Following a car accident, time is of the essence. You’ve most likely heard or seen (from your insurance card) that you should notify your insurance carrier within 24 hours of a crash. And while this practice is recommended, it’s not exactly the law. In fact, determining how long an individual has to report a wreck to his or her insurer depends on the state, and each state is different. For reporting accidents to the law enforcement, please refer to the Georgia DMV for guidelines.
If you’ve recently been involved in a collision, then the attorneys at Fried Goldberg want to hear from you. As Georgia’s injury and trucking law experts, we have the skills and experience to handle every aspect of your case – from phone calls to medical records. Call us today at (404) 591-1800 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
How Long Do I Have To File an Insurance Claim in Georgia?
In the State of Georgia, the statute of limitations on property damage and injury insurance claims are as follow:
- Property Damage: Four Years
- Injury: Two Years
According to the law, it may seem as if you have plenty of time to file a claim.
Yet, it’s not recommended to wait until the last minute to get the process started. By waiting too long, you could unknowingly hinder your chances of getting a settlement. So, while it appears you have a large window of opportunity, understand that putting off the task of waiting to file does have the potential to harm your case.
Pros and Cons of Waiting to File
After a wreck, the last thing you want to do is deal with insurance providers. Therefore, it may be common to put off filing a claim, in order to give yourself proper time to heal – physically, emotionally, and mentally. However, the longer you wait, the more likely it is you’ll either forget to file, or run out of time. This is considered to be a major con of Georgia’s statute of limitations.
The sooner you file a claim, the better. Your insurer will have a greater understanding of what happened, and a positive outcome for you is more likely. The longer you wait, the harder it can be for your provider to determine specifics regarding the accident, and you may experience pushbacks, resulting in no payment at all.
Furthermore, if you wait to file, but continue to drive your vehicle that was involved in the original wreck, you could create more damage. In turn, this could affect the insurance company’s ruling.
One of the biggest pros to filing a claim immediately following an accident, is the fact that it gives you more time to dispute the outcome. For example, if you’re displeased with the amount of money awarded to you, or if it fails to cover your property damage or medical bills, you’ll then have adequate time to pursue a lawsuit.
Best Practice after an Accident: Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Despite the type of wreck you’re involved in (read-end collision, sideswipe, rollover), common practices still apply:
- Ensure your personal safety
- Make a police report or create an accident report (Georgia DMV provides a good template, accessible here)
- Get the other driver’s information (i.e. license plate number, insurance company, etc.)
- Take photographs of the entire scene
- Visit a doctor for all injuries, and organize the paperwork
- Contact an attorney
The attorneys at Friend Rogers Goldberg want to help you move on with your life. Car accidents can be expensive and stressful. As Georgia’s injury and trucking law experts, we have the experience to help ensure a smooth, convenient legal process, allowing you to focus on what’s important: recovery. Contact us today by calling (404) 591-1800 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Let us be your advocates.