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How to File a Car Insurance Claim in Atlanta

Law Firm of Walter Gabriel Oct. 24, 2022

If you’ve been in a car accident, there are a few things you need to do to make sure you’re taken care of. The most important thing is to notify your insurer as soon as possible – this can be done by calling the number on your insurance card or by initiating a claim online. Even if you weren’t at fault for the accident, you must contact your insurer first.

If you were involved in an accident with someone uninsured, you can file a claim with their insurer if you believe they were at fault. Either way, it’s important to get the process started as soon as possible so you can get back on the road.

Who Should I Call After a Car Accident in Atlanta?

If you are involved in a car accident, the first thing you should do is check for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 and ask for medical help.

Even if it seems like a minor accident, it’s still a good idea to call the police. They can document what happened and help sort out any insurance claims.

The next step is to contact your auto insurer or if you are not at fault, the other driver’s insurer. They will start the process of dealing with the damages and will be able to advise you on what to do next.

What if The Accident Was My Fault?

Notifying your first-party insurer is generally the best course of action after being involved in a car accident in Atlanta, regardless of who was at fault. This is because some types of insurance policies – such as Med Pay insurance  – will pay out without taking fault into account.

Additionally, the other party involved in the accident may be found to be wholly or partially responsible for what occurred. In these cases, Atlanta’s comparative negligence or shared fault law allows people to seek damages even if they were partly to blame for the accident.

Ultimately, when an accident is your fault, the other party is likely to file a claim with their insurer, which could result in your rates going up. Notifying your first-party insurer as soon as possible after an accident can help to minimize the potential for rate increases and other complications.

Do I Need to Notify the Atlanta Dmv After a Car Accident?

If you are involved in an accident in Atlanta, it is important to notify the DMV within 10 days. This is true even if there are no injuries or if the property damage is less than $1,000. Failing to do so may result in penalties.

If the responsible insurance company or party does not pay for the damages, you may need to file a lawsuit to protect your rights. An experienced injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process and recover the compensation you deserve.

How Long Do I Have to Recover Damages from Car Accident Injuries?

It’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Atlanta, as this can impact your ability to recover damages. In general, you have two years from the date of the car accident to file a lawsuit against the other party or their insurer. However, it’s important to note that this is not the same as the amount of time you must report the accident to the DMV or your own insurance company.

Most insurers require prompt notification of any accidents to process a claim, so delaying too long could jeopardize your chances of recovery. The auto accident settlement timeline is one to three years from the time of the accident. By being aware of these timelines, you can ensure that you take the necessary steps to protect your legal rights and maximize your chances of recovering damages.

What if I Don’t Have Insurance?

If you don’t have insurance but were not at fault for the accident, you can file a claim with the other party’s insurer. Keep in mind, however, that the other party’s insurance company does not represent you.

While your insurer must act in good faith regarding your claim, the other party’s insurer has no such obligation. They can simply ignore you. For this reason, we recommend contacting an experienced Atlanta accident lawyer before making a claim directly against another party’s insurance.

Can I Take My Car Anywhere for Repairs After an Accident in Atlanta?

After a car accident, you are usually free to have repairs done by any body shop of your choice. However, most insurers have a network of repair shops that they work with directly, and these shops often offer discounted rates.

If you choose a body shop that is outside of the network, you will usually have to negotiate the price of repairs with the adjuster (and probably the body shop as well). Another advantage to using an in-network repair shop is that it can be easier to get additional costs approved if the shop discovers more damage after the initial estimate.

But whichever shop you choose, make sure you research their reputation and credentials beforehand. You want to be sure that your car is in good hands and that the repairs will be done properly. Also, get everything in writing before any work is started. That way, there will be no surprises later on.

Can I Get My Car Repaired Even if I Am Still Injured?

When you are involved in a car accident, the last thing you want to worry about is how you will pay for the damage to your vehicle or any injuries that you may have sustained. Fortunately, most insurance companies are willing to separate damage to a vehicle and physical injuries, so that you can focus on getting the care and treatment you need.

However, it is important to read any documents you are asked to sign carefully, to avoid compromising your rights. If you have any questions, be sure to speak with an attorney before making any decisions.

Do I Need an Attorney to Make a Car Accident Claim in Atlanta?

If you have been injured in an car accident, you might be wondering whether you need a lawyer. The answer is it depends. If your injury is minor and your claim is small and straightforward, you may be able to get by without legal representation. However, if your injury is more serious or your claim is complex, you will likely get a better settlement if you have a lawyer on your side.

Insurance adjusters are trained to lowball claimants and get them to accept less than they deserve. They do this because they deal with claims all day every day and they know that most people don’t have the knowledge or experience to fight back. An experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney will know how to see through the insurance adjuster’s tricks and help you get the full number of compensatory damages to which you are entitled.

So, if you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s always a good idea to at least consult with a personal injury lawyer to find out what your best course of action is. You may be surprised at how much more you could recover with legal assistance.

The Process for Settling a Vehicle Accident Claim

Getting assigned to an adjuster

If you’ve been in a car accident, you may be wondering how the insurance claims process works. Here’s what you need to know:

Once an insurance company receives notice of a claim, they will assign an adjuster to the case. The adjuster’s job is to gather evidence and determine who was at fault for the accident.

You will be contacted by the adjuster, usually by phone, but sometimes by mail or email. Under Atlanta law, the insurer must contact you within 15 days of receiving notice of a claim.

