If you've suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one, an Atlanta injury lawyer can help answer your questions on how to win your personal injury claim in a Georgia personal injury court!
At S. Burke Law we are here to help give answers to these important questions. Our Frequently Asked Question database covers the common questions you may have regarding what to do after a serious accident, how to file a claim in personal injury court, and tips on how to win your personal injury claim. When researching information on the legal process following a serious accident you want legitimate advice from a source you can trust.
When you’ve suffered serious losses and damages from an accident due to the negligence of another you aren’t alone. An Atlanta injury lawyer from our office is always available to answer additional questions not addressed on our page. Contact us for a FREE consultation and get the answers you need to seek compensation for your losses!
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Can You Negotiate with an Insurance Adjuster for a Car Accident?
Yes, you can negotiate with an insurance adjuster for a car accident. This negotiation begins after you file an injury claim, send a demand to the insurance company, and the insurance adjuster sends an offer for a settlement.
How We Can Help You Negotiate with an Insurance Adjuster
Many people just take the first offer they receive because they are afraid of entering into the negotiation process. This is understandable.
Negotiating with an insurance adjuster can be quite difficult, especially if you have no experience doing so. Insurance adjusters receive special training on how to devalue claims and save the insurance company money. It is very easy to say or do something while negotiating with the insurance adjuster that can jeopardize the value of your claim.
However, you do not need to handle this process alone. Our founder, Sheryl L. Burke, used to work as an insurance adjuster before opening her firm. She knows how insurance adjusters operate and tactics they use to devalue claims. She can handle your case from start to finish to fight to get you the compensation you deserve. She will manage all negotiations and fight until you receive what your case is worth.
We Will Determine the Value of Your Case
Meeting your basic needs is an essential component of your personal injury settlement. That amount varies depending on the circumstances of your accident and the extent of your injuries and property damage. We will determine the value of your case to ensure we do not accept a settlement that is lower than what you deserve.
We will investigate your accident and determine the value of your:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Other accident-related losses
We Will Field All Offers
More often than not, the first offer you receive from an insurance adjuster will not satisfy your needs after a crash. We suggest that you do not accept this offer without running it by a member of our team first.
If you have not already enlisted our help before this step in the process, we recommend you call us immediately after receiving the first offer. (Call 404-842-7838 to discuss the offer.)
We will compare the settlement offer to the demand made and send back a counteroffer. Depending on the case, this could lead to several rounds of negotiations.
As we mentioned above, Sheryl Burke spent time as an insurance adjuster. She knows how the insurance adjuster will approach the task and how to stay one step ahead. She is not afraid to stand against even the largest insurer to get the compensation you deserve.
Defend Your Case Against Any Accusations of Liability
In many cases, your settlement offer will be lower because the insurance adjuster will claim that you contributed to the accident. Per Georgia’s comparative negligence law, your contribution to an accident will decrease the amount of compensation you can recover. Sheryl and the S. Burke Law team will defend you against any accusations of liability to ensure you get the settlement you deserve.
Your Options If the Insurance Adjuster Will Not Negotiate
In some cases, the insurance adjuster will refuse to offer you a fair settlement. If this is the case, we are not afraid to file a lawsuit and take your case to court.
Filing a lawsuit might prompt the insurer to offer you the settlement you deserve.
If not, we will build a case, persuading the judge and jury to order the insurer to offer you the compensation you requested.
Call an Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyer for Help Negotiating Your Claim
A car accident lawyer at S. Burke Law wants to get you the compensation you deserve after an Atlanta car accident. We take your case as seriously as you do and will put all our efforts into this. And you can be sure of this as we will not receive compensation unless you do. If we fail to negotiate a settlement the insurer, we will not get paid.
Sheryl Burke worked for insurance companies for years before starting her own firm. She will use that experience and the insight she gained on your behalf. Call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 to learn more about how we can help. The initial consultation is always free.
What Is the Role of a Car Insurance Adjuster?
