Car accidents can cause a variety of physical and emotional injuries. After a collision, you may be in shock and utter disbelief. Many drivers don’t register the full extent of their injuries right away. Some car crash injuries, such as broken limbs, may appear immediately, while others, like whiplash, may take more time to manifest. This is especially true if you’ve been involved in a car accident that’s not your fault.

So, how long after a car accident can you claim injury? The time you have to file your claim will depend on whether you are pursuing a personal injury case or making an insurance claim, along with other factors.

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Timely Filing Of Insurance Claims And Police Reports

Most insurers require you to report an accident within 30 days of the collision. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have only 30 days to file an insurance claim, but you should notify your insurance company of the incident immediately. The longer you wait, the harder it can be to demonstrate that your injuries were in fact caused by the accident.

Insurance companies may also be suspicious of claims that are significantly delayed. If you’re wondering how long after a car accident you can claim injury, the answer depends on your insurance policy. In most instances, this information will be detailed in your policy documents.

In an accident involving injuries, it’s also essential to file a police report. Most insurance companies require you to file a police report within 24 hours of a collision that resulted in injuries. If your injury doesn’t appear immediately after your accident, having a police record will help establish an official timeline.

It’s also a good idea to seek medical attention immediately following an accident, even if you aren’t sure how injured you are. This ensures that any injuries aren’t masked and are properly documented.

Understanding The Statute Of Limitations For Personal Injury Claims

The statute of limitations is one crucial factor determining how long after a car accident you can claim injury. The statute of limitations bars claims after a specific period following an injury, and these statutes differ from state to state. In Pennsylvania, for example, there is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury car accident claims, while in Maine, the time limit is six years.

Generally, the statute of limitations deadline can be anywhere from one to 10 years, depending on your state. The limit for how long after your car accident you can claim injury may also vary depending on whether you’re filing a claim for a physical injury or property damage. A wrongful death car accident claim may have a different statute of limitations than a car accident injury claim.

If you have been injured in an accident that’s not your fault, but you don’t begin the insurance claims process within two years, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is unlikely to agree to pay your damages as easily. The statutory countdown for how long after your car accident you can claim injury starts once you become aware that you are injured, so it’s essential to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Filing Deadlines For Your Insurance Claim

A monetary damages award will most likely settle your claim. This type of award is arrived at through court litigation. You may receive compensation for a number of damages, including (but not limited to):

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Wrongful death (filed by a surviving family member)

Courts have filing timelines and deadlines for how long you can claim insurance coverage after a car accident. To avoid complications, you must follow these timelines strictly while pursuing compensation.

Essential Steps To Remember When Filing Your Claim

There are some essential steps to take before filing any claims. You should:

  1. File a report with your insurance company (a different process from claim filing). Generally speaking, you should call 911 after getting into a collision, and you should seek medical attention to address any injuries.
  2. Gather relevant documentation you’ll need to file your claim, which includes: The names, phone numbers, insurance companies, and policy information of any other drivers involved as well as contact information for any witnesses at the scene.
  3. Take clear photos documenting your car, the at-fault driver’s car, the weather, and the road conditions.
  4. Keep copies of all your documents and supply them to your insurance company.

Consequences Of Delaying Claim Filing

There are many reasons you may have delayed filing your claim after being injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault. For instance, you may not have realized you’re entitled to compensation or you could have injuries that don’t appear until later.

However, if you’re still within the statute of limitations in your state and haven’t violated any insurance company policies, you should still be able to file. Generally, the earlier you file, the easier it will be to collect what is rightfully yours. If you delay, you might not be able to file at all.

Need Additional Help? Speak To A Competent Personal Injury Attorney For A Free Case Review

How long after a car accident can you claim injury? Well, as with most legal matters, it depends. Learn more about your potential case with a free legal claim review today.

Legal Disclaimer: This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation and should not be interpreted as creating an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions, you should seek the advice of an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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