The adjuster will ask you for a statement and will gather other evidence to determine who was at fault and what each party’s damages are. Once the adjuster has all the information they need, they will decide who was at fault and how much each party is owed.

If you have any questions about the insurance claims process, or if you need help filing a claim, contact an experienced car accident attorney today.

Do I Have to Give the Adjuster a Recorded Statement?

If you are asked to give a recorded statement, politely decline. The adjuster will likely use anything you say to deny or delay your claim. Simply present the facts of the accident without embellishment. Avoid stating that you feel fine or giving the impression that you are in a hurry to settle. If asked how you are doing, you can honestly say that it’s too early to be certain.

Do I Have to Agree to An Independent Medical Examination (IME)?

If the insurance adjuster asks you to go for an independent medical examination (IME), keep in mind that this is not as independent as it sounds. The IME is an exam that is paid for by the insurance company, which means that it cannot help your claim. It is often used as a way for insurance companies to deny claims.

Politely tell the adjuster that you will sign a medical release so that he or she can obtain treatment notes from your medical providers. In general, you should say as little as possible about your medical condition and let the evidence (and your attorney if you have one) do the work.

What Evidence Will the Adjuster Need to Obtain?

The insurer will also likely collect information from you, the other party, and any witnesses to the accident. This may include your recorded statement, the other party’s statement, and statements from witnesses.

The insurer may also inspect your vehicle, take photos of the accident scene, and obtain damage reports from car repair shops. Additionally, the insurer will likely request medical bills, medical reports, and evidence supporting any claim for lost wages or lost earning capacity. Anything else that is relevant to the accident may also be collected by the insurer.

How Long Will It Take to Get My Money After a Car Insurance Claim?

It is important to notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident. By law, insurance companies in Atlanta must open a good faith investigation within 15 days of being notified of a claim. Notification does not need to be in writing.

The insurer must accept or deny the claim not later than 40 days after it has been proved. The proof involves establishing that you are entitled to recovery and how much you are entitled to.

If the claim is simple and the fault is not at issue, a claim can be proved in a matter of days.

When the fault is an issue, it can take longer, especially if anyone was seriously injured. In the most serious cases, proving your case may take many months or even years.

To give your insurance company the best chance of resolving your claim quickly and fairly, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible. This may include taking photos at the scene of the accident, getting the contact information of any witnesses, and keeping a record of all expenses related to the accident.

The Initial Settlement Offer

If the insurance adjuster’s settlement offer is low, there are a few possible reasons. One reason may be that you are still undergoing medical treatment and the adjuster wants to limit the insurance company’s exposure. If you are willing to fight for a higher amount, you may be able to get more money for your car repairs and medical treatment.

Other reasons for a lowball offer can include (but are not limited to):

  • You have not provided enough evidence of your damages

  • The insurance company does not believe your injuries are as serious as you claim

  • The insurance company believes you were at least partially at fault for the accident

If you receive a lowball offer from an insurance adjuster, do not immediately accept it. Instead, take some time to evaluate your options and decide whether you want to try to negotiate a higher amount or take your chances in court.

Should I Send a Demand Letter?

As mentioned, a demand letter is not required after a car accident in Atlanta. However, there are several reasons why you or your lawyer may choose to send one.

A demand letter sets forth your version of events, with a brief statement of the evidence to back it up, and a request (“demand”) for a certain amount. This can be useful in several ways.

First, it forces the insurance company to take your claim more seriously. The insurance adjuster may have been treating your case casually up to this point, but a demand letter makes it clear that you are serious about getting fairly compensated for your injuries.

Second, the demand letter gives the insurance company an idea of what you are looking for in terms of a settlement. If the insurance company’s initial offer was low, the demand letter will usually ask for an amount that is closer to what you believe your case is worth.

And third, the demand letter can help pave the way for a successful negotiation. By laying out your case and your evidence clearly and concisely, the demand letter can make it easier to reach an agreement on a fair settlement amount.

If you have been involved in a car accident in Atlanta, consider whether sending a demand letter would be beneficial in your situation.

The Negotiation

When you are involved in a car accident, the most critical part of the process is the negotiation with the insurance company. This is where you or your lawyer present your evidence and argue for a higher settlement amount.

The insurance company adjuster will usually want to bring the case to a quick resolution. In addition to getting work off the adjuster’s plate, it limits the insurance company’s exposure in case you later discover your injuries were more serious.

Being patient but persistent is often the key to obtaining the best results from a negotiation. In rare cases, you may need to file a lawsuit to get a decent settlement offer. Be sure to keep track of when the statute of limitations expires for filing a lawsuit in your state.

If you have been in a car accident and need help negotiating with the insurance company, contact a qualified personal injury lawyer today.

The Settlement Agreement

Before you sign a settlement agreement, it’s important to make sure that you understand all of the terms. Once you sign, you will be giving up your right to sue for any additional damages, even if your injuries turn out to be more serious than initially thought or if your car needs additional repairs.

Be sure to read the agreement carefully and ask any questions you may have before signing. Once you do sign, make sure you keep a copy for your records.

How Do I Get My Money After I Settle My Atlanta Car Accident Claim?

You will usually receive your settlement money once you have signed a settlement agreement with the insurance company. If you used a repair shop within the insurer’s network, the insurance company will usually pay the shop directly. All other damages will be paid once the insurance company receives an original of your signed settlement agreement.

Note that you may be responsible for paying other parties out of the proceeds – for instance, doctors and body shops that weren’t paid directly by your insurer. Make sure you don’t have any outstanding bills for services before you spend your settlement money!