Answers To Your Workers' Comp & Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions

Doubt, uncertainty, and confusion can quickly cause painful situations to escalate into catastrophic traumas. Personal experience has taught us that when an accident victim allows his concerns to overwhelm his determination for justice, he neither gets relief nor justice. This is why we feel that getting answers to your injury questions are extremely important not only to relieve stress, but also to build a stronger injury claim. Allow us to address your concerns and come see for yourself how a simple answer can make a difference.

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  • Does workers’ compensation reimburse me for mileage and other travel expenses?

    The workers’ compensation program in Georgia may reimburse you for mileage and other reasonable travel expensesWhile most people know that injured workers are entitled to compensation for the cost of their medical care, many people don’t realize that mileage and other travel expenses can also be reimbursed under the state’s workers’ compensation law. Including these expenses as part of your workers’ compensation claim can help alleviate some of the financial strain associated with your injury and inability to work.

    Reimbursable Travel Expenses According to State Board of Workers’ Compensation

    Reimbursable travel expenses fall into a few distinct categories:

    • Mileage: Workers who are injured on the job can receive mileage reimbursement for the cost of traveling between their home and any necessary doctor’s appointments or physical therapy appointments. Travel to a pharmacy to pick up prescriptions related to the injury is also reimbursable. Mileage is currently reimbursed at 40 cents per mile.
    • Professional transportation services: If you have no other way to attend your necessary medical appointments, you may be entitled to reimbursement for the services of a medical transportation company. The insurer may arrange for such transportation at its own expense. In some cases, taxi service may also be reimbursable as a form of transportation to your necessary appointments.  
    • Parking: Parking is considered a reimbursable expense if it’s related to your need to seek medical treatment.
    • Meals and lodging: If you are required to travel beyond your home city and will spend four hours or more on the road, you are allowed to recover the cost of your meals and lodging. However, reimbursement for meals is limited to a maximum of $30 per day.

    Documenting Travel Expenses

    Reimbursement for travel expenses is available to anyone who is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. This includes both full-time and part-time employees, as well as most temporary or seasonal workers regardless of the length of time they’ve been working for their current employer.

    There is no official form that is used to document travel expenses for workers’ compensation reimbursement, but you might find the following Medical Mileage Reimbursement Form helpful. When you are seeking reimbursement for mileage, you should prepare the same type of record you’d use to deduct mileage on your income taxes. Keep a log documenting:

    • Date and time of the trip.
    • Purpose of the trip.
    • The places you visited for medical purposes.
    • Your start and end mileage according to your vehicle’s odometer.

    If you purchased gas for your vehicle while traveling, save your receipts to support your mileage log claim. If you’re seeking reimbursement for meals and lodging, keep these receipts as well. 

    Receiving Reimbursement

    You must submit your request for reimbursement within one year of the date the treatment took place. The workers’ compensation insurer has 15 days to provide reimbursement after you’ve submitted documentation of mileage, meals, and lodging. If the insurer doesn’t pay within this timeframe, it can be subject to a late penalty.

    Download FREE Medical Mileage Reimbursment Form

    Maximizing Your Available Compensation

    When you’re injured and facing the stress of being unable to work, taking the time to document your travel expenses might seem like an unnecessary hassle. However, if you’re going to several doctors’ appointments each week or live usually far from your healthcare provider, these expenses can quickly add up. To protect your financial future, you need to do everything in your power to maximize your workers’ compensation benefits.

    If you’re struggling to receive payment for a work-related injury, hiring an attorney with experience in workers’ compensation claims will allow you to focus on your recovery without the hassle of dealing with the insurance company directly. The legal team at Rechtman & Spevak is committed to helping injured Georgia workers receive the compensation they need to move forward with their lives. Please call today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.

  • Can I receive workers’ compensation benefits as a part-time employee?

    Georgia law requires all employers with three or more employees, including both full-time and part-time workers, to provide workers’ compensation coverage for on-the-job injuries. If you are injured on the job as a part-time employee, you will generally be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

    Requirements for Workers’ Compensation Coverage

    Part time warehouse working fell and severely injured

    To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you simply need to have been injured while performing job duties within the course and scope of your employment with an employer that has at least three employees. The number of hours you work per week or your length of time with your employer are irrelevant. Age is also not a factor, which means a teen who was injured on his part-time job would be able to receive workers’ compensation if he meets the other necessary eligibility criteria.

