How long you have to file a motorcycle injury claim in Georgia will depend on the details of the liable party’s insurance policy. Most insurers want to be notified of a collision as soon as possible after it happens. However, the specific deadline for filing a claim is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Filing a lawsuit is another matter. You generally have two years from the date of your accident to do this, per O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. Essentially, if you want to pursue compensation after getting hurt, taking prompt legal action could protect your rights. Failing to file your claim or lawsuit within the appropriate deadline could forfeit your right to seek financial recovery.
Exceptions to the Civil Statute of Limitations
The state acknowledges that some motorcycle accidents involve unique circumstances that could make it difficult to file within the two-year timeline. For that reason, there are exceptions to the state’s statute of limitations.
You could be granted more time beyond the standard two-year filing limit if:
- You were a minor at the time of the accident.
- You were deemed “legally incompetent” because of a mental illness or cognitive disability.
An Atlanta personal injury lawyer from our firm can review the details of your case to determine how the state’s statute of limitations affects your situation. We can advise you on what measures could help you.
For a free legal consultation, call 404-214-2001
The Difference Between Insurance Claims and Lawsuits
Many people use the terms “claims” and “lawsuits” interchangeably. However, they do not mean the same thing.
- Is filed with an insurance company
- Does not involve going to court
- Is handled by a claims adjuster
- Awards you money based on the liable insurance policy
A lawsuit, however, is:
- Filed in civil court
- Heard by a judge and jury
- Subject to the state’s statute of limitations
Most motorcycle accident cases are resolved through insurance settlements, as explained by the American Bar Association (ABA). This means that you will likely not have to file a lawsuit in order to recover compensation.
Understanding How the Claims Process Works
To start the claims process, you will first file a claim with the liable insurer. In your case, this would likely be the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier.
Depending on your situation, it may:
- Agree to resolve your claim on your terms
- Present a counteroffer
- Deny your claim
Just because the insurer denies or undervalues your claim does not mean that you are out of options. You could negotiate a settlement. If that does not work, then you could file a lawsuit against the negligent party and pursue compensation in court.
Understanding How Litigation Unfolds
As noted, you generally have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. This is the timeframe in which you must file your lawsuit, not the time period in which it must be resolved.
Upon filing your case, the following procedures will take place:
- The involved parties’ legal counsel will exchange evidence.
- Both parties will present their cases to a judge.
- Both parties may call upon eyewitnesses and field experts.
- The judge will make a ruling.
Litigation can be expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. While the legal process unfolds in court, you can continue negotiating with the insurer. If you find that it offers a fair settlement even once your case has begun, you can end the litigation process at any time.
How a Lawyer from Our Firm Can Build Your Case
First, our team will decide whether an insurance claim or a lawsuit could resolve your situation. When it comes to filing your claim, we will present the cost of your damages, negotiate a settlement, and use evidence to prove negligence.
When it comes to filing a lawsuit, we will:
- Interview and cross-examine witnesses
- Present decisive evidence, like traffic camera footage and the police report
- Establish the cost of your expenses
- Work with the other party’s legal team
- Manage your case’s filing deadline and paperwork
Our team will also manage your case on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you do not have to pay us anything to get started advocating for your rights. We only get paid once your case is over.
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Call Kaine Law to Talk about Your Case
Ultimately, the details of how long you have to take legal action for a motorcycle accident in Georgia will depend on your situation. However, our team is prepared to do everything in its power to protect your right to seek compensation.
Call Kaine Law today at (404) 214-2001. We can talk about your case for free during your complimentary case review.