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First-Party Claims

First-Party Claims

When a person who is injured in any kind of automobile wreck in Georgia has to file an insurance claimwith his or her own insurer, it is referred to as a first-party claim. First-party insurance claims are contractual in nature and can vary in coverage depending on the specific language of a person’s policy.

A first-party insurance claim can have several advantages for a person injured in an Atlanta motor vehicle crash, such as having benefits delivered much more promptly than third-party claims. In some cases, however, first-party claims can be unreasonably delayed or even denied, and policyholders can be left struggling to agree on a satisfactory settlement.

Attorney for First-Party Claims in Atlanta, GA

If you sustained catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed in any kind of motor vehicle crash in Georgia, and you need assistance filing a claim with your own insurer, it is in your best interest to contact Marcus A. Roberts & Associates as soon as possible. Atlanta personal injury lawyer Marcus A. Roberts can fight to get you fair and full compensation if your insurance company has denied or underpaid your claim.

Marcus A. Roberts & Associates represents residents of and visitors to communities all over Clayton County, DeKalb County, Cobb County, Gwinnett County, and Fulton County. Call 404-577-4444 right now to have our attorney review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.

Fulton County First-Party Claims Information Center

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Filing First-Party Claims in Georgia

Many insurance policies require policyholders to file reports within 24 hours of accidents. After a policyholder contacts an insurer and informs the insurance company of the nature of the accident and the injuries it caused, the insurer will usually assign a claims adjuster to the case who will then conduct an investigation.

If you are injured in any kind of automobile accident in the Atlanta area, it is highly recommended that you seek legal representation before making any kind of recorded statement to the insurer or adjuster. Insurance companies will use the statements of policyholders against them if it will allow the insurers to legally justify lower compensation payouts.

People can send demand letters that state the specific amount of compensation expected to their insurers after the liability investigation and all medical treatment have concluded. The insurance company will either:

  • Offer to pay the full amount of compensation sought in the demand letter;
  • Offer to pay an amount of compensation less than what was sought in the demand letter; or
  • Deny the claim entirely.

People can always attempt to negotiate with insurers or claims adjusters, but a personal injury lawyer will have experience with such negotiations and also be able to file a lawsuit if necessary.

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Appraisal Clauses in Atlanta First-Party Claims

An appraisal clause is usually a paragraph that is found in many insurance policies that provides an alternative way of reaching a settlement when there is a dispute over the amount of a loss between a policyholder and the insurance company. Either party can invoke the appraisal clause when there is a dispute over such damages as diminished value claims, the cost to repair a vehicle, or the value of a vehicle when there is a total loss claim.

When the appraisal clause is invoked, both the policyholder and the insurer will hire competent appraisers—at their own cost—to assess the loss. Both appraisers independently appraise the loss and then discuss their findings to attempt to reach a mutually agreeable amount of loss.

If the two appraisers cannot arrive at a mutually agreeable amount of loss, they will select and agree upon a third party “umpire” appraiser—half paid for by the policyholder and other half paid by the insurance company—who reviews their positions and may further conduct his or her own investigation. Any amount that is agreed upon by any two of the three appraisers becomes final and binding on all parties.

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Georgia Resources for First-Party Claims

Recovery of Diminished Value in First Party Property | American Bar Association (ABA) — The ABA is a voluntary bar association with the mission “To serve equally our members, our profession and the public by defending liberty and delivering justice as the national representative of the legal profession.” View the full text of a paper presented at the ABA’s Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Seminar in 2013. The paper is “a general discussion of the issues addressed herein from both policyholder and insurer perspectives.”

McCall v. Allstate Insurance Company, 310 S.E.2d 513, 514 (1984) — Armatha McCall was involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist and filed suit against the uninsured motorist. Allstate Insurance Company, McCall’s insurer, defended the suit on behalf of the uninsured motorist. McCall demanded $9,000 from Allstate for injuries sustained in the collision, but Allstate rejected the demand and made a counteroffer of $5,000. The case against the uninsured motorist ultimately went to trial and resulted in a verdict in favor of McCall for $55,000. After rejecting Allstate’s tender, McCall filed an instant suit alleging bad faith in Allstate’s failure to settle the claim prior to suit. The trial court denied Allstate’s motion for summary judgment, but the Court of Appeals reversed and the Supreme Court of Georgia affirmed the Court of Appeals decision. Citing Francis v. Newton, 75 Ga. App. 341, 343 (43 SE2d 282) (1947), the Supreme Court did establish that an “automobile liability insurance company may be liable for damages to its insured for failing to adjust or compromise the claim of a person injured by the insured and covered by its liability policy, where the insurer is guilty of negligence or of fraud or bad faith in failing to adjust or compromise the claim to the injury of the insured.” In a specific case like McCall’s, however, where the insurer is “defending against the claims of the insured under the uninsured motorist provisions of the policy, the insurer is not under a duty to protect the interests of the insured because the insured has no exposure for liability.”

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Marcus A. Roberts & Associates | Atlanta First-Party Claims Lawyer

Do you need help filing a first-party insurance claim relating to an automobile accident that caused you to suffer serious injuries or killed your loved one? You should avoid making any statements to your insurer until you have legal counsel. Contact Marcus A. Roberts & Associates today.

Marcus A. Roberts is an experienced personal injury attorney in Atlanta who helps people throughout Gwinnett County, DeKalb County, Clayton County, Cobb County, and Fulton County. Call 404-577-4444 or complete an online contact form to have our lawyer provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, no obligation consultation.

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