    Types of Benefits

    Your workers’ compensation claim may include several different types of benefits:

    • Medical benefits pay for the cost of care related to your workplace injury, including emergency room care, surgery, hospital stays, physical therapy, and prescription medication.
    • Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits are intended to replace lost income if you’re unable to work at all because of your injury. These benefits pay two-thirds of your average weekly wage prior to your accident and are subject to a 400-week maximum.
    • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits are designed to replace lost income if you are under light duty restrictions and are working fewer hours or returned to work in a lower-paying position due to your injury. These benefits will pay you two-thirds of the difference between your previous wage and the amount you are earning working light duty. TPD benefits are payable up to 350 weeks following your accident.
    • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits are payable after you are no longer receiving TTD or TPD benefits, and have been assigned a permanent partial impairment rating by your treating physician. You will receive a number of weeks at the same rate as TTD benefits, which is determined by the percentage loss of use of the specific body part that was injured. To figure out exactly how much money you will receive in permanent partial disability benefits, you can use our PPD calculator.
    • Death benefits for workers who’ve been killed in on-the-job accidents include funds for burial expenses as well as payments to the worker’s spouse and dependent children.

    Benefits for Seasonal Employees

    Seasonal employees, whether working part-time or full-time hours, are generally eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they meet all of the other necessary criteria. However, certain situations can limit your eligibility for benefits:

    • Georgia law specifically exempts farm employers from being required to provide workers’ compensation coverage. If you’re hurt as a seasonal farm worker, you can only receive workers’ compensation benefits if your employer has voluntarily opted to purchase this insurance coverage.
    • If you are a seasonal employee working on a job site through a temporary employment service, the agency that placed you in the position must provide your workers’ compensation benefits. Businesses utilizing the services of a temp agency are not considered the employer of the injured worker for the purpose of processing a workers’ compensation claim.

    Benefits for Undocumented Workers

    Georgia law doesn’t specifically bar undocumented workers from receiving workers’ compensation benefits if they have a legitimate on-the-job injury. Your immigration status is not relevant to your workers’ compensation claim, even if your employer was unaware that you were in the country illegally.

    Benefits for Independent Contractors

    Sometimes, unscrupulous employers will try to get out of paying workers’ compensation claims by classifying a part-time employee as an independent contractor. This distinction is extremely important, since independent contractors are not eligible for workers' compensation benefits.

    There are several factors used to distinguish between an independent contractor and an employee. Factors pointing towards a finding that a person is an independent contractor include, but are not limited to: the individual has the right to exercise control over the time, manner, and method of the work he is to perform; the person is paid by the job or per unit of work rather than by the hour or other unit of time; the individual furnishes his own tools and equipment; the person sets his own hours rather than the alleged employer setting the same; the alleged employer does not withhold taxes from money paid to the individual; and the alleged employer does not have the right to add work without adding additional pay. It is important to understand that no single one of these factors is absolutely determinative of whether an individual will be deemed to be an independent contractor or an employee. Instead, it is up to an administrative law judge to determine the relative weight to be given each of the factors in your case.  

    If you feel that your employer is falsely claiming that you are an independent contractor in order to avoid paying you benefits, you should contact an attorney immediately for help regarding your claim.  

    Seeking Legal Assistance

    If you’re a part-time employee who believes you have been unfairly denied workers’ compensation benefits, it is in your best interests to consult an attorney as soon as possible. Please call Rechtman & Spevak to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

  • How are my workers’ compensation weekly benefits calculated?

    If you’ve been injured on the job, knowing how much you can expect in workers’ compensation benefits can help alleviate some of your financial stress.

    Temporary Total Disability Benefits

    If you are disabled from working following your accident, Georgia law provides that you are to be paid two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to a statutory maximum in TTD benefits.  If your accident occurred on or after July 1, 2019, that maximum is $675 per week.  For accidents prior to that date, please see this chart for the maximum TTD benefit rate that you can receive.

    For example:

    • Mark earns $15 per hour. Working 40 hours per week, his earnings before the accident were $600 per week. His workers’ compensation benefit would be $400.
    • Jane earns $20 per hour or $800 per week. Her workers’ compensation benefits would be $533.33 per week.
    • Bill earns $30 per hour or $1,200 per 40-hour work week. Two-thirds of his average weekly wage would be $800, but he would be limited to the maximum payout of $675 per week.

