Personal injury claims should never be handled alone, ever. You need a personal injury attorney representing your interests if you were hurt. This is particularly true when dealing with Progressive. We have seen Progressive try to pull out every trick in the book to avoid full responsibility for paying an injured person’s damages.
In any personal injury claim, including car accidents, the value of your claim depends on your damages. Damages normally include both economic and non-economic components. Economic damages include medical bills and lost wages, in addition to other out of pocket costs. Economic damages are normally easier to measure because they have a specific dollar amount. Nevertheless, Progressive may dispute the amount your doctors charged for your medical bills by claiming the charges were not “reasonable and customary.” If this argument sounds absurd, it is. You do not have control over what your doctor charges, and Georgia law says you are entitled to claim the full amount of your medical bills. You do not need to have a billing expert prove that the charges were “reasonable.”
Progressive may also challenge the amount of your lost wages using a variety of tactics. For example, it may argue that you cannot claim lost wages if you cannot produce a written note from a doctor holding you out of work. This is not true. It may also try to argue you cannot claim lost wages if you received compensation for your missed time from work through a disability policy or by using sick leave or PTO days.
In addition to your economic damages, the other category of damages you are entitled to claim is non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, bodily disfigurement, and diminished capacity to labor. These damages are not capable of an exact measurement like economic losses are. This can result in broad differences in opinion on the value of these damages. Not surprisingly, Progressive will downplay your non-economic damages and argue you are entitled to little or no money for these damages. Do not be surprised if Progressive tries to offer you hundreds of dollars, or maybe even a few thousand dollars, for your pain and suffering damages. We have seen cases where Progressive has tried to pay $1,000 or less in cases that involved moderate injuries that were worth many times more than what Progressive offered.
You should never try to determine the total amount of your damages and settle your personal injury claim before you are done receiving medical treatment. When you complete treatment, you (and hopefully the personal injury attorney you hired) can discuss how much your case is worth and how much to demand. Once the demand is sent to Progressive asking for a specific amount of money, the Progressive adjuster handling your claim will review the demand. In response, the adjuster will either pay it or make a counteroffer.
Progressive will want you to sign a release if it reaches a settlement with you. The type of release you sign and the language that should be in the release depends on a number of factors. If you sign the wrong release you could potentially be losing the opportunity for additional compensation.
If Progressive is your insurance company, you may have a couple of different types of coverage that can provide benefits for your injury claim. One of these is uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage can be used if the at-fault driver either has no insurance or not enough insurance to pay all of your damages. You may also have medical payments coverage—commonly referred to as “med pay.” Med pay is basically health insurance for you if you are in a car accident. It can be used to pay your medical bills, regardless of what was at fault.
If you are in a Georgia car accident, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Whether the at-fault driver’s insurance company is Progressive or some other insurer, the insurance company’s number one objective will be to pay you as little money as possible. Contact the experienced Atlanta personal injury attorneys at The Champion Firm, P.C. today for a free consultation about your accident case.