No one wants to find themselves the victim of a car accident—but it happens to the best of us. The aftermath of a car or truck accident in Atlanta can involve thousands of dollars in medical bills, vehicle repairs, chronic pain and discomfort, and missed wages from taking time off work. With our specialized team of car accident lawyers at HPS Law, you have options.
It’s a scary time, and you might be wondering where to turn or what to do next. To gain the most clarity about the best decisions for you, we recommend contacting a lawyer that specializes in car accidents. They will know the car accident legal process best.
This is what we do at HPS Law. Our legal team has over 30 years of combined experience in legal matters involving victims of car accidents. We know how to win cases. Every attorney at HPS Law brings years of experience and a successful track record to the table. Our business is exclusively personal injury cases, and car accident cases are some of the most common cases we take on.
For a FREE consultation with a trusted Atlanta car accident lawyer today, call us at (404) 400-1175, or click the link below to send us a message.
Why do most Atlanta car accident attorneys refuse to handle the settlement for my car or the related property damage?
Under Georgia law, when someone damages your personal property you are entitled to compensation. Frankly, most car accident lawyers will not help clients with this issue because there is no money in it for the lawyer. Unlike injury claims, when someone damages your property you are only entitled to the actual cash value for the property. Typically, this means that the insurance company will pay to have your car repaired. If your car was totaled, you are entitled to fair market value. It is important to note that fair market value is typically far less than you think your car is worth. Insurance companies use the actual sale price of other vehicles (i.e., make, model, year, mileage, etc.) like your vehicle to determine fair market value.
At HPS Law, we are happy to assist clients, free of charge, to handle their property damage. We do this for two reasons. First, we want to make sure that you are being paid fair market value, which removes as much stress from you as possible. That is why our slogan is “Don’t Stress, Call HPS!” Second, during the property damage portion of your claim, insurance companies may gather harmful information about you or the facts of your case that it can later use to deny paying your more valuable injury claim. Insurance companies will frequently tell you that you must submit to a recorded statement before your property damage claim can be paid. Do not fall for this tactic. We have another FAQ addressing recorded statements that we encourage you to read.
Finally, if you settle your property damage without consulting a lawyer, you may be giving up potentially very valuable derivative claims that you are not even aware exist. Bottom line: If the lawyer you consult with will not help you with your property damage, he or she is not the right lawyer for your injury claim either.
I went to the hospital after my car accident and the billing staff told me that they do not bill my health insurance. Why not?
Money. The hospital often makes more money if it does not bill your health insurance. You probably heard something like this at the hospital when you tried giving the staff your health insurance: “Don’t worry about that, we bill the car insurance because this is an accident claim.” This statement is very misleading. The only time that a hospital or medical provider will bill car insurance is when you have medical payments coverage under your own car insurance. Keep in mind that medical payments coverage (often referred to as “Med Pay”) typically has very low limits that will not even begin to cover a hospital visit.
Instead of using your health insurance, the hospital often files a lien against your case. Hospitals do this because they must accept contractual rates from health insurance providers. The payment made by health insurance can be very small and the hospital, if in network with your health insurance, must accept what it is paid. Frankly, the hospital makes more money when it files a lien and collects from your settlement. Therefore, it is very important to make sure the hospital bills your health insurance. At HPS Law, our car accident lawyers make sure that happens.
The person who hit me in my car accident failed to stop. I do not have any information to identify the person. Am I out of luck?
Maybe not. In certain instances, Georgia law allows for an injured person to recover against his own insurance company when the person is the victim of a hit-and-run driver. And even if you do not have any car insurance, you may still qualify for insurance benefits depending on who owned the vehicle in which you were riding and with whom you lived at the time of the wreck. This analysis can become complicated and there is limited time for the analysis to be done. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, please contact an HPS Law car accident lawyer immediately.
I got in a car accident and the person that hit me has no insurance! What now?
Uninsured drivers are far more common than you think. At HPS Law, we deal with this issue almost daily. You may have uninsured motorist coverage that protects you and likely it will not increase your premiums (we address this in another FAQ). Uninsured motorist coverage is simply insurance to protect you against other motorists’ lack of insurance. Even if you personally do not have uninsured motorist coverage, there may be other ways an HPS Law car accident lawyer can obtain compensation for your injuries.
Will my insurance get canceled or will my premiums increase if I make a claim through my car insurance for my car accident?
More likely than not, no. It is unlawful for an insurer to do the following:O.C.G.A. § 33-9-40: Prohibition of motor vehicle insurance surcharges relating to accidents in which insured not at fault. No insurer shall surcharge the premium or rate charged on a policy of motor vehicle insurance or cancel such policy as a result of the insured person’s involvement in a multi-vehicle accident when such person was not at fault in such accident.
O.C.G.A. § 33-24-45(e)(3): Cancellation or nonrenewal of automobile or motorcycle policies; procedure for review by Commissioner. No notice refusing the renewal of a policy shall be sent for two or fewer of the following within the preceding 36 month period (1) accidents involving two or more motor vehicles in which the driver of the insured automobile under this subparagraph was not at fault; (2) uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage claims, (3) comprehensive coverage claims; and (4) towing or road service coverage claims.
Is it important to hire a lawyer right away?
Yes. Some prospective clients call Horst Pirkle & Shewmaker, LLC when it is too late for us to offer much help. Evidence can disappear if appropriate steps are not taken to immediately preserve it. Witnesses should be interviewed early on by a lawyer. Important letters protecting your right to use various insurance policies must be sent, sometimes in as little as 30 days. Finally, aside from the multitude of legal reasons to hire a lawyer immediately after a car crash, slip and fall, trucking accident, dog bite, Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) claim, or wrongful death claim is to take stress from you and allow you to focus on getting better.
I do not have any money to hire a lawyer. Will I have to fight the insurance company on my own?
At HPS Law, we charge no fees or costs up front. You do not pay anything to us until you receive a verdict or settlement in your favor. If for some reason we are unable to resolve your case, even if we have put numerous hours of work into it, you do not owe us anything.
I do not have health insurance and I cannot afford to go to the doctor for my injuries. The insurance company says it will only issue one payment and it will not pay for my ongoing medical care. How am I supposed to get better and treat my injuries?
If you do not have health insurance, we work with doctors who will treat you now in exchange for being paid out of the settlement for their fees. Insurance companies know that most people without insurance will simply settle for whatever they can get because insurance companies only pay one lump sum settlement. To get any money from an insurance company, you will have to sign a release. If you sign a release, it almost certainly ends any and all claims. Do not do this if you are in pain. Call HPS Law. We can help facilitate medical treatment for you.
After my car accident, the other driver’s insurance company said they want a recorded statement. Should I give them one?
Absolutely not! Giving a recorded statement without a lawyer representing you will only harm your case. Insurance companies are not recording the statements for your benefit. Even if you think you have a slam dunk claim, insurance companies will gather harmful information. Remember that claims adjusters receive special training to ask questions designed to harm your case. Also, these statements can be used to impeach your testimony should a deposition become necessary in your case.
What is my car accident case worth?
This is probably one of the most frequent questions we answer at Horst Pirkle & Shewmaker. Case value depends on so many facts that it impossible to list every item. But a few of the major items when evaluating your case include what kind of injury you have suffered, property damage, how much your medical expenses total, jurisdiction of the at fault party, and wage loss. For a more detailed and individual case evaluation, please call and talk to one of the lawyers at HPS Law. Consultations are always free!
Do you have more questions or want us to take on your case? Call us at (470) 539-8015, or click the link below to send us a message.