How Long Does it Take to Get An Insurance Check After a Georgia Car Accident?

Key Points:

  • You must notify all insurance companies for all drivers involved in the collision.
  • Property or vehicle damage claims are usually settled and paid within days or weeks.
  • Personal injury claims are usually paid only after you complete medical care.

A common question we are asked is how long does or should it take to get payment or a check from an insurance company after a car accident in the State of Georgia? The answer to this depends on what happened in the collision and the type of damages or compensation you are asking for.

First things first: What are the steps involved in getting a check from an insurance company?

Whether you hit someone else or your car was hit by another driver, the first thing you should do (after making sure you are OK or getting medical care) is to report the accident to your own automobile insurance company and the insurance company of the driver or drivers who hit you or involved in the wreck.

If you fail to report an accident to your own car insurance, you could be in violation of the terms of your policy and you could lose coverage. When you report the claim to your own insurance company, this does not automatically mean that your insurance rates will increase. In fact, in Georgia it is illegal for a motor vehicle insurer to raise your rates for a crash that was not your fault.
After you report the accident to the insurance companies, claims files will be opened and the insurance companies will begin to process and investigate the claims.

If you are injured, you should report to the insurance companies that you were hurt, and how badly. As car accident attorneys, we recommend that you let your attorney do this bodily injury reporting for you, because we believe it is usually a bad idea to speak directly to the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster unless you are represented by an attorney. You should never settle an injury claim without knowing the full extent of your injuries, the full extent of your recovery and without knowing what injury claims similar to yours are valued at.

How long does it take to get an insurance pay out for or cover property damage?

After the accident it is common for each of the insurance companies to send out property damage (vehicle) adjusters to look at or appraise the damage to your car. If there is no dispute as to who was at fault, the adjuster for the at-fault driver (keep in mind, this could be you) may direct you to take the car to a repair shop. This inspection should take place within days of the collision. If it does not, you should be on the phone with the adjuster or a supervisor, pushing for action. If the car is repaired in a shop, the insurance company will usually send payment directly to the repair facility.

If you do not want your car repaired at a body shop or garage, you do have the option of requesting payment be sent to you. Most often a check will be sent within a few days after the inspection. Keep in mind, however, that if you have damage to a safety-feature on your car such as a headlight, tail light, turn signal, or a windshield, in Georgia you could receive a ticket for defective equipment. It is never a good idea to drive around in a vehicle that has serious internal or external damage.

If there is a dispute about who is at-fault in causing the collision, expect it to take much longer before the “other” driver’s insurance company agrees to pay. When this happens, most likely you will need to run the claim through your own insurance company, pay a deductible, and wait for your deductible to be reimbursed at some point in the future. This could take days, weeks, or months while the insurance companies determine who is going to be responsible in the end.

How long does it take to get a check when a car, SUV or Pick-Up Truck is a total loss?

After any accident with damage, adjusters or appraisers for all involved vehicles will normally examine the vehicle. If they determine that the vehicle is totaled, usually this means when the cost to repair is greater than the market value, you should expect an offer from the insurance company within a few days. In Georgia, once you accept a payment offer for a totaled vehicle, you should expect to receive a check within a few days. Keep in mind that if the at-fault driver’s insurance company has been paying for a rental car, they will no longer be required to pay for your rental after a settlement offer has been accepted, therefore, you will need to begin shopping for a new or used car immediately.

In our experience, the usual time it takes to receive payment for a total loss is in the range of two or three days up to two weeks.

How long does it take to get compensation for a Georgia car accident injury?

The answer to this question usually depends on two main things: First, is there a dispute about who was at fault? Secondly, how badly hurt are you?
In many cases, it is clear who was at fault – often one driver admits that he or she caused the accident. If there is no dispute, many injury claims are settled or paid by the insurance company after your medical care is complete or the full extent of your injuries are known, past medical bills are complete or it is reasonably clear how much future medical care and billing you are likely to receive. In clear-cut cases (known as clear liability) settlements are normally worked out in two to three months after you are released from medical care.

If there is a dispute about who was at fault, an injury case may take much longer or settle for a lower value. If you or your lawyer and the at-fault insurance company cannot agree on who was at fault, it may be possible to settle the case, but you may have to take a discount from what the ideal settlement would be. On the other hand, if no agreement about fault is reached – this usually means you are being blamed for being partly or entirely at fault – a lawsuit may be needed before you are able to recover compensation for your injury.

Some lawsuits settle shortly after the case is filed, because the insurance company has a change-of-heart or wanted to test whether you were actually willing to file the case. Many more lawsuits settle after 6 to 12 months of litigation. If the case does not settle, in Georgia, most car accident lawsuits take between one and two years to reach trial after suit is filed.

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