In a personal injury case where the defendant cannot be found can insurance agent accept service for defendant?

Asked over 1 year ago - Atlanta, GA

Please provide case law or statute.

Attorney answers (9)

  1. Michael R Crosner

    Contributor Level 20

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Need to consult with a local personal injury attorney - they can advise you how to attempt sub service; publish etc; etc. depending on the law in GA.

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney .... more
  2. Jennifer M. Daniels

    Contributor Level 10

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, he can't. O.C.G.A. 9-11-4 is one statute addressing service of process in Georgia and there is no authority for an insurance adjuster acting as the defendant's agent for purposes of service of process. There are things that can be done to potentially get around personal service, like service by publication, but it's a tricky area that even lawyers make mistakes in sometimes. Contact a personal injury lawyer today. www.jdanielslaw.com

  3. Jesse Cole Kent

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No. If you can't serve he defendant you have no case. An experienced personal injury lawyer should be able to help you. I'm curious why you're filing suit. Has your claim been denied? Has liability been established? If you're trying to save money by doing this on your own you're going to end up waiting more money and probably ruining your case. Hire a personal injury lawyer.

  4. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Publication is another option.

  5. Daniel Nelson Deasy

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Probably not -- unless the agent has authorization to do so.

    This issue is litigated in states all over the country. Sit down with an attorney in the jurisdiction where you sued this fellow and explore the service options.

    I wish you luck!

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship.... more
  6. Joseph A. Mulherin III

    Contributor Level 2

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . unfortunately, no. An attorney can help you find the defendant and serve them personally which is the best bet.

  7. John K Lassen

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No.

    John Lassen 1-877-252-4630
  8. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.

    It appears you do not have an attorney and are out of your depth. There is a good chance that there is a statute in your State which provides for substitute service of process on a state official, such as the Secretary of State, for any people involved in auto accidents within the state. Service cannot be perfected on an insurance agent. You should discuss this with your attorney, who certainly knows how to perfect service on an elusive defendant.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
  9. Stacy E Pepper

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I'm not licensed in GA, but my first thoughts are that the insurance company has no duty to defend until suit is filed, and generally service of process is controlled by statute. You may need to hire a private investigator to locate this defendant.

    Attorney Stacy E. Pepper is licensed in all State and Federal Courts in Mississippi. He is a founding Partner in... more
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