Each year, hundreds of people are injured in car accidents on Augusta roads. If you are involved in one of these collisions, you may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim against the at-fault driver. In these situations, however, it is important to act quickly—failure to file your car accident claim by the appropriate deadline could prevent you from recovering compensation for your collision-related damages.
Legal Options for Car Accident Victims
Georgia is a fault-based accident state, meaning that drivers who are responsible for collisions must pay for their victims’ damages. The state requires all motorists to hold certain amounts of liability coverage to pay for these damages. As a result, you typically have three pathways to compensation after a car accident.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia civil court
Filing an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s policy
Filing an insurance claim under your own policy if you have the appropriate coverage
Each process comes with a different set of steps and guidelines. Most car accident claims begin in the insurance stage and progress to a lawsuit if the claims process is unsuccessful. However, there are certain situations where filing a lawsuit may be in your best interest.
How Long Do You Have to File an Insurance Claim?
Insurance companies are responsible for setting their own deadlines for filing a claim. Depending on your company, you may have as little as 24 hours to initiate your case. In some policies, the company may say that you need to file your claim promptly and do not have a specific deadline. For this reason, it is important to speak to a car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident to discuss your case. Your lawyer will understand the requirements for common Georgia insurers and the necessary steps to initiate the claim, helping you meet the appropriate filing deadline.
The Statute of Limitations in Georgia
When filing a car accident lawsuit, time is a very important factor. A law known as the statute of limitations establishes a deadline for filing a lawsuit in Georgia civil court. If you do not file your claim within the appropriate time period, the court will likely dismiss your case—preventing you from recovering the compensation you deserve.
In Georgia, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury claim. If you want to file a lawsuit over vehicle damage sustained in the accident, you have four years from the date of the collision. There are exceptions to these limits, but they are not common in car accident cases. To determine your appropriate filing deadline, speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Speak to a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer As Soon As Possible
If you are injured in an Augusta car accident, it is important to act quickly. Failure to file your claim in time could prevent you from securing the compensation you need to recover. In these situations, it is important to consult with an Augusta, Georgia car accident attorney.
At your initial consultation, our attorney will evaluate the facts surrounding your accident and help you identify your optimal path to compensation. Once he or she identifies the appropriate course of action, your lawyer will take the first steps to file your claim—helping you meet the appropriate statute of limitations. After you seek medical attention, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and legal options.