Georgia Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation FAQs
How much more dangerous is a motorcycle accident than a car accident?
In 2018, 4,985 motorcyclists were killed in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While that number was down from the previous year, motorcyclists are still nearly 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash.
What should I do immediately after my accident?
After an accident, it can be hard to record all of the information you may later need in your case. It’s even harder when you’re suffering from an injury. Keep an emergency contact on hand who may be able to come help. If you’re able, here are the steps you’ll want to follow:
- Remain calm, move your vehicle to a safe location if you’re able and stay on the scene.
- If you’re injured, seek medical attention immediately. Even if you don’t feel like your injuries are serious, get them checked out as soon after the accident as possible.
- Call the police and make sure they fill out an official incident report.
- Exchange information with the other driver, including name, address, phone number and insurance information.
- Identify potential witnesses and gather their contact information. If you can, ask them about what they saw and record it word-for-word.
- Take pictures of the scene, your motorcycle and the at-fault driver’s vehicle. You’ll also want to document your injuries.
- Call your insurance company.
- Write down observations so you will remember them months down the road in case someone tries to claim exaggeration.
- Keep records of any expenses.
- Contact a Macon personal injury attorney with experience handling motorcycle accidents.
What can I receive for my injuries?
Every case is different, but your motorcycle accident may be worth more than you think. Depending on your injuries and the circumstances of your crash, you may be entitled to:
- Medical expenses: ambulance fees, emergency room bills, doctor visits, surgery costs, physical therapy bills and pharmacy expenses
- Lost wages: lost pay for time missed at work, including instances where you were forced to use sick leave
- Pain and suffering: physical and sometimes emotional distress, physical disability, pain, loss of the ability to enjoy life and permanent disfigurement
- Loss of affection or companionship: claimed by an injured person’s spouse in the event the injured person is no longer able to fill his or her spousal role.
How much time do I have to file my motorcycle injury claim after my accident?
In Georgia, you must file two years from the date of your motorcycle accident. If you’re claiming the loss of consortium, it’s four years. If you’re unable to negotiate a settlement and the deadline is approaching, consider filing a lawsuit.
What are the minimum requirements in Georgia for auto insurance coverage?
In Georgia, you must have both bodily injury liability and property damage liability in the following amounts:
- Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash
- Property damage liability: $25,000 per crash
Remember, though, the minimum is often not enough to cover a typical crash—especially since motorcycle accidents tend to be more severe. Motorcyclists should also carry uninsured motorist coverage. It can help cover expenses in the event that the at-fault driver is underinsured or uninsured.
What is uninsured motorist coverage and why is it highly recommended for motorcyclists?
Georgia uninsured motorist coverage protects you when you are hit by a driver or motorcyclist without insurance. It is typically paired with underinsured motorist coverage and can pay for both bodily injury and property damage.
How can medical payments coverage help in a motorcycle crash?
Medical payments coverage, or MedPay, covers your medical bills if you’re injured on your bike. Even if you’re at fault, you’re still covered up to the policy limit. This is an add-on to your bodily injury and property damage liability.
The insurance company offered a settlement. Why shouldn’t I take it?
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company calls right away to offer a settlement, be careful. Once you agree to the settlement, you give away your right to file suit. If your injuries prove to be more costly to treat than you thought, you’ll be on your own.
What is medical payments coverage?
Medical payments coverage, or MedPay, can be used if you are involved in a car accident to help pay medical bills, regardless of who’s at fault.
I have “full coverage.” Why isn’t my insurance company paying for everything?
Even with what insurance companies call “full coverage,” there are lots of exceptions, limitations, and coverage types. Sometimes the insurance company just doesn’t want to pay what’s fair. That’s where a Macon personal injury attorney can help.
Car & Truck Accidents
When will the other driver pay my medical bills?
It can feel like a waiting game as your car accident medical bills begin piling up. But keep in mind that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will not typically pay medical bills until a final settlement is reached.
My car is totaled. What next?
Under Georgia law, insurance companies are required to pay the “fair market value” of your vehicle. This is often not enough to buy a replacement car. Insurance companies may also offer well below fair market value to someone who is not represented by an attorney. A Macon personal injury lawyer can help make sure you get what your car is worth.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
If I’ve been injured, can I try to go back to work?
Be careful heading back into work before you’re physically ready. Sometimes employers will push you to go back before seven days, voiding your eligibility for a workers’ compensation claim.
I’m already getting a weekly check. Why should I hire a Macon workers’ compensation lawyer?
Have you been denied a medical procedure that could help you get back to work faster? How about additional reimbursements, like mileage expenses to the doctor’s office or meals and lodging while receiving medical treatment away from home? A Macon workers’ comp lawyer will make sure you’re not missing out on any compensation available under the law.
If I’m already getting weekly workers’ compensation benefits but still want a lawyer to help me get more, won’t my lawyer take 25 percent?
No. Your lawyer earns money for incremental effort, meaning anything earned for you above what you are already receiving. A judge must also approve attorney’s fees. If you think you should be receiving more, it’s worth contacting a workers’ comp attorney.
Can I receive compensation for pain and suffering in a workers’ compensation case?
No. The Workers’ Compensation Act protects employers by limiting benefits to medical bills, wages, and permanent impairment.
Can I lose my job if I file a workers’ compensation claim?
Your employer may fire you while you have an open workers’ compensation claim, but not for any reason related to your filing. After you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, your employer may fire you if it’s impossible to modify your job to suit your restrictions. If this is the case, you may be able to get other workers’ comp benefits.
Can I go to any doctor I choose?
Employers with three or more employees must provide a list of doctors who will treat employees following an on-the-job injury. This list, called a posted panel of physicians, is displayed in a common area where all employees see it. While you do have options when it comes to getting a second opinion or seeing your own doctor, it’s best to first speak with a Macon workers’ comp attorney.
What is permanent partial disability?
After reaching maximum medical improvement, some folks may still be unable to perform their job without modifications. Permanent partial disability, or PPD, may include repetitive use injuries, amputation, hearing or vision loss, joint injuries, nerve damage or post-traumatic stress disorder. A formula is used to calculate PPD.
My 25-year-old stove just exploded, or tipped over and burned someone. Do I have a case against anyone?
You won’t have any case against the manufacturer, as there is a 10-year limit on claims. Depending on your situation, you may still have a claim against your landlord, a repair company or someone else whose acts or failure to act caused the accident.
How quickly do I need to act after a product injury?
The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to prove fault. If you’ve been injured by a product, contact a Macon product liability lawyer today.
Personal Injury Questions
What does “pain and suffering” mean?
Pain and suffering includes physical pain, both current and long term. It also includes mental pain, including emotional distress, fear, and the loss of enjoyment of life. In the most severe cases, this can result in post-traumatic stress disorder.
Accidents can be traumatic and long-lasting in their negative outcomes. Contact a personal injury attorney in Macon, Ga., for a free consultation on your situation.