You've been an honest, hard-working resident of Savannah for years—maybe your entire life—and you've been lucky enough to avoid being involved in a serious car wreck...until now.
Now, you probably feel as if your life has been turned upside down. From mounting medical bills, to physical therapy, to accepting the idea that you may never work again, it can all get to be extremely overwhelming very quickly. On top of that, you may be dealing with an insurance company that is trying to offer you an unfair settlement—or worse, no compensation at all.
You are a good person and you do not deserve to be under this much pressure after being seriously injured in a car crash. The attorneys at Duffy & Feemster care about you and your car accident case. We want to help make things right. Contact us today for more information, or to schedule a FREE initial consultation by calling 888-707-1197.
Catastrophic Injuries Require an Experienced, Knowledgeable Attorney on Your Side
Car accidents happen every day in the Coastal Empire, but when you're involved in a wreck caused by someone else and you end up in the hospital, you'll probably need to do more than just call your insurance company. We represent car accident victims who have major injuries that can potentially impact their lives forever. Our Savannah personal injury law firm frequently works with individuals suffering from many different auto accident injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken bones
- Serious burns
- Head trauma
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Herniated discs
These injuries don't just come with expensive medical bills; they can also prevent you from working for an extended period of time, cause quite a bit of pain and suffering, and impact your entire family dynamic. Don't try to do this alone, because with so much on the line, you can't afford to walk away with less than you deserve in compensation for your car accident injuries.
Common Issues In Car Accident Injury Cases
If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else's negligence, you may have a claim against the person, persons or company whose negligence caused your injury. We have handled hundreds of personal injury claims over our 57-year history. Some of the issues that arise in personal injury cases are the following.
Statute of Limitations
You normally have two years from the date of the injury to file a civil action against the person, persons or company that caused your injury. Generally, if you do not settle your case or file your claim with a court within two years of the date of your injury, your claim will be barred by law.
If a child is injured as a result of someone else's negligence and there is a resulting personal injury claim, a parent (referred to as next friend) or guardian (appointed by the Probate Court) can pursue a claim for the minor. The statue of limitations does not usually start to run until the minor turns 18 years of age. However, it is not usually advisable to wait that long to press a claim because the passage of time erodes the evidence in the case and the recovery or compensation received in the meantime could be invested and earning a return for the minor. Usually the minor would be entitled to receive the funds resulting from the settlement plus interest or dividend at the age of 18, but a structured settlement can provide for the minor to receive the funds at a later date when he/she would be more mature.
Personal Health Insurance and Auto Insurance
If you have been injured, you have probably incurred some medical expenses. Medical care is expensive. If you have personal health insurance provided by a group policy at your place of employment or private health insurance, your health insurance carrier can and should pay your medical bills. The proceeds from the personal injury case usually are not available for a significant period of time and the liability insurance carriers for the negligent party will not usually advance payment of medical bills except in the rarest of cases. Also, health care providers usually do not want to wait that long before they receive payments of medical bills.
Therefore you should consider submitting your medical bills to your personal health care insurance company. They are required to pay these bills (subject to deductibles and co-pays) unless there is some other direct insurance coverage available, such as medical payments available under an insurance policy on an automobile or property, referred to as Med Pay coverage or Workers Compensation Coverage, which would apply if you are injured on the job. Your group carrier may want you to agree in writing to pay them back out of the recovery of your personal injury claim, but generally, you are not required to do so unless the policy issued by the insurance carrier to your employer or you requires an assignment of your recovery. Also, the insurance carrier is usually not entitled to obtain any reimbursements of their payment to your medical care providers, doctors and hospitals unless you are fully compensated from the settlement, verdict or recovery from the at-fault party. We can help you navigate this complicated legal process.
However, if your health insurance provider is a government entity such as Medicare and/or the military or one of their insurance carriers, they have the right to be reimbursed a least in part from your recovery from the third party. We can help you through this process to see that your rights are protected.
There are other ways that you sometimes can receive medical care even if you don't have insurance coverage. We can also help you in that situation.
Med Pay Coverage
If you are injured in an automobile accident or on someone else's property, the automobile insurance or the insurance on the property may have a Med Pay coverage provision that will cover some of your medical bills regardless of whether or not anyone was at fault. The availability of this type of coverage varies from case to case. We can help you navigate this process.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Georgia law only requires that each motor vehicle carry a minimum of $25,000.00 worth of liability coverage. If you are injured in an automobile accident by the negligence of an individual who has a minimum amount of liability coverage, your medical bills and other damages could very easily exceed $25,000.00. Therefore, we recommend to our clients that they obtain the maximum amount of uninsured motorist coverage that they can afford from their own automobile insurance carrier. The law requires that your insurance company offer you the uninsured motorist coverage equal to your liability coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is applicable when you are injured in an accident by the negligence of someone else who has minimum or no insurance coverage. The uninsured motorist coverage steps in and provides the insurance coverage for the negligence/at-fault party.
The damages you can recover in a personal injury case are divided into two general categories with several sub categories. The two general categories are:
- Special damages. These are damages that be ascertained to a definite amount, such as past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages and other out-of-pocket expenses, such as the cost of gasoline for trips to and from your doctors and nursing care that you were forced to provide for yourself, injured spouse, or child at your house. This also includes other out-of-pocket expenses associated with or caused by the injury.
- General damages are the damages that exist but are not capable of an exact compensation, such as pain and suffering (physical and mental), the inability to do things that you did before the incident either on a temporary or permanent basis, scars, loss of arms or limbs, and other permanent injury to your person.
Contact Our Savannah Car Accident Attorneys for Professional Assistance
Duffy & Feemster has been a part of Savannah's legal community for over 60 years. We care deeply about our clients and work tirelessly on every car accident case that we take on. At the end of the day, we know you're not coming to us because you just want money. You want peace of mind, you want to be free of financial responsibility for something that wasn't your fault, and you want to move on with your life.
Contact us today for more information, or to schedule a FREE initial consultation by calling 888-707-1197.