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

When a new client asks us how long they have to file their car accident claim, we always get a little bit worried. It seems like most people don’t ask this question unless they think they’ve already missed their filing deadline. For example, imagine that you have 30 days to file your claim with your insurance carrier. You realize that you’re about 7 to 10 days beyond that deadline and think it’s a good idea to call a car accident attorney in South Fulton. You’re hoping that your attorney can convince the insurance company to accept your claim late.

Some clients come to see us just days or weeks before the statute of limitations period expires. This means that close to two years have gone by since their accident and they haven’t taken any legal action. The hope is that a personal injury attorney in South Fulton, Georgia can work miracles and get the car accident claim filed in a matter of days. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way. 

Your attorneys need time to prepare your car accident claim and discuss it with the other attorney. They need to review any correspondence you have received and take a look at your medical bills to determine what kind of damages you suffered. They also need to talk to any witnesses or doctors who treated you to get the particulars of your case. This kind of stuff doesn’t happen in a matter of days or weeks. 

Here, we’ll briefly discuss how long you have to file your car accident claim. We will also explain how the statute of limitation works in Georgia. Finally, we will explain what can happen if you miss either of these filing deadlines. If you have any questions about your own car accident case, feel free to reach out to us directly.

There Are Two Types of Claims – Your Insurance Claim and a Legal Claim

It’s important to understand that there is more than one type of claim when you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident. The first type is your insurance claim. As long as the other driver has insurance, there’s a good chance their insurance carrier will pay your claim.

When you file your car accident claim, you’re going to demand compensation for any injuries or losses you have suffered. If you’re afraid that you won’t file the claim properly, reach out to a personal injury attorney in South Fulton, Georgia and they can help you file the claim.

The second type of car accident claim is a legal claim. If the insurance company refuses to pay your claim and you need to pursue damages, you can hire one of our car accident attorneys in South Fulton to do that for you. While this is not ideal, sometimes it’s the only way to get the money you deserve.

As far as the filing deadline for a legal claim is concerned, it depends on the state that you live in. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury is only two years. Two years sounds like an awful lot of time until you realize two years have passed since your accident. We always tell our clients to call us as soon as possible after the crash so they don’t run up against the statute of limitations deadline.

car accident attorney in South Fulton

Your Car Accident Attorney in South Fulton Will Need to See Your Insurance Policy

In order for your car accident attorney in South Fulton to know how long you have to file your insurance claim, they’ll need to see a copy of your policy. Most policies don’t come right out and say how long you have to file your car accident claim. Instead, they like to use language like “reasonable time frame.” They intentionally leave this answer vague, so it gives them more discretion in denying claims for untimely filing.

As long as you visit your personal injury attorney in South Fulton, Georgia within days of your crash, they can call the insurance adjuster and find out exactly how long you have to file your car accident claim. Once they’ve confirmed the filing deadline, they’ll help you prepare your car accident claim so you can get it filed right away.

What Happens if You Miss the Statute of Limitations?

If you missed either of the filing deadlines discussed here, there’s a good chance your car accident claim will be dismissed. When it comes to your insurance claim, your car accident attorney in South Fulton can always file an appeal. They will argue that either the deadline was unfair and unreasonable, or that you made the deadline and your car accident claim should have been paid.

Things are not this easy if you missed the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations in Georgia is 2 years for personal injury cases. The two years start on the date of your accident. If you miss this deadline by even one day, the judge will dismiss your case and prohibit you from refiling it. Even if the judge doesn’t notice that you have missed the statute of limitations deadline, the defense attorney will, and they will file a motion to dismiss. The judge will have no choice but to grant their motion.

Contact One of Our Personal Injury Attorneys for Help With Your Car Accident Claim

If you or a family member have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should call our office right away. Knowing that both the insurance claim and your legal claim must be filed in a certain period of time, you don’t want to wait too long to ask for help. All you have to do is contact a personal injury attorney in South Fulton, Georgia to schedule your free, initial consultation.

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