The role of a car insurance adjuster is to investigate the circumstances of a car crash after you file a personal injury or property damage claim. In addition to investigating your claim, car insurance adjusters also negotiate and issue settlements once their investigations are complete and they come to a decision on what they believe the insurance company owes you after an accident.
Primary Roles of Insurance Adjusters
We discussed above that the car insurance adjusters investigate accidents and eventually negotiate settlements. More specifically, car insurance adjusters do the following after an accident:
Inspect Damage to the Vehicle
Inspecting the vehicle often reveals points of impact which may help indicate who was at fault in an accident.
Review Police Reports
Police reports are also a key element in determining the degree of fault a driver has in an accident.
Speak to Witnesses
Witnesses are often an unbiased source in accidents. They can add significant supporting evidence to a personal injury claim.
Attempt to Interview the Car Owners
The insurance adjuster will also attempt to get statements from everyone involved in an accident to supplement their reports.
While the above is an overview of what adjusters do, there is more specialization than most people realize with them.
Types of Car Insurance Adjusters
Depending on the accident and its circumstances, you deal with a different type of adjuster who will investigate your claim. And knowing the type of adjuster you are dealing with in your claim could greatly aid the process of hopefully collecting a claim. The following are the three types of adjusters you will likely come across:
These adjusters work directly for the insurance company. Their primary goal is generally to keep costs as low as possible for their employer. That usually means attempting to minimize payouts.
Both insurance companies and individuals can hire independent adjusters.
These adjusters work directly on your behalf as a policyholder. They want to get you as much money as possible. Public adjusters are particularly useful because they help policyholders file counterclaims if the settlement presented by the insurance company appears insufficient.
Be Careful When Dealing with Insurance Adjusters
As we mentioned above, adjusters want to pay you as little as possible. They have several ways of doing this:
Adjusters May Try to Get You to Sign Medical Authorizations
The insurance adjuster may claim the insurer wants access to your medical records to determine the severity of your injury. To obtain these records, the adjuster may ask you to sign a medical authorization.
What many people do not realize, however, is that a medical authorization often gives the insurer access to your entire medical history. The insurer can then scour your records to find a preexisting condition or old injury to blame your symptoms on to avoid paying you.
Adjusters May Try to Get Recorded Statements
We also mentioned above that insurance adjusters will often request statements from both parties. However, it is usually best not to accept the request for one. The reason for this is that the adjuster is usually doing their best to get you to say something which will hurt your case. If you do submit a statement, it is best to do so with the guidance of a personal injury attorney.
Adjusters May Offer You a Very Low Settlement
Insurance adjusters know that many people are desperate for money after an accident. They need to pay medical bills and cover the wages they lost if their injuries kept them out of work. Many adjusters use this against you and offer you a low settlement, hoping you will take whatever you can get.
Call an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney
While getting into a car accident is a fairly common occurrence, many people feel intimidated when dealing with insurance companies and adjusters.
That is why working with someone who has experience on both sides of the table is so valuable. Sheryl Burke, who once worked for a large insurance company before opening her personal injury firm, is ideally placed to help you.
Insurance companies have teams supporting their efforts. And you should have the same when you are involved in an accident. If you or a loved one about was involved in an accident recently, we encourage you to call Atlanta car accident lawyer Sheryl Burke. The S. Burke Law team prides itself on representing the interests of Atlanta’s citizens.
To learn more about how we can help you, call us at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation.
In Georgia, what are the minimum car insurance requirements?
All drivers in Georgia are required to carry car insurance. Minimum car insurance requirements in the state of Georgia are 25/50/25. These numbers refer to the liability limits for bodily injury and property damage.
Bodily Injury Liability Requirements
In the event of a car accident, this type of insurance is meant to protect your assets from potential lawsuits. The monies listed represent the maximum amount of compensation that may be paid to another driver and passengers involved in the accident.
Insurance minimums for bodily injury liability mean there is a $25,000 maximum allowance for each person injured with a $50,000 maximum allowance per accident.
Therefore, if you are responsible for a car accident, each of the people injured may be compensated up to $25,000; however, only up to $50,000 would be allowable for the total payout of the accident.
