What does the insurance company owe for my damaged car?

The insurance company of the at-fault driver must pay either:

a) The difference in fair market value of your car immediately before and after the collision plus reasonable loss of use (rental); or

b) The cost of reasonable and necessary repairs plus reasonable loss of use (rental) plus any diminished value of your repaired automobile (the total not to exceed the fair market value of the vehicle immediately before the collision).

If your insurance company is paying for your collision damage, the terms of your contract control what they must pay. Read your insurance contract carefully.

Who pays my medical bills after an accident?

Ultimately, the insurance company of the at-fault driver should pay your medical expenses. However, immediately after an injury, your medical bills will be paid:

(1) first, by your automobile insurance company if you have medical payments coverage;

(2) next, by your health insurance provider; and

(3) last, some doctors and hospitals will accept a lien in lieu of payment until your case is concluded.

Do I need to go to traffic court if I was not at fault?

You are not required to attend traffic court (unless you received a subpoena from the police officer), but it may be very helpful to be at traffic court to obtain information from the at-fault driver. You have a right to be represented by an attorney at traffic court even if you were not charged in the collision.

How do I get my medical records from a negligent doctor or hospital?

You are entitled to copies of your medical records. You will be asked to sign a medical release authorization and to pay the reasonable costs of reproducing the records. Be sure to ask for a certified copy if you decide to obtain the records without your attorney's help.

Where can I look up a lawyer's background and credentials?

All attorneys practicing in Georgia must be members of the State Bar of Georgia: www.gabar.org. There are also services which provide background information, credentials, and attorney rating systems such as www.martindale.com.

How long will a case like mine take to finish?

Every case is unique. The great majority of cases are concluded between six (6) and eighteen (18) months, depending upon the length of medical treatment and the complexity of the legal issues involved.