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Atlanta Collision Victims Getting More Legal Help

Between 2007 and 2012, average claimed economic losses for motor vehicle collision victims making a personal injury protection (PIP) claim increased eight percent annualized. The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association also reports that average claimed losses among motor vehicle collision victims making a bodily injury claim has increased four percent from 2007 to 2012. law books

At the same time as claimed losses have increased, there has also been a rise in the number of motor vehicle accident claimants who are represented by a personal injury lawyer. A report from the Insurance Research Council shows just how many more people are hiring an attorney, although the report tries to paint this phenomenon as a negative.

More Claimants are Represented After a Motor Vehicle Accident

In 1977, 17 percent of motor vehicle collision victims were represented by a lawyer when they made a personal injury protection (PIP) claim after being hurt in a collision. There has been a dramatic shift in the number represented. By 2007, 31 percent of PIP claimants had an attorney and 36 percent were represented by 2012.

The number of people with a lawyer to help them make a bodily injury claim has always been higher than the number of people getting help with a PIP case. Even in 1977, 47 percent of bodily injury claimants had an attorney. In 2007, 49 percent of motor vehicle collision victims with a bodily injury case hired a lawyer and the number getting legal help had reached 50 percent by 2012.

The Insurance Research Council suggests that more people getting a lawyer is bad for them because being represented by an attorney makes claims take longer to resolve. This is ironic, when the insurance industry is dedicated to delaying as much as possible to prevent people from getting the money they deserve. The American Association for Justice describes the 10 worst insurance companies and the "three D's," the companies practiced: denying claims, delaying payouts and defending the denials.

Insurance companies may delay to try to make you desperate enough to give up or to accept a lower amount of money. Insurers may also deny your claim even though it should be covered, in the hopes you won't know how to follow through and fight for coverage.

The dishonest tactics of insurance companies may help to explain why private insurance ends up covering only around 50 percent of motor vehicle crash costs, leaving victims with 26 percent of costs; doctors, charities and healthcare providers with 14 percent of costs; and state or federal revenues with nine percent of the costs.

The insurance companies stalling tactics may not be the only reason for delays. When you don't have a lawyer, the insurer may pressure you to quickly accept a low settlement, signing a liability release in exchange for a small sum of money. The problem is, while your case may settle fast, you can't change your mind later if it turns out your settlement was way too low. If you have a lawyer, your attorney can advise you on whether to sign the settlement and can take time to negotiate a better deal on your behalf. While it may take you a little longer to resolve your claim, it is often better to fight a little longer for full compensation than to walk away with far less than you deserve.

Call the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C. at 1-800-898-HAYS or visit to schedule a free consultation with an Atlanta, GA personal injury lawyer.

Preventing Atlanta Child Injuries During Fall Sports Season

For many kids, the most exciting part of starting a new school year is that they can resume participation in athletic events. While school athletics has many positive benefits for children, including both social benefits and health benefits, a personal injury lawyer knows that kids who play sports also face significant risks. sports

Head injuries are among the most serious dangers of school athletics but kids could also face overexertion injuries, heat injuries and even heart attacks depending upon their physical shape and whether school athletic programs do enough to keep them safe.

Preventing Sports Injuries This Fall

Action News 19 provided some basic safety tips that should be followed when students resume playing sports this school year. Tips include:

  • Having kids start exercising before the actual athletic season. About four to six weeks before a school sport starts, kids should get back into shape and begin exercising again.
  • Acclimatizing kids to hot weather over time. When fall practice season starts, the weather may still be warm. To prevent heat injury, slowly increase the amount of time kids spend practicing outdoors in the hot sun. For the first 10 to 14 days of the practice season, kids should slowly work up to spending more time each day practicing outside.
  • Give kids regular breaks. Around every 10 to 15 minutes, kids should be given a chance to rest and have some water or fluids to replenish their bodies.
  • Ensure kids have protective gear that is in good repair, that fits them appropriately and that they actually use both during games and during practice.

Following these safety tips can help to reduce some common injuries, but doctors still caution that head injuries are one of the biggest risks associated with playing school sports. Unfortunately, as one neurosurgeon warns, it is impossible to ever undo the damage that a brain injury can cause once a child has sustained a blow to the head. The damage can cause long-term health problems such as increasing the risk of suicide, depression and dementia.

School athletic departments must know the signs associated with concussion, which include sensitivity to light, memory problems, disorientation or confusion, and dizziness. If it is suspected that a child athlete may have sustained a concussion, a thorough medical evaluation is necessary and the child should not continue to participate in athletic events unless or until he has been cleared to do so by a medical professional.

While many people think of football when they think of injuries resulting from athletics, WCYB warns that football is not the only high-risk sport. Kids can also sustain head injuries when playing games like soccer or basketball or when participating in cheerleading. Repeated head injuries in any sports event are more likely to do more long-term damage and cause complications.

Athletic departments need to be aware of the dangers of head injuries and should have a protocol in place for meeting the medical needs of a child who has sustained a blow to the head.

Call the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C. at 1-800-898-HAYS or visit to schedule a free consultation with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer.