Savannah, GA asked in Car Accidents for Georgia

Q: What are my options when the insurance adjuster can't get in touch with their policy holder?

My car was totaled in an accident that the policy holders car was involved in. The other driver was given a citation for failure to yield. I didn't receive any citations. The adjuster states that he needs to speak with the policy holder who wss not the driver at the time of the accident before he can settle the claim.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Mitchell Feldman
Mitchell Feldman
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • TAMPA, FL
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Your best option is to retain a lawyer to help you. I don't think its in your best interest to negotiate on your own. Secondly, you can just have your own insurance company pay the damage and they will subrogate or go after the other driver if your car is totaled and you need the funds to obtain a new vehicle. However, your insurance company will need to inspect.

If totaled, it would seem possible there are some injuries. Thus, if there is any chance you had an injury, again, immediately seek legal assistance with a lawyer.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: If after a reasonable time, the policyholder has not eventually been reached, you could consult with an attorney to outline your options here.

Tim Akpinar

Jeb Butler
Jeb Butler
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Georgia has a law that might be helpful. It's O.C.G.A. § 33-7-15(c)—you can Google it.

Insurance companies use a whole list of excuses to avoid paying claims, or to pay claims off for less than they should. This excuse is a common one. Of course it's not your fault that the at-fault driver won't call his insurance company, but the adjuster wants to pretend like it's your problem. It isn't.

Our law firm ends up filing most of the cases that we handle because we usually find that the insurance won't pay the full value of the claim until then. When you file the case, the documents that begin the case—the Complaint and Summons—will need to be served on the at-fault driver by a sheriff's deputy or process server. If you are dealing with an at-fault driver who won't call his own insurance company, the chances are high that he won't forward those documents to the insurance company like he should.

Under O.C.G.A. § 33-7-15(c), you can send a copy of those documents to the insurance company yourself, by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, within 10 days of filing them with the Court. If you do that, then under the law, the insurance company can't deny coverage by claiming that the at-fault driver didn't forward the documents.

Dealing with non-cooperative at-fault drivers is a pain—first they cause a wreck, then they refuse to admit it. I hope O.C.G.A. § 33-7-15(c) is helpful.

Justin T. Jones agrees with this answer

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