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Understanding the complexities of third-party claims

| Oct 22, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Georgia law handles car accident insurance claims differently than many states. If you get into a crash in a state that follows no-fault law, you would file a claim against your own auto insurance policy, no matter who was most responsible.

Here in Georgia, fault matters. The victim of a car accident files a claim with the insurer for the driver who caused the crash. This is known as a third-party claim.

The challenges of a third-party claim

Once you contact the other driver’s insurance company, you cannot expect it to immediately pay your claim. The company will probably do an independent investigation, and it is in its interests not to pay. Thus, you should be careful when dealing with the insurer.

For example, when you meet with the insurance adjuster, they may seem sympathetic and interested in getting your side of the story. But be careful. You should not accept an offer or sign anything they give you without consulting a personal injury attorney first. Even still, the insurance company might not agree to pay you sufficient compensation. Or the driver may not have insurance at all.

Alternatives for getting fair compensation

This might leave you with two options. The first is filing a claim with your own insurance. Besides your collision insurance, you can buy coverage for personal injury protection (PIP) and medical payments (MedPay). These policies can be especially useful if the driver who injured you was uninsured. Of course, if you did not carry PIP or MedPay insurance, these options would not be available. The best you might be able to do going through insurance is to make a claim on your collision insurance to pay for repairs to your vehicle.

That leaves litigation. This would be an especially important option if you were seriously injured and have large medical bills and lost wages that need to be compensated. As with any lawsuit, the more evidence you have that the driver was at fault and connecting your injuries to the crash, the better.