    Injured workers can collect temporary total disability benefits for up to 400 weeks. However, a worker with a claim that qualifies as a catastrophic injury may be eligible to receive lifetime benefits. Examples of catastrophic injuries include paralysis, severe brain injury, amputation, and blindness.

  • What Does Catastrophic Mean in a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

    The goal of workers' compensation payments is to alleviate the financial strain of being unable to work due to an employment-related injury. Ideally, the injured worker should be able to recover, then return to suitable employment in a timely fashion. But allowances are made for people with injuries designated as catastrophic.

    Defining Catastrophic Injuries

    A catastrophic injury is the most serious type of workers' compensation claim. As such, there are strict criteria that must be met to qualify for benefits with this designation. The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act defines this type of claim as one or more of the following:

    • An employee sustained a severe brain or closed head injury.
    • An employee has a spinal cord injury resulting in severe paralysis of the arm, leg, or trunk.
    • The injury resulted in the amputation of an arm, a hand, a foot, or a leg.
    • The injury resulted in second or third degree burns covering more than 25 percent of the body or third degree burns covering 5 percent or more of the worker's face or hands.
    • The worker has a diagnosis of industrial or total blindness.
    • The employee's injuries render him unable to perform his prior work, as well as any additional work available for which he is otherwise qualified.

    The last classification—"unable to perform his prior work, as well as any additional work available"—results in the most litigation due to the subjective nature of the statement. It is easy to determine if someone has had a limb amputated or lost their eyesight, but evaluating if someone is unable to work is more difficult.

    Some of the factors to be considered include:

    • Past work experience
    • Education level
    • Feasibility of additional job training
    • Vocational analysis
    • Types of opportunities available in the current job market
    • Whether the worker qualifies for Social Security disability benefits

    Removing the Time Limits for Benefits

    In the majority of cases, workers' compensation benefits have a strict time limit of availability:

    Workers who are most seriously injured are considered to have catastrophic injuries. Georgia law allows these individuals lifetime medical treatment and indemnity (weekly income) benefits in addition to appropriate rehabilitation benefits.

    Eligibility for Rehabilitation Services

    In addition to eliminating the cap on medical assistance and weekly income benefits on catastrophic injury claims, this designation also allows injured employees to receive rehabilitation services. What this involves will vary depending upon the type of injury and the worker's past employment history, but could include:

    • Career counseling
    • Analysis of transferable skills
    • Vocational evaluations
    • Resume writing
    • Interview coaching
    • Working with potential employers regarding job accommodations and modifications
    • Receiving tuition assistance for retraining
    • Miscellaneous job placement services

    An employee with a catastrophic injury receives these services at no additional cost, and is required by law to utilize any rehabilitation benefits that are deemed appropriate to his case.

    Meeting the Burden of Proof

    When determining whether a worker's injury should be classified as catastrophic, the burden of proof rests with the employee and his attorney. Therefore, having access to skilled legal representation is essential to the success of your case. Due to the high cost associated with catastrophic claims, workers' compensation insurers will do everything possible to avoid this designation. Please contact the legal team at Rechtman & Spevak for a free, no-obligation case review.


  • Can the Workers’ Compensation Insurer Deny Surgery My Doctor Ordered?

    If you've been told by your workers’ compensation doctor that surgery is required for your injury, it may be a shock to have the surgery denied. Unfortunately, there are several reasons why this can happen.

    Reasons for a Claim Denial

    Workers' comp doctor denying needed surgery

    Slip and fall accidents, heavy lifting accidents, work truck accidents, and injuries caused by defective machinery or equipment can result in serious injuries that require surgery to repair. However, for specific treatment to be approved for workers’ compensation benefits, your claim must meet the following three criteria:

    • Causation: Your need for medical treatment must be the direct result of a workplace accident. If you can't establish that the injury was caused by something that occurred while on the job, the claim can be denied.
    • Likelihood of effectiveness: Treatment will only be approved if it's reasonably likely to cure your condition and/or allow you to return to suitable employment.
    • Authorized provider: Workers’ compensation laws require treatment to be administered by an authorized provider on your employer's panel of physicians. A surgery performed by someone who doesn't have the necessary approval could legally be denied.

    If there's a problem in any one of these areas, your claim may be denied, regardless of what your doctor previously said about the recommended treatment.

