One reason why getting a car crash lawyer is so important after you’ve been in an accident is to understand your legal options. But some of these legal options have time limits on when you can take advantage of them. An attorney is helpful to make sure whatever decisions you make, you make them before any deadlines pass.
Two common deadlines that frequently come up in car accident cases are the statute of limitations and the deadline for filing an insurance claim.
A Car Crash Lawyer Knows the Statutes of Limitations
Statutes of limitations are state-specific laws that place time limits on when certain lawsuits may begin. For example, in Georgia, the statute of limitation for bringing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the injury. This means that as a general rule, if you suffer an injury in a car accident and you wish to sue the responsible party, you have two years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit.
While this sounds straightforward, if special facts make it difficult to determine when the deadline is, it may take an attorney to know when a lawsuit must begin. Then there are situations where the court or defendant will believe a deadline has passed and you’ll need a legal professional to help you argue that it has not.
Filing an Insurance Claim
As a general rule of law, there is no hard and fast deadline for filing an insurance claim following a car accident. Instead, there is the guiding principle of filing a claim as soon as reasonable. But what exactly constitutes as soon as reasonable? It usually means filing a claim as soon as you can and not waiting so long that the insurance company is unable to investigate your claim. In other words, use common sense.
If you were in a car accident, contact your insurance company as soon as you can. Ideally, you’ll contact your insurance company the same day. But due to special circumstances, such as severe injury or hospitalization, it’s understandable if you take several days and even weeks to file the claim. It’s usually okay to wait to file a claim, but only if any information and evidence the insurance company will need are still available once you do file. The problem is that it’s impossible to know exactly what information the insurance company will want. You might think it’s fine to wait a few days, but video recordings could get erased, and memories fade the longer you wait to file an insurance claim.
And if you file a claim where the insurance company believes you waited too long, that doesn’t always mean you did. It’s possible the insurance company is just finding an excuse not to pay your claim, or they are mistaken in believing you filed the claim too late. This is when a car crash lawyer can be particularly helpful to convince the insurance company they are wrong.
If you’ve been in a car accident, you may need the services of a car crash lawyer, even if you don’t intend to file a lawsuit. To speak with a car crash lawyer, contact Williams & Williams, LLC by calling (770) 823-2711.