-car-accident-attorney