how to file a car accident claim

If you have been injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you deserve justice. You need to pursue a car accident claim, but you may be unsure of how to go about it.

The legal system can be confusing and complex to navigate, which is why it is important to have an experienced car accident attorney who can guide you through the process of filing and pursuing your claim.

The Norcross car accident lawyers of Adamson & Cleveland, LLC are prepared to give you the qualified legal counsel you need. We pride ourselves on providing personalized service to our clients. Our attorneys take the time to listen to you, explain your legal options, and guide you through every step of the process of pursuing your claim.

We give you and your case the attention it deserves, and we’ll fight to seek the maximum compensation you’re entitled to, even if that means taking your case to trial.

Contact our Norcross car accident attorneys today to learn more about the process of pursuing your car accident claim. The consultation is free and comes with no strings attached.

What are the Steps for Filing a Car Accident Claim?

The first step in filing and pursuing a car accident claim is to contact the insurance companies, both yours and the other driver’s. Contacting both insurance companies is critical because, depending on the terms of your insurance policy, you may lose out on critical coverage under your policy if you fail to inform your insurance company of your accident within a period of time.

Once the insurance companies are informed, the accident should be investigated to establish the circumstances and causes of the crash, which is essential for determining who was at fault and each party’s respective liability. The insurance company and your attorney (if you have one) typically handle the investigation.

After you and your attorney have established a clear picture of the accident and who is liable for your damages, you can begin to negotiate a settlement with the other parties in the crash. The insurance companies may try to offer you a settlement that only covers your immediate and existing losses, while not covering future medical expenses or lost wages or income. Don’t accept any such lowball offers.

If your attorney cannot reach a settlement with the other parties, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. You only have a limited time in which to file a lawsuit for your car accident, so even if settlement negotiations are ongoing, you may need to file a case to protect your rights in the event negotiations are unproductive.

In most cases, parties can reach a settlement even after a lawsuit has been filed. However, if you can’t, the litigation process starts with the initial pleadings, including your complaint and the other party’s response.

Next is the discovery process, where the parties exchange their evidence and ask each other questions. After discovery, the parties may file for what is known as summary judgment, arguing that the uncontested evidence shows that some or all the issues at trial must be decided a certain way as a matter of law. Ultimately, your case may end up at trial where a judge or jury will render a decision on your case.

What You Should and Shouldn’t Talk to an Insurance Adjuster About

Generally, you should limit your conversations with an insurance adjuster. It is best to have an attorney speak for you in all interactions with insurance companies.

Never talk directly to an insurance adjuster about the circumstances of the accident. Always speak first with an attorney before offering details about the crash. This is especially important if you are talking with the other driver’s adjuster, as insurance companies are looking to minimize their liability to all parties in the accident. An insurance adjuster may take the statements you offer about the accident and use them to argue that you were partially or fully at fault.

Finally, you should avoid speaking with an insurance adjuster about a settlement without first consulting an attorney. Again, the insurance companies are looking to minimize their liability to you, so they will try to offer you the lowest amount of compensation they can. The experienced Norcross personal injury attorneys of Adamson & Cleveland, LLC can advise you as to what your claim is really worth.

What are the Time Limits for Filing Car Accident Claims in Georgia?

Georgia law places a time limit on filing a claim in court for personal injuries suffered in a car accident. You typically have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit.

If your claim is against a city, county, or the state, you also have a statutory obligation to provide notice to that governmental entity within a specified period before you can file your case in court. For cities and counties, the notice period can be as short as six months.

It is important to note that the statute of limitations may be tolled (paused), in certain circumstances. If you or your injured loved one is a minor or a legally incompetent person, the statute of limitations may not start until you or your loved one reaches 18 years old or the period of incompetency ends. The statute of limitations may also be tolled if the defendant leaves the state of Georgia and is unable to be served with court documents.

Finally, courts may decide to toll the statute of limitations pursuant to what is known as the discovery rule, which A man filling out a car accident claim in Norcross, GAholds that the statute of limitations does not begin until you know (or should know through reasonable diligence) the facts giving rise to your claim. For example, courts may decide to toll the statute of limitations if you are the victim of a hit-and-run and are unable to identify the other driver immediately.

Generally, if you fail to abide by the statute of limitations and notice periods for governmental entities, your car accident claim will be forever barred. Working with an attorney as soon as possible can help you avoid missing any important deadlines.

When Do You Need an Attorney for a Car Accident Claim?

If you believe that you or a loved one may have a claim against someone else arising out of a car accident, you need an attorney to help you pursue your claims. There may be multiple forces working to deny you the maximum compensation you deserve.

There’s the other driver’s insurance company, who may try to offer you a minimal settlement or no settlement at all. Then there are the attorneys for the other driver, who are often hired by the driver’s insurer and may try to claim that you were at fault for the accident.

Even if you can obtain the maximum of the other driver’s insurance policy, your own insurance company may try to deny your claim for underinsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection.

You need an experienced car accident attorney who can navigate these competing forces and give you the vigorous legal representation you deserve.

Contact Us for Help With Your Georgia Car Accident Claim

The team at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC is prepared to collect and analyze the evidence from your accident to put together a narrative for your accident and establish who is at fault. We’ll help you consider the settlement offers you receive from the insurance companies and determine whether they represent fair compensation for your losses. If necessary, we’ll vigorously advocate your case at trial to pursue a favorable verdict and the compensation you deserve.

Contact our Norcross car accident attorneys to schedule a free consultation with us today.