    Independent Medical Examinations (IME)

    When an insurance company requests that you see another doctor after your doctor already recommended surgery, it is typically an indication that the company may be looking to deny authorization for the surgery. The insurer is likely sending you for an independent medical examination seeking to obtain an opinion that the surgery recommended by your doctor is not necessary.  That opinion may then be used as a basis for denying your claim pending a hearing before an administrative law judge.

    The phrase "independent medical exam" (IME) is a bit misleading, since the doctors who conduct these examinations regularly receive referrals from workers’ compensation insurance companies. This may give them financial incentive to write a report favoring the insurer's financial interest, regardless of what the exam reveals. 

    Don't agree to submit to an independent medical exam before discussing the issue with your attorney. After evaluating your case, your attorney can develop a strategy to help counter any negative reports from the independent medical examiner.

    Using Your Own Health Insurance to Pay for Surgery

    In some circumstances, using your health insurance to pay for surgery may be a better option than waiting for a hearing to have a judge determine whether you are entitled to have surgery under your workers' compensation claim. Doing it this way will allow you to have the surgery sooner, and may provide additional leverage on your claim. Your attorney may then be able to settle your case prior to a hearing, and get the cost of the surgery taken into account in the settlement amount.

    However, using your health insurance benefits can complicate your case. Before taking action, it is important to discuss this issue at length with your attorney before making a final decision.

    Protecting Your Right to Compensation

    The legal team at Rechtman & Spevak has extensive experience helping injured Georgia workers maximize the settlement value on their claims. If your employer or insurer is attempting to: deny your workers’ compensation benefits; suggest your injuries aren’t severe enough to require a recommended surgery; or terminate your employment altogether, we can help. Please contact us for a free, no-obligation case review. 

  • Should I accept a nurse case manager’s assistance?

    Growing numbers of Georgia employers are using nurse case managers to oversee injured workers’ medical care. However, Georgia law does not require case managers be used, and someone hurt at work is free to accept or refuse a case manager’s help, as he may prefer. If you’ve been hurt on the job, there are several important factors you’ll want to consider before deciding to accept a nurse case manager’s assistance.

    About the Nurse Case Manager’s Role

    A nurse case manager is typically hired by a workers’ compensation insurer to work with the injured worker, and to act as a liaison between the doctors and the insurance company. In the majority of cases, a nurse case manager is a trained registered nurse with previous experience in the health care field.

    Tasks a nurse case manager may perform include:

    • To perform “triage” immediately after an injury to schedule the necessary care and position the worker for a quick recovery.
    • To provide telephonic or field case management services.
    • To coordinate ongoing appointments with various care providers.
    • To obtain information needed to process the claim.
    • To answer questions from the injured worker.
    • To develop a plan to return the worker to his regular employment duties.
    • To make home visits to make sure an injured worker is following the doctor’s recommendations regarding his recovery.
    • To meet with the injured worker’s supervisor to perform on-site evaluations and recommend modifications necessary for a return to work.

    Some employers and workers’ compensation insurers will automatically attempt to assign a nurse case manager to every injured worker. Others make decisions based on the severity of the injury or only assign a nurse case manager if the injured worker doesn’t appear to be making progress towards returning to work.

    Potential Conflicts of Interest

    As the nurse case manager is working for the insurance company, this can often result in a conflict of interest with respect to coordinating your medical care. Potential problems that may arise include:

    • She may advise you to stop treatment in order to save your employer money—even though you’re not yet fully recovered from your injuries.
    • She may direct you to a doctor who is known to release patients back to work before they’re ready to perform their normal job duties.
    • She may try to convince you to avoid seeking a second opinion, even though you may feel that the treating physician is not properly addressing your injury complaints.
    • She may try to convince your doctor to sign reports that say you’re exaggerating your injuries or trying to avoid going back to work.

    To illustrate the cost-savings effect nurse case managers have for insurers, consider that a 2011 report from Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance Company found that nurse case managers reduced medical costs associated with workers' compensation claims by $6,100—producing a return on investment of eight-to-one.

    Never forget that a “good” outcome will be defined differently by you and by your nurse case manager. Your nurse case manager’s priority is getting you back to work as soon as possible. Your priority is making sure you’ve recovered fully from your injuries and aren’t placing yourself at further risk. A nurse case manager's actions could also ultimately result in you receiving a smaller settlement on your claim than if you had not consented to that person's involvement in your case.

