Anyone who has had the misfortune of being involved in a serious Georgia car or truck accident may understand how difficult it is to work with insurance companies. In too many situations, an insurance company will deny coverage for medical treatment that has already been received, and was often provided in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Due to these concerns, Georgia lawmakers allow for bad-faith claims to be filed against insurance companies who delay, withhold, or deny a policy holder’s legitimate claims. A recent case illustrates how one car accident victim’s year-long fight for coverage turned into a viable bad-faith claim against an insurance company.
The plaintiff was the passenger in her mother’s car when it was struck by another driver who ran a stop sign. After the accident, the plaintiff was taken to the hospital, where she was admitted to the emergency room. After being seen in the emergency room, she was then transferred to the level two trauma center. Four hours after she arrived at the hospital, she was discharged with a cervical collar. She did not receive a prescription for pain medication. After leaving the hospital, she continued to receive outpatient care for her injuries.
The driver who caused the accident did not have automobile insurance, so any claims for reimbursement of medical expenses were submitted through the underinsured/uninsured motorist provision of the mother’s insurance policy. Specifically, the plaintiff filed a claim for approximately $67,000, including approximately $24,000 from the treatment received in the trauma center.