Atlanta Car Insurance Lawyers
Every year thousands of drivers are involved in car accidents across Atlanta and its surrounding areas.
Your story begins with a free, no-risk consultation. Call (404) 419-6674 today, or fill out the online form below.
If you were recently injured in a car crash, we urge you to contact a car insurance lawyer right away. You will soon be inundated with phone calls from your insurance company, the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and, perhaps additional insurance companies depending upon who else was involved in the collision.
Many of our clients initially try to handle their insurance claims on their own before hiring us. They soon realize that’s a mistake. Insurance carriers love it when injured victims attempt to handle their claims on their own. The insurance companies view a self-represented victim as an easy opportunity to settle a case for less than its fair value – or an opportunity to deny a claim altogether.
If you want to maximize your settlement recovery and let someone else handle the rude insurance adjusters that try to blame you for a collision you didn’t cause, you should hire a seasoned Atlanta car accident lawyer from Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC. We have over thirty-three years combined experience resolving claims with all of the major insurance carriers in Georgia.
To schedule a free consultation of your case, contact us today at (404) 419-6674.
The Auto Insurance Claim Process
Anyone who’s injured in a car collision wonders how the insurance claim process works and when his or her case will be resolved.
The claims process is initiated when you or your attorney notifies the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier that you’ve been injured. From there, the process typically proceeds as follows:
- The insurer will assign a claims specialist to evaluate your claim.
- The claims specialist preliminarily investigates the claim by interviewing its insured driver, acquiring copies of the collision damage photos, as well as other publicly available information, such as the police report, the 911 audio file, and police body camera videos. At that point, the insurer will make a preliminary determination regarding whether they will accept liability.
- If the insurer accepts responsibility, they will then make arrangements to compensate you for the collision damage to your vehicle. In the meantime, they may reimburse you for your rental car if your own insurance policy doesn’t provide rental car coverage.
- Next, the insurer will request copies of your medical bills and medical records, as well as any other information that demonstrates the losses you’ve suffered. While they’re waiting for you to produce those documents, they will run a background check on you in an insurance claims database to see whether you’ve filed insurance claims in the past. They run that search to find out whether you may have previously suffered similar injuries.
- Once you complete your medical treatment, your attorney will prepare a settlement demand and send it to the insurance carrier once you approve it.
- The insurance company has 30 days to review your settlement demand. At the end of that 30 day period, they will either agree to pay the amount you’ve demanded, or they will offer a lesser amount.
- If the insurance company’s counter offer is relatively close to your demand, your attorney may advise you to continue negotiating with them until the claim is resolved. If their counter offer is unreasonably low, your attorney may advise you to file a lawsuit in order to recover full compensation.
Most insurance claims are settled within 6-9 months after the collision. However, if your claim has to be litigated, it may take 9 months to 2 years to resolve your claim.
If you have any questions about the insurance claims process, call our experienced car insurance lawyers at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC at (404) 419-6674.
How to File a Car Insurance Claim
When you are injured as the result of a collision, you should always notify your insurance carrier in addition to notifying the at fault driver’s insurance carrier. From there, you have the opportunity to process a portion of your claim through your own insurance carrier. That is known as a first party claim. The remaining portion of your claim is processed through the at fault driver’s insurance carrier. That is known as a third party claim.
Filing a First-Party Claim
Depending upon the coverages that you purchased on your own insurance policy, it is sometimes advisable to initially process your claim through your own insurance carrier. For instance, you may have purchased rental car reimbursement coverage. If you purchased that coverage, your insurer will quickly provide you with a rental vehicle. They will also process your collision damage claim if you like. Typically, it takes less time to process a collision damage claim through your own insurance carrier than it does to process the claim through the at fault driver’s insurance carrier.
You may have also purchased medical payments coverage on your insurance policy. If you did, you can submit your medical bills to your own insurer and request reimbursement for the bills up to the amount of coverage that you purchased. It typically takes less time to process those medical payment claims through your own insurance carrier than it does to process the claim through the at fault driver’s insurance carrier. However, if your injuries are serious, your medical payments coverage won’t be enough to cover your medical bills. As such, you would also need to file a personal injury claim with the at fault driver’s insurance carrier, which is something you should really do in any case regardless of the severity of your injuries.
Reach out to a car insurance lawyer from Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC if you have questions about filing a claim through your own insurance carrier.
Filing a Third-Party Claim
If you did not cause the collision, you should also file a claim with the at fault driver’s insurance carrier. The only information that you should provide to them before hiring an attorney is the following:
- Your name and contact information
- The at-fault driver’s name and insurance policy number
- A copy of the police report
- Photos of the crash and damaged vehicles
- Your vehicle repair shop’s name and contact information
Do not provide any information about your injuries, medical treatment or how the collision occurred to the at fault driver’s insurance carrier until you consult with an auto insurance lawyer – let the police report speak for itself. You should expect that the insurance carrier will try to use any information you provide them against you. For instance, if you’re unsure how fast you were traveling at the time of the collision and you volunteer a number, such as 45 mph, and it turns out that the speed limit was 35 mph, they will try and blame you for speeding even though the police officer cited the at fault driver for failing to yield to your vehicle.
We urge you to speak with a car insurance lawyer before filing an insurance claim. Call our auto insurance legal team at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC so that we can control the flow of information between you and the insurance carrier and prevent them from taking advantage of you.
Georgia’s Statute of Limitations
In Georgia, all lawsuits that arise from injuries caused by a car collision must be filed within two years of the auto collision. If you wait too long to file your lawsuit, your case may be dismissed by the court.
You should always hire an attorney well before the two year statute of limitations period expires. It will typically take at least 90 days for an auto insurance attorney to prepare your lawsuit for filing. Your attorney will want to conduct his or her own background investigation before filing the lawsuit. For instance, your attorney will want to research the proper venue to file your lawsuit and how to serve the at fault driver with a copy of your lawsuit before the statute of limitations period expires. The general rule is that a lawsuit must be filed and served on the at fault driver before the statute of limitations period expires.
How a Car Insurance Attorney Can Help
We all want to believe that the insurance company will do the right thing and pay us the fair value of our claims before we’re forced to file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, that is increasingly rare these days.
When the insurance company decides how much it thinks your claim is worth, it hardly ever offers that amount until multiple rounds of negotiations are completed. The insurance company usually offers you well below the amount it values your case, especially if you’re not represented by a lawyer. As a result, you should think very carefully before you consider accepting an insurer’s settlement offer. We urge to consult with an experienced car insurance attorney about the value of your case before ever making or accepting a settlement offer.
Let a Car Insurance Lawyer Help You
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to call Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC to speak with our veteran car insurance attorneys. We have decades of experience achieving great results for victims and their families that have previously been insulted by the insurance company following a catastrophic auto collision.
You can call us at (404) 419-6674 or reach us online to schedule an initial case evaluation with one of our skilled car insurance lawyers.