    Consenting to Use Nurse Case Manager’s Services

    Contrary to popular belief, in most cases, you’re not legally required to have a nurse case manager work on your claim. According to the State Board of Workers' Compensation, key points to remember regarding consent to use a nurse case manager include:

    • Consent of either you or your attorney is required for a nurse case manager to work with you on your claim.
    • Written consent is required for a nurse case manager to attend your medical appointments.
    • Your consent is not required for the nurse case manager to contact your physician for the purpose of assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating options and services required for your treatment.
    • You have the right to withdraw previously given consent at any given time.

    If you have questions about the nurse case manager’s role, or feel that your nurse case manager is damaging your workers’ compensation case, Rechtman & Spevak can help. Our attorneys are committed to helping Georgia residents receive fair and timely workers’ compensation settlements. Please contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

  • If I was injured in a crash caused by municipal negligence, do I have any legal options?

    Car accidents happen all the time. In most cases, one driver makes a poor decision and causes a crash with another vehicle. In these incidents, if injuries occur, it is usually clear exactly who is responsible.

    However, what happens when an accident is caused by a condition on or near the roadway? Even in single-vehicle accidents, the driver may not be the one to blame. In some situations, municipal government negligence can lead to serious crashes, causing damage to property and inflicting injuries on drivers and passengers. Though these cases are more difficult to prove, victims do have legal options to pursue justice and obtain compensation against the government entity responsible for keeping up the road.

    You may have a legal claim against municipal government if poor pavement maintenance has led to your injuryWhat Is Municipal Negligence?

    Municipal negligence—as it applies to car crashes—is the notion that a city, state, township, or other government entity did not act with reasonable care in maintaining, marking, or designing roads. Just as drivers are expected to exercise caution and care for the safety of other drivers, municipalities are also expected to create and maintain roadways that are safe when used in the expected manner.

    Some examples of municipal negligence include…

    • Lack of appropriate road signs or warnings of danger
    • Lack of guard rails
    • Potholes
    • Unmarked or unsafe construction zones
    • Poorly designed roadway
    • Dangerous shoulder drop off
    • Uneven pavement

    Proving Municipal Negligence in a Georgia Court

    In many ways, bringing a lawsuit against a municipality is similar to pursuing a case against a private citizen. Certain factors must exist to mount a successful case. While it can be more difficult to win a suit against a city or county, the basic concepts remain the same. The victim must show that:

    • The responsible government entity did not exercise reasonable care in its maintenance, marking, or design of the road.
    • The responsible entity knew or should reasonably have known that the danger existed.
    • Its inaction led directly to the accident and injury of the victim.

    In short, municipalities cannot be held accountable for poor weather conditions or situations they could not have known about to address. If a sinkhole appears in a roadway and causes an accident minutes later, the municipality cannot be held responsible. In that situation, it would have no way of knowing about the problem, and thus not have the ability to fix it or warn people of the danger in that time frame. On the other hand, if a roadway has been eroding over time and many drivers complained about the hazardous conditions, the municipality may be held accountable if it did not complete a timely repair or post warnings to prepare drivers.

    Difficulties in Municipal Negligence Cases

    It can be difficult to bring an injury lawsuit against a government entity. While the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit on an injury claim in Georgia is two years from the date of accident, there is an additional requirement of having to provide notice of the claim to the government entity. Depending on whether the defendant is a city, county, or the state of Georgia, the notice period varies between six and twelve months.  The form of the notice is regulated by statute, and if you fail to comply with all elements of the notice requirement, you may lose the right to maintain a lawsuit against the responsible party.

    Additionally, government entities are often protected by what is known as sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity is meant to protect the government and its officials from constant litigation when constituents are unhappy with its operations. However, in some cases, negligence in maintaining, designing, or marking a roadway creates an exception to this rule.

    Similar to other personal injury cases, the victim of a potential municipal negligence case might be forced to defend his actions at the time of the accident. The courts may determine that the victim shares some amount of responsibility for the crash, and if that is the case, it could affect his or her ability to sue and receive a potential settlement or judgment.

    An experienced and skilled attorney can help victims understand the laws concerning municipal negligence, based on what type of government agency is responsible for their accident and injuries. If you are unsure as to whether your accident falls into this category, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak. Take a moment to fill out our online contact form, and you’ll receive a prompt response from a member of our team who can answer your questions and help you learn more about your rights. You may also call our Atlanta office at 888-522-7798.

