The aftermath of an auto accident can be overwhelming. Victims often find themselves in a difficult financial situation, from medical bills to property damage. Furthermore, you have to face the tedious task of processing insurance claims.
One of the most crucial things you must note after a car accident is that there is a statute of limitations on how long you can request personal injury claims. Most states give people two years to file for claims, but this may also change depending on the claim type. Continue reading our brief guide today to learn more.
Statute Of Limitation On Car Accident Claims
It is important to understand that many jurisdictions have strict time limits for filing a car accident claim. Here is some useful information on statutes of limitation depending on the type of claim.
Car Accident Injury Claims
When it comes to personal injury claims arising from car accidents, the statute of limitations varies from state to state. Generally speaking, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim for a car accident is two to three years. However, it may be up to five or six years in some states.
Because of this, it is important to check with your local laws to determine the statute of limitations in your state.
Defective Vehicle Injury Claims
If you were injured due to a defect in a car, truck, or another type of vehicle, you might be able to file a claim against the manufacturer. These injury claims are known as product liability claims and typically have a longer statute of limitations than car accident injury claims.
In most states, the statute of limitations for product liability claims is two to four years from the date of the accident.
Claims Against A Government Entity
If you were injured in an accident involving a government entity, such as a police car or a government-owned vehicle, you might be able to file a claim against the government. However, it would help if you acted quickly.
The statute of limitations for claims against a government entity is much shorter than the statute of limitations for other car accident claims. In most states, the statute of limitations for claims against a government entity is only six months from the date of the accident.
Wrongful Death Car Accident Claims
If a family member has been killed in a car accident, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim. The statute of limitations for wrongful death car accident claims is typically two years from the date of death, but this time frame can vary from state to state.
What Happens If You Delay Filing A Claim?
If you have been injured in a car accident and are considering filing a personal injury claim, it is important to understand the possible consequences.
First, any delay in filing a claim may reduce your compensation. Insurance companies typically pay out claims based on the evidence available when the claim is filed. If you delay filing, the insurance company may argue that evidence has deteriorated or been lost, resulting in a lower settlement amount.
Also, delaying filing a claim can result in entirely denying the claim. Insurance companies may argue that you are not taking the claim seriously if you wait to file. They may also say that the accident occurred too long ago and that the evidence is no longer available to prove your case.
Finally, delaying filing a claim can also affect your ability to recover damages from pain and suffering. Insurance companies typically base their pain and suffering calculations on time between the accident and the claim filing. The longer the delay, the lower the potential compensation you may receive for pain and suffering.
Why Won't A Lawyer Take A Personal Injury Case?
Unfortunately, not all lawyers are willing to take on personal injury cases. This can be frustrating for many people who have suffered an injury, but understanding why a lawyer may not take on a personal injury case can help make the process smoother.
A lawyer may only take a personal injury case if the case is simple for them. When a lawyer is not familiar with the legal intricacies of a particular case, they may be unwilling to take it on.
Also, they may only take a personal injury case if they believe the chances of winning are high. Lawyers are in the business of winning cases and want to maximize their chances of success. If they believe the chances of winning the case are slim, they may choose not to take it.
In addition, some lawyers may choose not to take a personal injury case if they believe that the costs of pursuing the case are too high. If a lawyer believes that the costs of pursuing the case are too high relative to the likely outcome, they may choose not to take it.
Filing An Auto Damage Claim With Another Insurance Company
Filing an insurance claim for damages is one of the first things you must do after an accident. You can submit a claim to your insurance company if you have coverage or what is commonly called first-party claims.
However, you may file with the driver's insurance company, known as a third-party claim. First-party and third-party claims vary in requirements and processes. So, make sure to do thorough research and contact legal experts before you start the claims process.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you want to learn more about car accident claims and statutes of limitation, check out the answers to the most asked questions below.
After an injury-causing event, most insurers believe it's sensible to obtain medical care within 48 to 72 hours.
New Jersey law doesn't specify a particular amount of time a person must notify law enforcement about an accident. They encourage using the "quickest means of communication available," but written reports must be filed within ten days.
Most whiplash injuries heal within six to nine months of the accident. However, chronic whiplash may take years to heal fully. With these considerations, people have up to four years to file a claim to recover damages from whiplash after a car accident.
Auto insurance policies do not usually cover pre-existing damages. However, health insurance companies can't refuse or charge more due to pre-existing conditions or old injuries.
In most cases, injuries after car accidents manifest immediately. However, there is undetectable damage that appears weeks or months after a car crash, like cognitive issues, abdominal pain, or organ damage.
Depending on the type of accident and the severity of the injuries sustained, the amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim can vary from state to state. It is important to understand the statute of limitations in your state to ensure that you take advantage of the time frame for filing a claim.
A personal injury lawyer can help you understand the relevant laws and make sure your claim is filed promptly. Check out the Disability Help guide to finding a good personal injury lawyer.