Georgia car accident settlement process and timeline
If you’ve been in a car accident in Atlanta that resulted in injuries, it is highly advised that you speak with a professional who is familiar with Atlanta car accident law and can help you identify the next steps towards settling your case. The process of an accident settlement with a car insurance company can seem daunting, but with the help of a car accident lawyer, you can be assured that you are in good hands. Once you have filed your initial claim within 24 hours, the timeline will vary depending on the extent of your injuries, the complexity of your circumstances, and more. Discuss likely timelines with a legal professional. Read about the process of filing and settling a car accident injury settlement below.
1. File a Claim
The first step is to submit a claim for your injuries to the auto insurance company. This is important to do in a timely manner — many insurance companies require that you file a claim within the first 24 hours following the accident.
2. Receive Confirmation
The Insurance company will then respond, confirming that they have received your claim and have opened a case to investigate and settle the issue.
3. Submit Documentation
You will then submit all associated documentation that you intend to collect money from – medical bills, proof of lost wages, property damage, and any other financial burdens you have undertaken as a result of the accident. In addition, you will want to discuss your rights to compensation for pain and suffering with a law office. Pain and suffering is generally a multiplier of the actual financial damages that were incurred, and can be confusing to determine without the help of a legal professional.
4. Receive Initial Offer
Remember, an insurance company’s first job is to pay as little money as possible. As such, they will make you an offer that is highly favorable to their bottom line. Insurance companies will not offer compensation for pain and suffering, and will make it seem as if this offer is the best you will get. This is not the case, and with the help of a professional who is well-versed in car accident laws in Atlanta, you can be confident that this is the beginning of your negotiations.
5. Continue Negotiations
From here, you, your lawyer, and the insurance company will go back and forth discussing negotiations. Your lawyer will know the appropriate courses of action during this negotiation process, and you can rest assured that they are working to win you the maximum settlement amount. Depending on how long the negotiations take, and how responsive the claim adjuster is, this negotiation process can be time-consuming.
6. Finalize Your Settlement
At some point, the insurance company will offer you a final settlement agreement. If you and your lawyer still do not believe that this settlement offer is fair, you may want to discuss filing a suit to pursue the rightful amount. If you believe that the offer is fair, you may sign the agreement and collect your awarded damages. If you choose to continue to pursue compensation, you will move from a settlement process and into a personal injury lawsuit, which is an entirely separate process with an uncertain timeline.