Minimum insurance requirements may be a problem for at-fault drivers. For example, if compensation for the injured parties exceeds the $50,000 limit, you may be wondering: how will the excess amount be paid? An at-fault driver may be sued by the injured parties for the remaining monies.
Property Damage Liability Requirements
The last number refers to the total amount that can be paid to repair and replace the other driver’s car or property. In Georgia, car insurance requirements for property damage are $25,000 per accident. Again, drivers need to consider how much this allowance will actually cover and what they will do if the total amount is over this minimum.
Contacting an Attorney When You’ve Been Injured
If you are the victim of another driver’s negligence, you have a right to just compensation, which may exceed the Georgia minimums. To help you understand your rights, first read our free eBook: Buying Car Insurance in Georgia: An Insider’s Guide to Getting Maximum Protection, then contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation at 404-842-7838.
Will my insurance card be enough for me to prove car insurance coverage in Georgia?
The state of Georgia does not consider an insurance card to be acceptable proof of auto insurance coverage. Because these cards can be copied, falsified or transferred between vehicles, Georgia uses an electronic verification system known as GEICS or Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System.
If you are involved in an accident or a routine traffic stop, a police officer or other government worker can check the status of your insurance using this system. It is illegal to operate a vehicle without insurance, and if you are caught doing so, you may face fines and/or other legal action, including impoundment and registration suspension. Approximately 13 percent of all U.S. drivers do not carry auto insurance, while 14% to 15% of Georgians break the law by driving without coverage, according to the Insurance Research Council.
If you are injured in an accident with a driver who does not have auto insurance, you may have to pay for medical expenses and car repair bills yourself. If you have opted for uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage, however, you could be protected. Talk to your insurance provider about adding this type of coverage to your existing policy. It can usually be done quickly and for a nominal fee. However, even if you don’t have UM coverage, you still could be able to file a claim with the help of an accident attorney in Georgia. Don’t miss out on your chance for compensation; get the legal help you need today.
Contacting an Accident Attorney in Georgia
If you are the victim of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, whether in a traffic accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case – 1-404-842-7838.
What are Georgia's auto insurance minimums?
Georgia requires all drivers in a household to be covered by liability insurance and have proof of insurance in the vehicle with them at all times.
Georgia allows certain exemptions:
- the vehicle's lease has terminated
- the vehicle is inoperable, stolen or repossessed
- the vehicle was wrecked, salvaged or junked
- its only used for seasonal or agricultural purposes
- ownership was transferred out of state or the owner moved
Georgia Minimum Liability Coverage:
- bodily injury for one person: $25,000
- bodily injury for all injuries: $50,000
- property damage: $25,000
Contact a Georgia attorney to learn more about your insurance options if you or someone you know have been injured in an automobile accident.
Do I have to pay back my insurance company for paying my medical bills after an accident?
If you have been in an accident, the answer to whether you would have to reimburse your health insurance company for your medical bills is, it depends.
In short, if your insurance company is regulated under Georgia law, chances are, you will usually not have to pay back your medical bills. If your health plan is regulated under federal law, you may be required to use your claim to reimburse payments made by your insurer.
Georgia-Regulated Insurance Plans
Under the state's Reimbursement Statue that dates to 1997, the only time a Georgia-regulated health insurance company can request reimbursement for medical expenses is if the person was already fully compensated for injuries from a liable party. This statute is based on whether or not you as the accident victim were "made whole" by your compensation. Your Atlanta personal injury lawyer can explain how this may affect your claim.
Federally Regulated Insurance Plans
In the case of federally regulated health insurance plans, such as a self-funded ERISA plan, Medicare, or Medicaid, you may be required to pay the insurance company for your medical bills. The only consolation is federally regulated programs can reduce, or even release your medical bills.
What an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do To Help Your Claim
If you've been in a car accident, you may want to at least consult with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer to discuss the possibility of a Georgia personal injury claim. In addition to seeking damages to address your medical expenses, an Atlanta personal injury lawyer may also be able to seek compensation for lost wages and non-monetary damages, such as pain and suffering.
Contacting an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a traffic accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case.