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4295 Buford Drive, Suite B1
Buford, GA 30518
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Call us today at 678-541-6770 for a free consultation

 

We are conveniently located close to the Mall of Georgia on Buford Drive(GA Hwy 20).
 

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Auto Accidents & Personal Injury

The following is a general explanation of your rights when you are in an automobile accident.  Please keep this explanation so that you may refer to it in the future to possibly answer any questions you may have.

Georgia is a state that does require that insurance be maintained on all automobiles.  Whenever there is an accident, it is the insurance company covering the vehicle which caused the accident that is responsible for payment of all benefits.  This includes medical bills, lost wages, damage to your vehicle, and compensation for your pain and suffering.  Listed below are four items of damage that are usually incurred in an automobile accident and a brief discussion about each item.

1.  MEDICAL BILLS - As stated above, the insurance company covering the vehicle which causes the accident is responsible for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses that are incurred as a result of an automobile accident.  However, the insurance company is only going to make a one-time and one-time only settlement which would include all items of damage except property damage.  They will not pay the medical bills as they become due.

Many people have medical coverage on their own automobile policy which will pay the medical bills as they become due.  This is called a first party claim and it is a contract right that you have with your insurance company to pay these medical bills.  This will allow the doctor to treat you and get paid immediately from your insurance company.  Keep copies of all your prescription receipts.

Also, many people have private health insurance through their employer.  We advise that you submit a claim to your health insurer for the payment of your medical bills.  However, some insurance carriers will also assert a lien on the settlement of your case.  Many times people have no medical coverage and many doctors will not treat a patient unless there is come guarantee of payment.  We have in the past allowed a doctor to assert a lien on your claim so that the doctor may treat you without expecting payment immediately from you.  If you wish for us to do this, please contact Catherine Parker and we will be glad to assist you in this matter.

2.  LOST WAGES - As with the medical bills, the party responsible for the accident or their insurance company is responsible for payment of all lost wage benefits.  Again, they will include this in your one-time settlement and you should keep accurate records of any and all time lost from work including, but not limited to, the dates that your doctor disables you not to work because of your injury and any time missed for subsequent and follow-up treatments.  Keep copies of all disability certificates your doctor gives you.  Some insurance policies have a lost wage benefit attached to it as stated above with medical benefits.  We will be contacting your insurance company to see if you have purchased that type of benefit.

3.  PROPERTY DAMAGE - The person who caused the accident or their insurance company is responsible for payment of your property damage.  If your vehicle is repairable then the insurance must pay the reasonable value of those repairs and provide you with a rental car during the pendency of those repairs.  They are not responsible for a rental car if there is a delay due to the ordering of parts or other reasons.  If the costs of the repairs exceed the actual case value "ACV" of your vehicle then the car shall be deemed a total loss.  The insurance company is only responsible for the actual cash value of the vehicle at the time of the accident, if it is in fact deemed a total loss.  The insurance company is not responsible for providing you with a rental car.  However, most insurance companies will provide you with a rental car until they declare your vehicle a total loss.  

Our firm normally does not assist in negotiating the value of the vehicle with the insurance company.  We allow you to do so for two reasons.  First, you are more familiar with the condition of your car and possibly the value of your car then we would be, and, secondly, if we negotiate the damage to your vehicle, our firm should be entitled to attorney's fees at the percentage stated in our agreement.  We do not think it is fair to charge attorney fees on the value of your vehicle as many law firms do.  It is in your best interest to negotiate the value of the vehicle only directly with the insurance company.  If you have any questions when you receive your Draft and Release, please contact our office.  Both the Draft and Release should clearly state that they are for Property Damage Only.

4.  PAIN AND SUFFERING - Georgia law allows a person who has been injured by the negligence of another to be compensated for their bodily injury.  This is generally referred to as pain and suffering.  This item of damage includes more than just that, it includes the aggravation that the accident has put you through; the anxiety, shock, worry and any other damage that is directly related to your injury.  The only criteria that need be met before you have an injury that is compensable under Georgia law is that you incur some medical bills, no matter how small, that directly relate to your accident.  This item of damages is what is referred to as a General Damage.  The damages listed above, medical bills, lost wages and property damage are considered to be Special Damages; special in the sense that we can be specific in knowing the amount that you should be compensated.  A general damage, on the other hand is not so easily defined in terms of monetary damages.  Everyone's pain and suffering is different.  The insurance company evaluates a claim prior to litigation on several factors.  They look at the type of injury, the amount of the medical bills incurred, whether or not the treatment was continuous (whether there were any gaps in treatment), the type of doctor you sought treatment from, the time missed from work, and, to some extent, the insurance companies take into account the type of lifestyle you led prior to the accident.

This is a general summary of the benefits that may be available to you under Georgia law.  There may be certain circumstances which would not entitle you to some of the benefits named above--such as if you were a passenger in a non-owned vehicle--then naturally you would not have any claim for property damage.  Our attorney fee percentage will come from the total settlement from the liability insurance and/or the uninsured motorist carrier.  If the above explanation is not understandable, please call us to discuss it.

My staff is specially trained to assist you in various aspects of damages of your claim.  Please feel free to discuss any aspect of your claim with them.  If you need to speak with me or Mrs. Parker, please let them know.  However, many times we must return your call at a later time as we are often unavailable and meeting with other clients.

If you have a change of address or telephone number, you must notify our office as soon as possible.

IF YOU HAVE FILED BANKRUPTCY IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS OR IF YOU FILE BANKRUPTCY WHILE WE ARE REPRESENTING YOU FOR YOUR ACCIDENT, YOU MUST NOTIFY OUR OFFICE IMMEDIATELY.  OUR FIRM ALSO DOES WORKER'S COMPENSATION AND BANKRUPTCY.

Kenneth A. Parker, P.C.