  • Who can be held liable if I’m hurt in a truck accident?

    In 2014, the most recent year for which statistics are available, approximately 132,000 people were injured in large truck and bus crashes in the United States. In Georgia alone, 144 people were killed in accidents involving large trucks that same year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

    With so many commercial vehicles on the road and their drivers under pressure to perform as quickly and efficiently as possible, truck accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence. For the victims injured in those crashes or the surviving families of those killed, the road to recovery can be long and frustrating. Victims are left to recover from their injuries or manage their grief while still trying to maintain the financial stability they enjoyed before the accident. This is often a difficult task, as injuries can prevent victims from working or the death of a loved one can leave the rest of the family without an income provider.

    The law, however, does allow victims to pursue justice and compensation from those responsible for the accident. In car crashes, it’s often simple to determine who is at fault—one driver made a choice that impacted another driver. In cases of commercial truck crashes, however, the situation can be much more complicated, with a number of parties playing a role in the operation of the vehicle. So, what can a victim do? Who can be held accountable for the accident?

    Who Is Responsible for a Truck Crash in Georgia?

    There are a number of parties who may be held liable for a commercial truck accident in Georgia. Deciding just who to name as responsible depends on a number of factors, including the details of the accident and the relationship among the parties involved with the truck. In general, it is possible that victims can pursue a claim against:

    • The driver. Just like the drivers of other vehicles on the road, commercial drivers have a responsibility to act safely on the road and follow all traffic laws. When a driver’s negligence and bad decisions lead to an accident, he can be held accountable for his actions.
    • The trucking company. In general, businesses are responsible for the behavior of their employees while they are working. Additionally, it has been shown that shipping companies often place pressure on their drivers to deliver their goods and services as quickly as possible, sometimes encouraging their drivers to ignore federal regulations in order to do so. These practices are illegal, and the company can be held liable.
    • The cargo company. Improperly loaded or unsecured cargo is often a factor in truck crashes. If the cargo shifts during transit, it can make the large vehicle unstable and difficult to control even in good weather and on well-maintained roads.
    • Truck manufacturers. If the design or production of a truck does not meet safety standards, the company that produced the defective part can be held liable. Bad tires or braking systems are common causes of truck accidents. While commercial vehicles can overcome some issues, sometimes even minor problems can be exaggerated due to the large weight and height of the trucks.

    Determining Fault After A Georgia Truck Accident

    It is possible that more than one party holds some responsibility for the accident. How is a victim to know who should be held accountable? A skilled attorney can help victims examine the details of their case and decide how best to move forward. Experienced injury attorneys have pursued these claims in the past, and they understand what is necessary to mount a successful case. In truck accident cases, this is especially important.

    In some cases, the responsible parties will try to shift blame onto others, sometimes even including the victim. As a general rule, companies are responsible for the behavior of employees, but not those whom they hire as independent contractors. Additionally, the company can only be held liable if the employee was operating within the scope of the job and if the act was not intentionally done against a specific person. So, determining and proving the relationship between the trucking company and the driver can be critical.

    The other parties may also try to point fingers: the manufacturer blames the driver for lack of maintenance, or the cargo company claims the trucking company affected the way the cargo was secured. Sorting through every version of events can be time consuming and frustrating.

    Finally, the state of Georgia follows the rules of comparative negligence. In short, if the courts determine that the victim holds some degree of accountability for the accident, it could affect any settlement or judgment awarded. All these factors will determine just who can and should be held responsible for an accident and for the injuries of the victim.

    At Rechtman & Spevak, we’ve worked with accident victims to successfully pursue justice and fair compensation for their injuries, and we may be able to help if you or someone you love has been hurt in a truck accident. Call our truck accident lawyers at 888-522-7798 to learn more about your rights and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.

  • Is it okay to talk to an insurance company after my car accident?

    Shortly after an accident, your phone may start ringing. The insurance company who covers the other person involved in your accident will likely contact you seeking all sorts of information.

    Remember, The Insurance Adjuster Is Not On Your Side

    Be very cautious when talking to an insurance adjuster after your accident

    An important fact to remember when this happens is that the insurance adjuster is not working for you. Even if you are an honest, fair person and you feel you have a solid claim, the adjuster is out to protect the interests of the insurance company and minimize any money they might have to pay. He may seem friendly and understanding on the phone, but he will certainly use any information he is able to learn from you to his company’s advantage if possible.

