If you have been injured in a car accident, your medical bills may be piling up. The good news is that the person who caused your accident is responsible for compensating you for your damages. The bad news, however, is that their insurance policy limits may not be enough to cover your medical expenses.
Fortunately, you have options if you find yourself faced with medical bills from your car accident that exceed the liable party’s policy limits. Contacting an Atlanta car accident lawyer should be your first step in obtaining compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. Our car accident attorneys at John Foy & Associates can review your accident and determine what options you have for obtaining monetary compensation for your damages.
Georgia Insurance Policy Limits
Georgia law requires drivers to have liability insurance that meets specific minimum policy limits. These limits help at-fault drivers pay damages to others who are hurt in motor vehicle accidents. The minimum liability insurance limits required by Georgia law are:
- Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability: $25,000 per accident
There are penalties for failing to maintain continuous liability insurance coverage within the minimum limits. In Georgia, a driver can have their vehicle registration suspended. If a driver is caught operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration, they can be fined and given jail time.
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Common Medical Expenses After a Car Accident
Your medical expenses after a car accident can add up quickly. This is especially true if you suffered serious injuries in your accident that require rehabilitation. Examples of medical expenses that many car accident victims face include the following:
- Ambulance fees: If you were transported from the accident scene by an ambulance, you will receive a bill for that service.
- Emergency room bills: If you were taken to the emergency room after your accident, those costs can add up quickly.
- Imaging bills: If you were injured in a car accident, you probably had x-rays, MRIs, or CT scans completed, which can be expensive.
- Surgery fees: If you require surgery to treat an injury obtained in your car accident, you will need to pay the facility and the physician for your procedure.
- Physical therapy expenses: You may be facing long-term physical therapy after your accident, which will come with frequent, high fees.
- Follow-up doctor’s visit costs: If you suffered serious injuries in your car accident, you will likely need to pay a doctor to check on your progress over time.
- Medication costs: You were probably prescribed medications for your pain and other treatment for your injuries, which can often get expensive.
After looking at this list of common medical expenses after a car accident, it is easy to see how your medical bills could exceed the liable driver’s insurance policy limits. This does not mean you do not have a chance to collect additional compensation, however. An experienced car accident attorney in Atlanta can help you identify other options for securing the compensation you deserve after your accident.
Other Sources of Compensation After a Car Accident
In addition to making a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company after your car accident, you could potentially seek payment from other sources as well. Depending on the circumstances of your car accident, there may be other liable parties you can file a legal claim against. Here are some of the other sources you can potentially seek compensation from after your car accident:
- Additional drivers, if several vehicles were involved in the accident
- A company, if a driver was operating their vehicle for a commercial purpose
- A municipality, if it failed to maintain the roadway as required
- A vehicle manufacturer, if a vehicle defect caused the accident
- A repair company, if a vehicle service was performed improperly
As you can see, there could be several parties held responsible for your accident, depending on the circumstances. Regardless of who you file a legal claim against, it is important to do so as soon as possible because, in Georgia, you must typically file your claim within two years of the date of your accident. An Atlanta car accident attorney can review your claim and determine additional parties you may be able to pursue a claim against for compensation of your damages.
Other Options for Paying Your Medical Bills After a Car Accident
In addition to suing other liable parties for your accident damages, you may also pursue compensation from other insurance coverages. Depending on the at-fault driver’s coverage and your own, you may have additional options to help you pay your medical bills after your car accident. Other options to help you pay your medical expenses after your car accident include:
An umbrella policy is extra insurance that provides coverage beyond your existing policy limits. It can provide coverage for injuries, property damage, lawsuits, and personal liability scenarios. Once you have exhausted the liable driver’s policy limits and your own, your umbrella policy coverage will kick in to pay for your damages.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Policies
Uninsured and underinsured policies are policies on your own insurance. You are required to carry uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, and at least $25,000 of uninsured motorist property damage. These policies pay for your losses when the at-fault driver either does not have insurance or does not have enough coverage to pay for your losses.
Physical Damage Policies
Physical damage insurance policies usually consist of comprehensive and collision coverage. These are optional types of insurance that you can and should choose to carry. Comprehensive coverage covers theft, vandalism, and fire-related losses, and collision coverage covers losses associated with motor vehicle accidents.
PIP and Med Pay Coverage
PIP and Med Pay insurance are optional types of insurance that will pay for your injuries regardless of who was at fault for your accident. PIP coverage can help pay for medical expenses and related costs, as well as lost wages. Med Pay coverage pays reasonable and necessary medical expenses but not lost wages.
If you do not have the optional insurance policies discussed above, or they are still not enough to cover your medical expenses, you can attempt to have your medical bills reduced. You can negotiate with your medical providers. They may agree to reduce the amount you owe them for the services they provided for treating your car accident injuries.
Consult with an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer to Discuss Payment of Your Medical Bills
Trying to pay your medical bills after an accident can be incredibly stressful, especially if those expenses exceed the limits of the liable driver’s insurance policy. Our experienced car accident lawyers in Atlanta can help you explore other options for paying those bills. Contact our knowledgeable car accident attorneys at John Foy & Associates today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss how you can pay your medical bills if they exceed policy limits and begin recovering from your car accident.