The Importance of Providing Notice to Georgia Insurance Companies

As if dealing with a Georgia car accident isn’t stressful enough, managing the hurdles that come with being hit by an uninsured driver can bring on a massive headache of its own accord. Compensation may be available for your injuries, assuming you have uninsured motorist coverage on your car insurance policy. However, every insurance provider has specific rules governing what information you must provide and when it must be provided. When you are unfamiliar with your policy’s requirements and terms, the chances of noncompliance increase, potentially jeopardizing your claim.

In a recent Court of Appeals of Georgia decision, the court considered whether the plaintiff gave sufficient notice of an uninsured motorist claim to her insurance company. Evidently, the plaintiff was driving her employer’s car and was injured after being rear-ended by another vehicle while stopped at an intersection. Following the accident, the plaintiff returned to her workplace, picked up her own car, and went straight to the doctor’s office. Following an examination and x-ray from her doctor, she was told that she had whiplash. She had surgery on her neck two years after the accident.

At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was insured under an insurance policy written by the defendant that included uninsured motorist coverage. In the event of a claim under the uninsured motor vehicle coverage, the policyholder was required to notify the provider with all details as reasonably soon as possible after being examined and treated for an injury. In a letter to the insurance company, the plaintiff’s lawyer did not include any details of the plaintiff’s injuries, treatment, or medical expenses. Although this letter was sent to the insurance company shortly after the accident, the plaintiff did not file a suit for damages from the collision until two years later. The trial court determined that the plaintiff did not give notice to the defendant of her claim because it lacked details about the injury, treatment, and other required information. The plaintiff appealed.

On appeal, the court affirmed the lower court’s decision, siding with the insurance provider. Because the plaintiff’s policy required that she provide notice of her claim “as soon as reasonably possible after the injured is first examined or treated for injury,” with details of the accident and that “legal action may not be brought until there has been full compliance,” the court determined that the plaintiff did not give sufficient notice. In addition to lacking the relevant details necessary, waiting until more than 22 months after the accident to provide notice, the court reasoned, was unexcused and unreasonable.

Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney in Georgia?

If you or someone you know has recently been involved in a Georgia car accident with an uninsured motorist or is experiencing difficulties with another type of insurance company, contact the attorneys at McAleer Law. The lawyers at our law firm have extensive experience serving clients on all sorts of personal injury and insurance-related claims, and will work tirelessly on your behalf to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office at 404-622-5337 today.

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