How Long After Car Accident Can You Claim Injury in Georgia?

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How long after a car accident can you claim injury? Find out here from a trusted Georgia injury attorney.

Blake Ledbetter Atlanta AttorneyAuthor: J. Blake Ledbetter, Partner, Conoscienti, Ledbetter & Archer

Mr. Ledbetter specializes in civil litigation in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, and possesses vast experience in wrongful death lawsuits. Mr. Ledbetter was recognized as a SuperLawyers Rising Star in 2018 and 2019 in the area of Civil Litigation. Published on January 14, 2022, last updated on January 31, 2022.

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How Long After Car Accident Can You Claim Injury?

After they’ve been involved in a traffic accident, car accident victims may consider how much time they have to file a car accident lawsuit. Although you have to make sure filing a claim occurs within a certain time period, you need to seek medical attention first if you’ve sustained serious injuries. 

If you or your loved one has suffered a serious injury in a car accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney in Decatur, GA in your corner, especially if another person is responsible for your injuries. You might be entitled to recover compensation for incurred medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses through a personal injury lawsuit. 

A personal injury attorney at Conoscienti, Ledbetter and Archer can make sure you have obtained proper financial compensation. With over 40 years of combined legal experience, our personal injury lawyers have a track record of effective outcomes and possess extensive knowledge for representing all types of personal injury claims.

Auto Insurance Claims Process

In addition to taking care of your injuries, you also have to report the traffic accident to the police as soon as possible. You can also inquire when the police report of the accident will be filed, so you can obtain a copy. 

Contacting your insurance agent after an auto accident can be beneficial to your claim process, especially if someone else is the at-fault party for the crash. 

Also, you can make sure to obtain all information at the accident scene your insurance provider may need. That can include writing down names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information of everyone else involved in the crash. If you are able, you can also take pictures of the accident scene. 

If you can’t gather this information by yourself, make sure to obtain a copy of the police report. It should contain all relevant information regarding the crash.

It is also crucial that you do not give any statements to the other party or their insurance company regarding the accident or your personal injuries. 

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Time Limit to File Insurance Claim

Keep in mind that reporting the car crash to your insurance company and making a car insurance claim are two different things. 

Your insurance company will likely require you to report the car accident as soon as possible or “within a reasonable time” after the car accident. That usually means you have anywhere from several days to a few weeks to report the car crash. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean you have to file an insurance claim within that period.  

An insurance company will probably also require that you report the car accident with the police within 24 hours of the crash, especially if there are injuries. That is also your obligation, according to Georgia law. Drivers must report to the police any vehicle accident that results in property damage of at least $500 or results in injury to or death of any parties involved.

 

How Soon Can You File a Claim After Getting Insurance?

When it comes to filing a personal injury claim for injuries you’ve sustained in an auto accident, you have a time limit of two years under Georgia law. That means anyone injured in a vehicle accident, whether a pedestrian, the other driver, or passenger, has to file a personal injury claim within two years. 

That is the statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits. Your insurance company may have a different time limit on how long after a car accident you can file a car accident claim against your insurance. 

However, you also have to provide written notice of claim to potential insurers. But, bear in mind that the establishment of the claim is not sufficient. If an insurance company is not willing to settle the claim, you have to file a lawsuit in court. A lawsuit alleging injuries sustained and damages caused by the auto accident has to be filed within the statute of limitations.  

Claiming Compensation for a Car Accident

The state of Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence rule. That means if more than one party is responsible for the accident, only the party who is less than 50% at fault will be able to obtain compensation. 

Of course, their financial compensation will be reduced by a percentage corresponding to their share of liability.

Since there isn’t a precise way to determine percentages of fault, the decision will depend on the ability to convince a judge, a jury, or an insurance claim adjuster. 

If the accident occurred while you are a passenger with Uber, or if the other vehicle in a collision is an Uber vehicle and you suffered injuries, your case can get complicated, so you may need help from a trusted Atlanta Uber accident lawyer.

An Uber vehicle carries $1 million in commercial liability insurance coverage as well as another $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist claims coverage while carrying a passenger or being on the way to pick up the passenger. 

However, in case an Uber vehicle doesn’t have a passenger, but the driver is on-duty and waits to be dispatched, the Uber vehicle’s coverage is significantly less. But, in instances where the rideshare driver was not on duty at the time of the auto accident, you would need to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s personal auto insurance policy.

 

How to File a Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident

If you have to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company, and you end up filing a personal injury lawsuit, there may be several reasons to slightly delay the claim. The main reason for doing that is because many injuries don’t become apparent until a certain time after the car crash.  

For example, soft tissue injuries or head injuries may not always show symptoms right after the accident. Even if it turns out these were not serious injuries, they can still have a long-term impact. In addition, apparent fractures sometimes don’t cause pain immediately, and internal injuries, depending on their severity, may not show immediate symptoms.  

Of course, your medical bills will vary depending on the severity of your injuries. Sometimes injuries you have suffered may require lifelong treatment, and that is why it’s important to obtain a thorough medical assessment of your needs and future medical expenses. You may want to get help with your medical bills quickly, but you should always consult an attorney before accepting an insurance company’s settlement offer.

In addition to medical expenses, you can also obtain reimbursement for lost wages and property damage. However, you may also obtain compensation for non-monetary losses, such as pain and suffering, or loss of enjoyment of life if your injuries cause discomfort or inability to enjoy daily activities or pleasures you’ve once enjoyed.  

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    Statute of Limitations on Insurance Claims

    The statute of limitations for personal injury cases arising from car accidents in Georgia is two years from the date the accident occurred. So if you file a claim after that time period has expired, your personal injury case would be dismissed. 

    However, in certain cases, the deadline can be extended, for example, if the person who was injured was a minor. 

    The statute of limitations may also be extended if car accident injuries could not have been “discovered” within the statute of limitations. In addition, if the at-fault party leaves the state after the accident but before you had the chance to file a lawsuit, the statute of limitations will likely be paused until the at-fault driver returns to Georgia. 

    On the other hand, if you want to file a claim over vehicle damage that was caused by an accident that wasn’t your fault, the statute of limitations is four years. 

    Bear in mind that the insurance provider doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Usually, they want to pay as little as possible for every legal claim filed. If you don’t have a trusted lawyer by your side, you may have to spend hours copying your medical records and collecting evidence and not even be sure if what you are doing is correct. A trusted legal professional can help with many tasks when filing a claim to obtain your financial recovery.

    Whether you need a trusted rideshare accident lawyer or a skilled personal injury attorney, we will do our best to get you the compensation you deserve. Make sure you don’t miss filing deadlines and contact our attorney immediately. The initial consultation with Conoscienti, Ledbetter and Archer law firm and their experienced attorneys is free of any obligation. 

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