If you find yourself in a car accident in Georgia, it is likely that you will eventually have to communicate with an insurance adjuster. The adjuster is responsible for carefully examining the specific details of the accident and determining how your insurance policy will cover your claim or a claim made by the other party.
When communicating with insurance adjusters, it is essential to keep in mind that they are not your advocates, no matter how friendly and supportive they might seem. Their primary goal is to reduce the amount their employer pays out on your claim. To avoid being taken aback, it is best to go over the details of your accident with our lawyers, who can assist you in anticipating the commonly asked questions by adjusters. If negotiations do not go smoothly, and if you are not offered a fair settlement that compensates for your losses, you might pursue a car accident lawsuit.
Call Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357 for a free review of your case with our Georgia car accident attorneys.
Ways to Deal with Insurance Adjusters After a Car Accident in Georgia
If you have been involved in an accident and have suffered injuries, you might need to communicate with an adjuster from your personal injury protection insurance or the insurance company of the negligent driver in order to receive compensation. These conversations can be difficult, especially if you are unprepared, as the adjuster might attempt to offer you a settlement that is much less than what you are entitled to or even reject your claim altogether. It is essential to be well-prepared for these conversations to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries. The following are a few tips on how to deal with an insurance adjuster after a car accident in Georgia:
Do Not Give a Recorded Statement
It is important to be cautious when an insurance company requests a recorded statement after a car accident. What you say during the statement can be used against you if you disclose sensitive information or use inaccurate language. This can negatively impact your case, so it is important to be aware of what you say and to be truthful in your statement.
It is important to exercise caution when making statements that could be used as evidence against you in different ways. Our Georgia personal injury attorneys can work on your behalf so that you are not compelled to speak against your interests. Thus, it is best to avoid giving a recorded statement unless your attorney is present. Insurance adjusters often use this tactic to try and use your words against you later by claiming that you are not as injured as you claim to be.
Do Not Settle Your Claim without Speaking to an Attorney
When an insurance adjuster contacts you, they usually want you to settle quickly and for the lowest amount possible. Their initial offer is often at the bottom rung of the negotiation ladder. However, you do not have to accept the first offer. It is advisable to make a higher counteroffer, even though the adjuster might not entertain it and decide to take the case to court.
In some cases, the adjuster might present another slightly higher offer. You could continue negotiating in this manner but do not settle for an offer that is less than what your claim is worth. It is essential to talk to your attorney about the actual value of your claim so you can make informed decisions during the negotiation process.
Provide Evidence of Your Accident and Injuries
If you are able to, take pictures of the accident scene. Witnesses and police officers might also take pictures that can help determine who is at fault. These pictures will be useful when discussing a settlement amount, as they can help determine the value of your claim. You should take pictures of your car, any injuries, property damage, and any damage to the other car involved. These pictures can provide evidence of what happened in case the other party makes a false statement. This could help your claim and be awarded the settlement amount you want.
Review and Know Your Insurance Policy and Coverage Limits
If you have collision coverage included in your auto insurance policy, it is recommended that you file a claim with your own insurance company to repair your car first and address other issues later. Your insurance company will gather information about the accident and recommend a mechanic to fix your vehicle. Once you pay the deductible and it is determined that you are not at fault for the accident, you will usually receive the deductible back.
However, if you choose to wait for the other party’s insurance company to make a decision, you might have to wait for a month or even longer to get your car fixed. Additionally, you might not have a car to drive during that period if the insurance company does not provide coverage for a rental car.
Send Medical Billing to Your Insurance Provider
When you file a claim for car accident insurance, you might need to submit your medical bills. You can obtain a bill from your doctor and pass it on to the insurance adjuster or your attorney. However, this approach can slow down the process and cause unnecessary delays.
To expedite the processing of your claim, you can ask your doctor to bill the insurance company directly. Some doctors might be hesitant to do so, fearing that they might not receive payment. However, if your case goes to court, your doctor is likely to receive more money than they would have if they had simply sent you the bill and let you handle the rest.
Remember that if you choose not to send bills directly to the insurance, any difference between the amount you receive in the settlement and the bill amount should be refunded to you and not your doctor.
Speak with Our Firm
If you are considering speaking with the insurance adjuster of the other party involved in the accident, it is best to have your attorney present during the conversation. Our team is always available to guide you on how best to approach dealing with insurance adjusters. Additionally, we can offer you valuable advice on which questions to answer now and which ones to avoid answering until you go to court, ensuring that your legal rights are protected.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Georgia if I Do Not Settle with My Insurance?
Each state has a specific time limit for filing a lawsuit in case of injuries sustained from a car accident in the event they are not able to settle their insurance claim. In Georgia, O.G.C.A. § 9-3-33 stipulates that car accident victims have two years from the date of their accident to file their lawsuit against a negligent driver. This time limit might seem sufficient, but it is crucial to note that gathering evidence can be time-consuming, leaving you with limited time to file the lawsuit.
Understand that the statute of limitations is a strict rule that the court is reluctant to disregard. In the event that the lawsuit is not filed within the specified time, the defendant might request the court to dismiss the case. The court will have no option but to grant the request unless the case falls under one of the rare exceptions to the rule.
Our Georgia Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
For a free assessment of your case with our Atlanta car accident lawyers, contact Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 today.