If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you know how scary it can be. Your first concern is that everybody is okay. Then you worry about the damage to your car. In the moments following the crash, the last thing on your mind is filing an insurance claim.
Once you get around to filing your claim, you have no idea it could be denied. After all, why would the insurance company deny your claim? If the other driver was at fault, they should be forced to pay. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out the way they should. Or, as your car accident attorney in Albany will tell you, life isn’t always fair.
If you aren’t careful, you risk having your car accident claim denied simply because you didn’t file it in time. That’s why here, we’ll discuss exactly how long you have to file your insurance claim. We’ll also explain the filing deadlines in Georgia for people who need to file suit against another driver. An insurance claim and a legal claim are two very different things. That’s why it’s important that you understand how long you have to address each type.
If you have any questions about what to do with your claim, just give us a call. We can easily schedule your free, initial consultation over the phone.
It’s Critical That You File Your Car Insurance Insurance Claim Immediately After Your
Some accident victims assume that all they have to do after a car crash is file a claim with the insurance company. If the other driver was at fault, then their insurance should cover your damages. For example, if you need surgery or physical therapy after your accident, it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. You shouldn’t have to pay for these expenses. Nor should your insurance carrier have to pay for this care. If you weren’t responsible, then you shouldn’t be left holding the bag.
This is why it’s important that you file a car accident claim against the other driver’s insurance policy immediately after your accident. Figuring out how long you have to do this can be confusing. Very rarely will an auto insurance company come right out and tell you exactly when your claim must be filed by. They purposely leave this information vague. Instead, they say that your claim must be filed within a “reasonable” time.
The problem is that what may seem reasonable to one person can seem unreasonable to another. Rather than risk it, we suggest you file your claim as soon as possible after your accident. We suggest this for three reasons.
The first reason you want to file your car accident claim right away is so that you miss any filing deadlines. The second reason is that you want the insurance company to hear your side of the story before the other driver gets a chance to make up their own version of the truth. And, finally, if for some reason the insurance adjuster decides to deny your claim, you’ll still have plenty of time to hire an Albany personal injury lawyer.
If Your Claim Is Denied, Then You May Need to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Within a couple of weeks of filing your insurance claim, you should know whether it’s been approved. If it’s denied, then you can always file an appeal. It’s a good idea to consult a car accident attorney in Albany before you do this. They can look to see why your claim was denied and then contact the insurance adjuster. They’ll make sure they have all the evidence in front of them when they make this call.
If the insurance company denies your appeal, you’ll need to file a legal claim. By legal claim, we mean a personal injury lawsuit. Just as the insurance company has its own filing deadline, so do the civil courts in Georgia. The filing deadline is dictated by the statute of limitations.
According to the Georgia statute of limitations, you have two years from the date of your car accident to file suit. If you miss this by even one day, your lawsuit will be dismissed. Even if the defendant doesn’t notice you were late filing your claim, the judge will notice. Once this happens, they have no choice but to dismiss your claim.
Two Years Goes by Faster Than You May Realize
As stated above, you only have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. You may be asking why we said you “only” have two years. After all, two years is a really long time. How could anyone possibly take more than two years to file their lawsuit?
You may not realize it, but two years can go by in a flash. If you suffered serious physical injuries in your accident, you may be undergoing medical treatment for over a year. You may not be able to return to work for months on end. Two years can go by a lot faster than you may think.
You also have to realize that your Albany personal injury lawyer will need time to prepare your case. This can take months. They need to gather the evidence necessary to support your claim. They also have to get proof of your damages. If you aren’t even done with your medical treatment, how will they know what your medical bills will be? It takes time to determine these things. Your attorney will need as much time as possible to put on a strong case. That’s the only way you’ll get the compensation you deserve.
Reach Out to a Car Accident Attorney in Albany As Soon as Possible After the Crash
We don’t want any of our clients to worry about missing filing deadlines. That’s why we recommend that you contact us as soon as possible after your motor vehicle accident. This way, our Albany personal injury lawyers will have all the time they need to prepare your claim. This also gives you plenty of time to think about how you want to proceed.
If you’re interested in scheduling your free consultation, just give us a call or visit us on our firm’s website. One of our friendly staff can help you set up a date and time to visit.
The defendant will have a team of lawyers helping them so there’s no reason you should have to handle the case on your own. Give us a call so we can right to work on helping you get the compensation you deserve.