    Sometimes, it is difficult to avoid these calls. If you find yourself on the other end of the line with the opposing insurance adjuster, follow these helpful tips to protect your rights and preserve your claim.


    • Discuss your medical care. Do not elaborate on your injuries. It is possible that you will not fully understand the nature of your injuries until later, so do not offer details that could hurt your case in the future. If pressed, tell the adjuster you simply do not know the full nature of your injuries and that you are seeking medical treatment.
    • Give details of the accident. The adjuster can find the basic information from police reports or his own insured driver. Do not offer your version of events to the adjuster at this time.
    • Sign anything. Never sign anything, no matter what the adjuster says. This applies to a medical release as well as documents related to fault. If you sign a medical release, the insurance company will have free reign to examine the full scope of your medical history, and may try to use your past medical records against you.


    • Be polite. You may be feeling angry about the accident or suffering from the physical consequences of the crash, but taking your frustration out on an insurance company representative will not help. The adjuster will play a role in your case, so it is best to stay on civil terms.
    • Remain vague. Offer the adjuster only basic information, such as your name, address, and birthdate. You may share the minimum details about the accident. Where it occurred, what day and time, and what vehicle you were driving.
    • Identify the person to whom you are speaking. Take note of the date and time of the call, the name of the insurance company, the name of the representative, and how to contact him if necessary. Make sure to keep your notes.
    • Tell the adjuster to contact your attorney if further information is necessary. It is a good idea to only talk to insurance companies in the presence of an experienced accident attorney. The attorney can help you understand what information can and should be shared and when.

    In some cases, such as in accidents where the at-fault driver is uninsured, the victim may have to pursue a claim with his own insurance company. Victims are required to cooperate more fully with their own companies, so you may have to offer more information to the adjuster in those situations. A skilled attorney can help victims understand their rights and obligations and make decisions on how best to move forward.

    Talk To An Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer

    If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Take a moment to fill out our online contact form, and a member of the car accident attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak will help you learn more about how to proceed after an accident.

  • What are the minimum car insurance requirements in Georgia?

    Car insurance in GeorgiaEvery state sets different rules about car insurance—rules about fault, minimum insurance limits, and penalties for failure to comply with the laws. The state of Georgia is no different. Drivers are required to carry insurance to cover any property damage or personal injury that may occur in a car accident. Georgia is a fault state, meaning that blame is assigned after an accident and the party responsible for the crash must pay for the damage. Auto insurance covers these costs, up to a certain limit.

    Georgia Car Insurance Coverage Requirements

    The state requires every vehicle to carry minimum coverage. In Georgia, the state mandates:

    • Bodily injury liability:  $25,000 per person. $50,000 for multiple people in an accident.
    • Property damage liability:  $25,000 for one incident.

    Bodily injury liability covers the injuries suffered by a person in an accident. It could cover medical expenses, lost income, as well as pain and suffering. Property damage liability provides compensation for the damage done to another person’s property, such as a car, bicycle, mailbox, home, and more.

    These amounts are the minimum amounts required by Georgia law, though many drivers elect to purchase larger policies in order to further protect themselves from the possibility of personal financial responsibility in the case of a serious accident. Drivers who fail to secure the appropriate levels of insurance can be penalized. Uninsured motorists are subject to fines, the loss of driving privileges, and the revocation of vehicle registration. Driving an unregistered vehicle is a misdemeanor in Georgia.

    Additional Coverage Available to Georgia Motorists

    State law requires only bodily injury and property damage coverage, though many drivers opt to purchase additional insurance to offer further protection from accidents. Most insurers also offer policies that cover:

    • Medical payments. This coverage can provide payment for medical expenses due to injuries as a result of an accident.
    • Collision. Collision coverage can pay for the replacement or repairs to a vehicle after a crash.
    • Comprehensive insurance. This coverage offers protection from damages or losses not related to road accidents, such as theft or weather damage.
    • Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance. If a driver with no insurance or not enough insurance is at fault for an accident, this coverage can cover the expenses related to the accident.

    Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers You Can Count On

    If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation, even if the driver responsible doesn’t have auto insurance. Call the experienced car accident attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak at 888-522-7798 to learn more about your options and find out what we can do to help, and download our FREE book, The Ultimate Guide to Accident Cases in Georgia.