How Long You Have to File a Car Accident Claim

 

Filing a claim after a car accident can be essential in getting your life back on track and paying off bills for damages. Most people can’t afford to pay for medical treatments and repairs for damages, which is where insurance comes into play. Depending on your insurance policy and who was at fault for the crash, you may be able to get compensated for your losses. What many people don’t realize is that there are time limits on when you can file a claim, and while you may need time to process your situation, you can’t wait forever.

Average Times

A statute of limitations means that there is a deadline for when you must file your claim by. That deadline usually begins as soon as the accident happens. Every state has its own statute of limitations ranging from one to six years, but most fall around the two-year mark. Check your state laws shortly following the accident so that you know exactly when you have to file your claim by.

Why It Matters

Failing to file a claim by the deadline means missing out entirely on any compensation you might have been entitled to. There may be plenty of things to occupy your time after an accident, but you should make sure they don’t prevent you from filing your claim on time. Waiting can make it look like you don’t take the accident seriously or that your injury and the accident aren’t actually linked. Insurance companies will use every excuse to avoid paying out compensation, so minimizing the risk of doubt is essential in getting your full claim. Some accidents are also exceptions to the rule and may need to be filed even sooner than a normal accident.

What to Consider Before Filing

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t file right away, however, especially when it comes to claims involving injuries. Sometimes injuries don’t appear right away. If you file a claim before allowing enough time for all injuries to emerge, you may be unable to claim costs for injuries that are clearly linked to the accident later.

Navigating insurance company policies and state laws can be tricky to untrained eyes. Consulting with a car accident lawyer, like from Ward & Ward Law Firm, before filing can ensure you’ve covered every detail and that you’re prepared with evidence for your claim. A lawyer can take some of the tension off your own shoulders and successfully push your case forward.