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How Long Do You Have To File An Insurance Claim

In this video, attorney Ted Spaulding reviews how much time you have to file a claim with an insurance company after an accident in Georgia. He also explains different potential scenarios and what can happen in the long term. 

How long do you have to file an insurance company claim after a car wreck? Hi, I’m Ted Spaulding, I’m an Atlanta personal injury trial lawyer and I am the founder here at Spaulding Injury Law. So, this is a tricky question because the nature of the question assumes we’re talking about a claim, not filing a lawsuit in court. So, you’ve just been in a wreck, how do you have to file a claim, set up a claim, if you will, with an insurance company? Well, remember, there’s two insurance companies at the very least. There’s the at-fault driver’s insurance company and then there’s yours. And there’s two different standards there. When it comes to the at-fault party, you technically don’t have a timeline within which you have to file a claim with the insurance company. Why? Because it’s not your policy. So, you could literally go to the statute of limitation, file a lawsuit, and never have notified the insurance company. There is no legal requirement. Of course, you’re gonna want to, there’s no reason not to. You’re gonna wanna do it quickly. Why? Because evidence can be lost, you want them to be getting reached out to their driver to find out what he’s gotta say or she’s gotta say and hopefully, that’s admitting fault, just to work through the process. But otherwise, there’s no requirement other than you have to file a lawsuit within two years. That’s it when it comes to the at-fault insurance company.

 

Now it’s totally different when it’s yours. We’re talking a UM claim. I’ve got some articles and videos on UM. It’s a real tricky area, but this is your auto insurance that may supply additional monies to you for your damages in addition to the at-fault auto. So, you’re gonna wanna find out. Now, what is the requirement? Well, it’s all by case law because there is no statute. The policy that you have says you gotta do it timely. What does “timely” mean? It depends on what the courts have said “timely” means. And the standard here in Georgia, the smallest I’ve seen is 90 days where there has been an insured who did not reach out and tell their own insurance company that they had been hit by somebody for more than 90 days after the wreck. And the court kicked out their claim saying, “Yeah, your insurance will not cover you because you violated your policy. You did not give them timely notice of the wreck.” So I always tell people within days, you need to get to your insurance company and let them know that you were in this wreck, your car has been damaged and you have been injured. Yes, you may be dealing only with at-fault, long-term, but that way, you got them on notice, you’ve met that 90-day statute, and therefore, you’re not gonna lose your rights in the future should you need to use your insurance company. So, very, very important there.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment to this video. If you’ve got a potential case that you would like to see if our firm can handle, you can go to our website, we have a contact form there, that’s spauldinginjurylaw.com, or give me a phone call. I got two phone numbers for you, 770-744-0780 and 470-695-9950. Thanks so much for watching this video.

Theodore Spaulding, attorney

For over 15 years, Mr. Spaulding has helped victims of negligence across the state of Georgia resolve personal injury disputes, and he’s received a remarkable number of awards and honors from the legal community recognizing his commitment to clients and to the metro-Atlanta area.

As an undergraduate, Mr. Spaulding belonged to the Phi Beta Kappa honors fraternity at the University of Georgia, and he obtained his legal training at the Georgia State College of Law, where he clerked for the Honorable Judge Rowland Barnes of the Fulton County Superior Court. Mr. Spaulding has also worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Atlanta Enforcement Division. Since 2005, he has dedicated his career to helping the injured victims of negligence and their loved ones win justice in Georgia’s personal injury courts.