How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Georgia?

March 19, 2020

Car accidents often result in injuries and property damage. Since both can be costly to address, victims are usually eager to seek compensation. They report the crash to their insurance company promptly and submit a car wreck claim to the at-fault party’s insurer. However, for varying reasons, there are times when accident victims delay making a claim. They then find themselves wondering if they can still claim compensation.

The truth is that if you wait too late to file a claim, you may lose the chance to recover damages. As long as you are physically able, you should get the ball rolling by calling the police from the scene. You also need to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible and seek prompt medical attention. Time is always of the essence.

Why It’s Important That You Move Quickly

The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Georgia is two years. However, this doesn’t mean you should wait that long to get started on your car wreck claim. Most cases are resolved via negotiation, so you need to give this process time to work. It is only when you can’t agree on a settlement that your lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit.

If you take too long to file the insurance claim, you may not have enough time to file a lawsuit. That’s why you should file your claim as soon as possible. While there’s a legal deadline in place, it won’t be in your best interest to wait until the last minute. Depending on the nature of your injuries, your lawyer may advise you to wait until you’re certain about all your losses. However, a reputable Georgia auto accident lawyer will still ensure that you don’t miss your chance to file.

More on the Statute of Limitations for a Car Wreck Claim

As noted earlier, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file claims for injuries. In addition, victims usually have four years for property damage claims.  However, there are different deadlines in some cases. For example, if you were under the age of 18 when the accident occurred, the clock doesn’t begin running until you turn 18. You would get more time in such a case.

However, if the accident involved a government-owned vehicle, you may have a lot less time.  For example, if the vehicle was owned by the city or county, you may only have six months. If it was owned by the state, you may only have one year. If the federal government owned the vehicle, you will have to file an administrative claim with the relevant government department. You have to do this within two years of the crash. If the department rejects your claim, you’ll only have six months to file a lawsuit.

Why You Need to Work with an Attorney

You should schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer in Georgia as soon as possible after your crash. That way, you’ll learn if you have a strong case for getting compensation. If you do, your attorney will move quickly to gather evidence in support of your car wreck claim. As time passes, it becomes harder to investigate a car accident. Witnesses move away, change their contact numbers or forget what they saw. You may not even remember the accident clearly after a few weeks.

These aren’t the only challenges. The insurance company will likely argue that if you were really injured, you wouldn’t have taken so long to seek compensation. It also takes time to prepare a solid case so you should give your lawyer as much time as possible. If you’ve already taken months to get started, you should still call an attorney. They will review your case and tell you whether you can still recover damages. While your case will be strongest when the evidence is fresh, it’s not impossible to get justice later.

Contact Joe Durham Jr. P.C. Today to Discuss Your Car Wreck Claim

If you have been involved in a car accident in Georgia, you need to seek legal advice from a Georgia car wreck injury law firm. This is the only way you’ll know exactly how much time you have to file your claim for compensation. At Joe Durham Jr. P.C., we have a team of Georgia accident lawyers who will do everything they can to help you. They’ll review your case and help you to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other losses. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.