Understanding Georgia Automobile Insurance Before an Accident Occurs (Part 3 of 3)
July 18, 2011
In the first two segments of our three part series, we discussed two main types of coverage that protect you in an automoble accident. The first segment focused on automobile liablity coverage and its role in protecting you if you are at fault in causing an auto accident. The second segment detailed uninsured motorist coverage which protects you in the event you are not at fault, suffered personal injury, and the other party either has no insurance or inadequate insurance to compensate you in your personal injury claim. The last automobile insurance coverage that we will discuss is medical expense coverage or medical payments coverage.
Medical Payments Coverage operates like health insurance if you are injured in your car, regardless of who is at fault. The only drawback with medical expense coverage is that it typically only provides a small amount of coverage usually ranging from $1,000.00 to $5,000.00. Example: You are driving on the road and take your eyes off the roadway and run into a ditch. You are injured and incur medical bills. You are clearly at fault for causing the wreck so how can you make sure that your medical bills are paid? If you have medical expense coverage then you can make the claim to have your medical bills paid by your auto insurance company even though you may have been at fault for the accident.
Medical expense coverage also applies to anyone who may have been injured in your car as well. Again, while it is not a perfect solution, it can help if you have sustained an injury and the wreck was not the fault of someone else. I often get asked by my personal injury clients if they can use Medical Payments Coverage in addition to making a claim against the other driver in a Georgia Automobile Accident. The answer is a resounding YES! Many people are unaware that they can use their medical payments coverage in addition to seeking compensation from the at fault party’s insurance carrier.
Georgia law provides that your premium cannot be increased for using your medical payments coverage when you are not at fault for the accident. In addition, because of the “collateral source rule” you are entitled to claim your medical bills in the claim against the at fault liability insurance company, even though they have been paid by your medical expense coverage. This is important to remember if you are ever involved in a auto accident as it can mean thousands of dollars more to you in the right situation.
A personal injury claim can be financially devastating if you do not have proper insurance to cover you in the event of a loss. A personal injury claim can be extremely complex. This brief guide is merely meant to help you better understand Georgia insurance and personal injury law to start a conversation with your licensed insurance agent about the needs of you and your family. At Henningsen Injury Attorneys, P.C. we stand willing and able to help you or anyone you know who may have been injured.
Whether it be due to an automobile accident, truck accident, work place injury, slip and fall, or any other type of accident, we have the resources to make sure that you are fully and fairly compensated for all that you or your loved one has been through. Either through an out of court settlement, or if the matter has to be tried before a jury, our experienced Georgia Trial Lawyers stand willing to make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve.