How Long Do You Have to File an Insurance Claim After a Car Accident?

If you get into a car accident, you’ll have no choice but to file an insurance claim. Even minor accidents typically cause property damage and minor injuries. This means you’ll be paying to get your car fixed. You’ll also rack up a few hundred (or thousand) in medical bills. The only way to be reimbursed for these things is to file an insurance claim.

Whether you’re filing your claim against your own insurance policy or that of the other driver, you’ll have to do so pretty fast. Almost all insurance policies required that you file your claim within a “reasonable time” after the accident. This usually translates into a few days.

Your insurance policy may state exactly how much time you have to file your claim. Every policy is different. One thing that stays the same is this – if you don’t file your claim within the deadline, you won’t get paid. Your claim will be denied for untimely filing.

If you’re dealing with insurance claim issues, you should call an experienced Carrollton car wreck lawyer. They can help make sure your claim is handled properly from the start. They’ll also work hard to negotiate a settlement of your claim with the insurance adjuster.

What Happens After You File Your Claim?

Once you do file your claim, you’ll have to wait for the insurance adjuster to review your claim. They may want you to get an estimate of the damage to your car. They may even demand that you supply them with medical records or other pertinent information.

While you can handle this on your own, it may not be the best idea. The insurance adjuster may take advantage of you. When they find out you don’t have a Carrollton car wreck lawyer, they’ll try to walk all over you. This could involve any of the following:

  • Deny your claim outright
  • Offer you a lowball settlement
  • Demand that you sign a one-sided settlement release
  • Delay payment of your claim
  • File a claim against your insurance policy

If any of these things happen, you may not be equipped to deal with them. An experienced car accident lawyer does. They’ve handled dozens of cases just like yours before. They also know how to deal with insurance adjusters. They’ll ensure that you’re treated fairly and that you’re not taken advantage of.

What if You Miss Your Filing Deadline?

If you don’t file your insurance claim in time, it will be denied. This is one-way insurance companies save a lot of money. When they send out a denial letter stating that this deadline was missed, most people give up. They don’t realize they can appeal this determination.

Even if you do miss your deadline, your Carrollton car wreck lawyer can still appeal your claim. They may be able to show valid reasons why your claim was filed late. Perhaps you were in the hospital and were unable to file your claim. Or, maybe the insurance company was responsible for the delay. Things like this are usually enough to overcome a denial based on an untimely filing.

Is the Insurance Claim Deadline the Same as the Statute of Limitations?

Some people confuse the insurance deadline with the statute of limitations. The two have nothing to do with each other. The insurance claim filing deadline is imposed by your insurance company. They spell it out in your insurance policy. They also have discretion for deciding when to waive the rule and when not to.

The statute of limitations is an actual law in Georgia. The rule in Georgia is that you have two (2) years from the date of your accident to file suit. This is your legal claim – not your insurance claim. If you miss this deadline, there is nothing your car accident lawyer can do. The judge isn’t going to waive the statute of limitations. Nor will they extend it. If you miss this deadline, your case will be dismissed.

Contact an Experienced Carrollton Car Wreck Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’ll have to deal with the insurance company. You’ll have to fill out forms and answer a bunch of questions. It can be overwhelming. This is why you should call an experienced car accident lawyer. They can review your case and let you know what steps to take. They’ll work hard to get your claim paid.

Call the Law Office of John B. Jackson today and schedule your free initial consultation.