Understanding the Timeline to File a Car Accident Claim

Personal Injury Lawyer

There can be an unnatural feeling to rush through the process of filing a car accident claim. You may feel pressure from liable parties to move quicker than you are comfortable with, but you can move at your own pace. It is likely unwise to rush through the filing process because it can lead to inadequate reporting of injuries and smaller settlement offers. Therefore, while you may be feeling pressured to move quickly through the filing process, be sure that you understand the actual deadlines and statute of limitations.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is not the same in every state. However, when it comes to personal injury claims, you typically have two years to file your claim. There can be several factors that either reduce or extend this timeline, though. Therefore, it is still important to file in a timely manner. Also, it is necessary to understand that a filing deadline is not the same as a trial. A trial can take years to resolve depending on the case, and that time can extend past the two-year filing deadline.

Medical Treatment and Filing

While many accident victims feel that they need to wait until they reach maximum medical improvement to file their claim, that is not the case. It is actually better to start the filing process as early as possible because of potential deadlines. However, you do not want your case to be resolved before full recovery or at least a thorough understanding of the extent of your injuries.

Minors and Filing

When discussing filing deadlines and statutes of limitations, it is essential to take note of the victim’s age. If the injured party is a minor, then they most likely will receive more time to consider a lawsuit. For example, the two-year statute may not occur until after the plaintiff has turned 18. Therefore, a 16-year-old may have until they are 20 to file a claim.

Alternative Deadlines

Lastly, some situations may result in a smaller filing window. For example, if you are injured while riding a public bus, you may only have a couple of weeks or months to file because the claim is against a government entity. However, to understand the specific alternative deadlines that exist, it is likely best to contact a lawyer or other court official.

There you have it. While you may feel rushed to make a decision about filing your personal injury or accident claim, you likely have time. However, to be sure you do not miss any deadlines, contact an experienced car accident lawyer, like a car accident lawyer in Woodland, Hills, CA, today. 

Thanks to Barry P. Goldberg Law for their insight into understanding the timeline to file a car accident claim.