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Georgia Car Insurance Guide

What happens if an at-fault driver refuses to provide insurance information?

Although at-fault drivers are required to provide insurance information, sometimes the process breaks-down.  Maybe no police report was made, or perhaps the insurance information on the report is wrong.  You contact the at-fault driver, but he or she refuses to provide additional information.  What should you do?

O.C.G.A. 33-3-28 (a)(2) requires an insured to give an injured person or that person’s lawyer their insurance information within 30 days of a request being made.  If an insured driver fails or refuses to provide insurance information, you may have a few legal remedies.  One is to file a legal proceeding known as a mandamus, compelling the insured or his company (if known and it is the insurance company that is refusing to provide the information), and another is to file suit and use the compulsory discovery process to force the defendant to produce the insurance policy information.

Are IRA (Individual Retirement Accounts) protected from judgments?

The Georgia Supreme Court (affirmed by the United States Supreme Court) has held that funds distributed from IRA’s cannot be taken or assigned by creditors.  See, Lanier Collection Agency v. Mackey, 256 Ga. 499 (1986), affirmed 486 U.S. 825.

The at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster is reducing my medical bills.  What should I do?

Unfortunately, an increasingly common tactic is for the insurance adjuster representing the at-fault driver in a car or truck accident case to ‘reduce’ the amount of your medical bills in order to pay less in settlement of your injury claim.  The adjuster will argue that some of your treatment was unnecessary or that you were over-billed.  Of course, this is absurd because you were simply following doctor’s orders when you received your medical care and you did not decide how much your bills would be.

If you are faced with these unfair and bad-faith tactics, what can you do?  One solution is to file a lawsuit immediately.  It is unlikely that a Judge or Jury will reduce your medical bills “just because” the adjuster has said to do so.  Jurors like you are likely to understand that you did not choose to be hurt or to set the amount of your bills.  Our firm has taken the position that we do not allow the insurance company or adjuster to dictate whether the amount of our client’s medical bills is ‘reasonable’ and will fight such tactics whenever we encounter them.

What if the at-fault driver does not have automobile or truck insurance?

In Georgia if an at-fault driver is uninsured, you may be able to bring a claim under your own uninsured motorist policy.  In that event you notify your insurance carrier and make the claim.  If a lawsuit must be filed, the at-fault driver is sued and served with the lawsuit,  just as if that driver were being defended by his or her own insurance company.  If the defendant driver resides outside the state or has left the state, or that driver, after proving due diligence, cannot be found within the State of Georgia or hides him or her self to avoid service of the summons you may petition the Court for service by publication per O.C.G.A. 9-11-4.  While service by publication will not allow you to get personal jurisdiction over the defendant or recover his or her liability policy (there is an exception if the driver intentionally evades service), this method allows you to recover UM (uninsured motorist) benefits under your policy, which is contractual in nature).

 

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