After a car crash, you might seek compensation for your losses by filing an insurance claim. Filing a car accident claim with Progressive in Georgia requires promptly notifying the insurer about the accident. After receiving notice, the insurer may provide you with forms to fill out and ask for a formal statement.
Many insurers now allow you to file a claim right from your smartphone. You can still call the insurance company or contact them through their website. An Atlanta car accident lawyer can guide you through the claims process and protect your interests.
What Is the Difference Between a First-Party and Third-Party Claim?
The terms “first-party claim” and “third-party claim” refer to the insurance company handling your car accident claim. First-party claims are filed with your own insurance provider, including:
- Optional medical payments (MedPay) benefits claims
- Collision/comprehensive coverage claims
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage claims
Third-party claims refer to the claims you file against the driver who caused the accident or who may have liability for your injuries and losses (such as the owner of the vehicle if someone other than the driver). A third-party claim involves seeking compensation from the at-fault driver’s liability coverage under their auto insurance policy. Georgia motorists must carry liability insurance, with the minimum required policy limits depending on whether the insurance covers a personal automobile or different types of commercial vehicles.
What Information Should I Gather Before Speaking to My Insurer?
Before you notify your insurer about a car accident or file a claim, you should collect certain information to assist you when speaking to an adjuster. This information may include the following:
- The police accident report
- The other driver’s or drivers’ insurance information
- Eyewitness contact information
- Car repair records
- Medical records from the treatment of your accident injuries
- Notes of your recollection of the accident
- A copy of your auto insurance policy
If you already have a car accident attorney, you can also give your insurer your lawyer’s contact information. Your attorney can handle speaking with the insurance company on your behalf so you can focus on your medical recovery.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim with Progressive After an Accident?
The deadline for filing a claim with a car insurance company after an accident can vary depending on the company. Many insurance policies require the policyholder to notify the insurance company of an accident within a certain period after a car accident, usually around 30 days. If you are unsure of the filing deadline, contact a car accident attorney who can review your insurance policy.
Georgia law imposes a deadline for filing a lawsuit after a car accident. Specifically, you have two years to file a lawsuit after a car crash. The court can permanently dismiss a lawsuit filed after the expiration of the statutory deadline. Speak to a lawyer if you think you can file a lawsuit.
How Long Does It Take to Process an Insurance Claim?
Georgia insurance regulations impose standards for the processing of insurance claims. Typically, insurers must acknowledge receipt of a notice of claim and provide any applicable proof of loss forms within 15 days. Insurers then have 15 days after receiving a completed proof of loss form to decide whether to accept or deny the claim. If the insurer does not require proof of loss forms, they have 30 days to investigate the claim. If the insurer approves the claim, they have ten days to make payment.
In practice, processing an insurance claim often takes longer due to multiple factors, such as the severity of your injuries or delays in providing the insurance company with any requested information. Most insurers have internal policies for how long the insurer has to respond to any communications from a claimant.
What Are the Most Common Reasons Claims Are Denied by Insurers?
Some of the most frequent reasons for denials of insurance claims after a car accident include the following:
- The claim lacks sufficient information for the insurer to determine liability
- The insurance company has deemed the claimant partly or solely responsible for the accident
- Both drivers dispute liability for the crash
- The claimant failed to obtain a medical evaluation requested by the insurer
- The claim exceeds the available policy limit
- The policy does not cover the vehicle involved in the accident
- The policy excludes the driver from coverage, such as under a household member exception
- The claimant failed to timely notify the insurance company under the terms of the policy
- Cancellation of the policy due to non-payment of premiums
Pitfalls to Avoid When Speaking to the At-Fault Party’s Insurer
Remember that the at-fault party’s insurer wants to minimize or deny your insurance claim to avoid paying you money. Generally, when speaking with an adjuster from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you should never:
- Admit fault or say things that might suggest you believe you caused the accident.
- Exaggerate or speculate when discussing the accident. If you cannot remember details from the crash, you can say so.
- Provide a recorded or written statement. The adjuster may ask questions designed to get you to make comments the insurance company can later use against you.
- Sign a medical release. The insurer will examine your medical history for any evidence of a prior injury or pre-existing condition it can use to deny liability for injuries you suffered in the car accident, even if that injury was a long time ago or unrelated to your current injuries.
- Accept the first settlement offer. You may not know the full extent of your injuries and losses soon after an accident.
These tips can also help you with a claim with your insurance company. Unfortunately, your insurance company will want to minimize its financial liability to you. It may use the same tactics as the at-fault driver’s insurer to reduce the value of your claim.
How Can an Attorney Help?
An attorney can help you through the insurance claims process by:
- Independently investigating the accident to recover all available evidence
- Interviewing eyewitnesses and obtaining records, such as police crash reports and medical records from your treatment
- Working with accident reconstruction experts, if necessary, to build a persuasive case to show what happened in the crash
- Preparing and timely filing your insurance claims
- Handling communications with the insurance adjusters for you
If you have read this page after suffering injuries in a car accident, we hope you have gotten the medical attention you need to begin the recovery process. We also hope that the information on this page has helped you better understand your rights after a car crash. If you’d like to talk to our car accident attorneys about your legal options, call Butler Kahn or contact us online. There is no upfront charge to speak with us about your claim.