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A hit-and-run accident is one of the most difficult misfortunes for the victim and his or her family. Establishing fault can be very difficult. If the person is killed in the accident, establishing a way to receive compensation can involve a wrongful death lawsuit. Other options may involve filing claims with the auto insurance company of the responsible party. Unfortunately, sometimes a payment is delayed for a valid claim because of an insurance dispute.

In Douglasville, a notice of intent to file a wrongful death claim was withdrawn for a Villa Rica man who died in a car crash. The police claim it was a hit-and-run. The man was killed while walking down the street when a driver on Fairburn Road hit him. The notice of intent to file a wrongful death claim was withdrawn because the lawyer representing one of the man’s children found out that the man had a surviving spouse who also was considering a wrongful death claim. In Georgia, a wrongful death claim first belongs to the victim’s surviving spouse; if there is no surviving spouse, then the right to bring such a claim can fall to other immediate family members of the deceased. The lawyer of the surviving spouse reported that the surviving spouse is close to reaching a settlement with the hit-and-run driver’s insurance company.

Many states require that drivers maintain a minimum collision policy. In Georgia, it is a requirement for all owners of motor vehicles to purchase liability insurance so that they can help pay for damages or injuries incurred in a car accident. If an individual is hit by an uninsured/underinsured driver, it is important for him or her to get information from the driver and contact the appropriate insurance companies immediately. The claims process can be lengthy. Often, insurance companies provide uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage that helps cover costs. An insurance dispute can happen, however, if the provider believes that there is a bad faith claim.

The laws in Georgia can be difficult for those who are not well-versed in how they operate. There are several ways to be compensated in the event of an accident, and it’s important to know that a long insurance dispute will delay any payments to the family. The dispute process can delay payments to help pay for car repairs, bodily injury or other damages that exceed the other driver’s limit.

Source: The Douglas County Sentinel, “Wrongful death claim withdrawn in Douglasville hit-and-run case,” Mitch Sneed, Nov. 11, 2013