How Long After a Car Accident Can You Claim Injury?

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A man rubs his neck because he is injured after a car accident.

One of the most frequently received questions regarding personal injury and automobile accident claims is, “how long after a car accident can I make a claim?”  However, the answer to this question is not one size fits all. In the following article, you will discover more about claim time restrictions, known as the statute of limitations, and how they may affect you as an accident victim.

How Long After a Car Accident Can You Claim Injury?

In 2018, more than 4.5 million drivers and vehicle passengers sought medical treatment to address injuries resulting from a car collision. Though many drivers receive fair compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company, other victims were not as lucky. Instead, they were forced to bear their recovery expenses independently with minimal insurance help. Sadly, this happens as individuals do not understand the best procedures to take after being involved in a car collision. In addition, there are deadlines that a victim must follow to get the compensation they deserve. So, how long after a car accident can you claim an injury? Find what you need to know below.

Car Crash Claim & Time Limitations

The statute of limitations is a deadline imposed by your state of residence to file a claim. This time limit will vary from state to state and on the accident type and extenuating circumstances, such as the victim being a minor. When looking to find how long you have to file a claim after an auto collision, you must understand the statute of limitations for the state in which you reside.  Speaking with an experienced car accident attorney can assist you with understanding the nuances of your case and what next steps to take. As the process includes many steps and details, such as receiving a medical evaluation, filing insurance claims, and gathering evidence, it is essential to know the proper procedure to file an auto collision lawsuit.

Injuries From Car Accidents

In the event that you are injured from a car collision, making a claim sooner is better than later. Waiting several months to claim after your accident can seriously hinder your claim and credibility. After being involved in an auto collision, you should be checked out by a doctor even if you do not feel hurt initially. Seeking medical care after an accident will put you in a better position down the road should injuries arise and you would like to file a claim.

Even if you see a medical professional after the accident, there is still a time limit in which you will need to file your claim, which will vary from state to state. It is crucial to remember that insurance companies will frequently try to pay you the bare minimum to compensate you for your damages. Therefore, if you file a claim after your state’s statute of limitations, the insurer will likely not be obligated to pay you for your losses. An experienced personal injury attorney can assist you in navigating the claims procedure and understanding your state’s statute of limitations and any special circumstances that may apply to your case.

After an accident, if the other driver is at fault, you will likely be filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Some insurers will urge victims to file a claim immediately following the accident. Following a collision, the best thing to do is receive a medical evaluation immediately, even if your injuries are not severe. You may use your diagnosis to petition the other drivers’ insurance company for a larger settlement when you file a claim. Some injuries may not be apparent directly following the shock of an accident and may take weeks or months for problems to make themselves present. Pay attention to your body as it heals over time. If you notice any worsening symptoms, contact your personal injury car collision attorney to let them know what is going on. Even if the collision occurred months ago, they would be able to assist you with taking the best next steps to help you get the compensation you need to recover fully.

How Long After a Car Accident Can You Claim Injury and Sue?

You will be free to file a claim up to two years (outside of some extenuating circumstances) after the date of your accident. If you do not file a claim within your state’s designated timeframe, known as the statute of limitations, you will not be able to legally sue the other driver, even if you are severely injured. Even if the full extent of your injuries is not found for months after the accident, as long as you initiate the lawsuit and file a claim against the at-fault driver within the time period defined by the statute of limitations, you will be in good shape.

When in Doubt, Consult With a Car Accident Lawyer

After a car accident, it is always a good idea to schedule a consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer, even if you are not sure if your case warrants the help of an attorney. Keep in mind that a personal injury lawyer can review the specifics of your case and the settlement the other party’s insurance company offers you to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. In addition, a personal injury attorney can help you decide how to proceed and may be able to represent your case and negotiate with the insurers on your behalf. This will open up your time, allowing you to focus on your healing and recovery and not spend hours speaking to insurance representatives trying to pay as little as possible for your pain and suffering.

Contact the law offices of Tatum & Atkinson “The Heavy Hitters” today at (800) 529-0804 or contact us online to set up your free consultation. We have decades of collective experience defending car accident injury victims to get the justice they deserve.