Automobile Wreck Claims and What the Insurance Company Won’t Tell You
Before you attempt to handle your own case there are several things that you need to know about insurance companies and automobile wreck claims. Do you need an attorney? Here’s what the insurance company won’t tell you:
- Property damage, and diminished value; the Law in Georgia allow recovery for the diminished value of a vehicle which was wrecked. Generally, an attorney will assist you in collecting this, and there is no additional charge. If your car is new the diminished value from a $3,000. fender bender could be $2,000 or more depending on structural damage. If you sign a general release you cannot collect for any injury.
- Medical bills and lost wages: if you are a passenger in a car that has med pay, you may be able to have your bills paid through the med pay insurance. The same applies to persons who are injured on premises that have a med pay policy. If you handle your claim on your own, the carrier may tell you that they don’t have med pay, or that they pay the bills at the settlement, but this statement is not factual. An insurance company does not represent you, they do not owe you a duty to tell you what they owe, or to tell you the truth about what you are entitled to receive.
- Instant settlement offers at the scene of the wreck; some carrier attempt to settle the case at the scene. You have not been to the doctor, and the case has not been evaluated, and sometimes $2,000 at the scene looks like a lot of money. If you take the settlement, and then go to the doctor there will not be a settlement for you injury case regardless of your bills or injury.
The evaluation of an injury case is not based on a formula. That’s what the insurance company won’t tell you. You may hear that the case is worth 3-4 times the bills. When there is a broken bone, scar, or other serious injury the attorney must evaluate similar verdicts to make a good evaluation and demand for your case. Recently, I litigated a false arrest case with $200. in medical bills . After proving the client was falsely and maliciously arrested we recovered $325,000.00.
- Choosing an attorney: who is going to handle your case? Don’t assume that the attorney you meet is the person that handles your case. In a settlement mill there may be one attorney, and ten “investigator-paralegals” who actually handle the case. I get many calls from clients of settlement mills who could not get the attorney on the phone, and the client didn’t know that the big firm that they had chosen was a settlement mill. The mill only settles cases, and is known for never going to court. Would you go to a surgeon who never performed an operation? How about a fighter who never fought? Don’t you think the insurance companies know who runs a settlement mill? And who takes low ball offers because no one ever goes to trial?
- In wrongful death claims in Georgia alone the costs to the state are over 1.5 billion dollars. Don’t under estimate the value of your case.
- CDC statistics ; over 30,000 are killed in auto wrecks every year. There are many more catastrophic injuries that require a trial lawyer to help you. Call a personal injury lawyer who is affiliated with the Georgia Trial Lawyers (injury lawyer association) who is knowledgeable in handling these cases. An attorney who is experienced will volunteer, and hold positions of leadership in the trial associations. Read more about my firm at www.robbinslaw.com, and see my video collection.