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  • Writer's pictureBrad Keating

How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue?

Updated: Jan 17

A car accident can cause pain and suffering that sometimes does not become apparent until weeks or months after the event. It may take a couple of days to a few weeks to feel the full consequences of the impact when hit by another vehicle. That is why victims must acknowledge the time available to file a car accident lawsuit.

Speaking to a car accident attorney can assist the injured party in learning more about the statute of limitations for a car accident claim. The Keating Firm LTD has been helping people with personal injury claims for over a decade and has helped victims seek compensation in motor vehicle accidents.

How Long Do Victims Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?

How Long Do Victims Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?

If the other driver has been injured by another vehicle and is seeking compensation from the at-fault motorist, being aware of the time limit they have to file a personal injury claim is essential knowledge. Each state has laws covering the period someone has to open a case with an auto accident attorney to sue for an automobile accident. This is known as the statute of limitations, which puts liability limits in place for drivers.

The statute of limitations sets the maximum amount of time for parties involved in a crash to report it; this applies to other road incidents requiring legal proceedings. In some states, people have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit concerning a car accident or personal injury docket.

When Should a Car Accident Attorney Be Contacted?

If someone is involved in a car accident of which they are not at fault, they might consider suing the other driver. Serious injuries resulting from an auto accident have the potential to leave the victims in a whole mess of problems, other than them walking away from the event bruised and sore.

Individuals may require surgery from an injury acquired when the accident occurred, impacting their lives in the long term. The first step for road accident sufferers is to hire a personal injury lawyer to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. In this case, victims have the right to receive a car accident settlement to cover the non-economic damages suffered.

Reasons to Sue for a Car Accident Include:

  • A car accident resulted in the wrongful death of a loved one

  • The victims have not been able to perform hobbies or everyday tasks

  • Their quality of life has been impacted by the accident

  • They have suffered severe injuries due to the driver negligence

Factors That Affect How Long a Person Have to File a Car Accident Claim

Certain factors affect how long people have to file a lawsuit after car accidents, known as the statute of limitations. Factors affecting victims can range from a wrongful death claim, the State's statute of limitations, and the type of insurance claim filed.

Statutes of Limitations

The first step is for people to understand the State's laws surrounding the time limit for opening personal injury lawsuits. In some states, the statute of limitations minimizes a person's time to file insurance claims concerning a car accident to two years. Once the regulation is "depleted," the insurance claims are no longer relevant, and no compensation can be retrieved.

The Type of Accident Claim

Personal injury cases typically pay for part of a victim's medical bills related to the event, so they must know what is covered by the insurance company during a car accident case. In the case of a bodily injury claim, motor vehicle accident victims need to receive compensation for the damages caused to their physical body and well-being.

Wrongful Death

According to the statute of limitations, an injury lawsuit must be filed within two years if a wrongful death has occurred during the car collision. Law requires a personal representative or the estate of the deceased to file a wrongful death claim.

In many cases, arguments arise between family members who fight over compensation rewards from the person who died. These individuals must appear in court, and if there is family member estate, a personal representative shall be appointed by the judge.

When more than two claims are filed, the court usually amalgamates all the car accident claims into one lawsuit, making the proceedings more streamlined.

Going Through an Insurance Company vs. Filing an Injury

Going Through an Insurance Company vs. Filing an Injury

The first thing someone must do after a car accident is seek medical attention and then file a police report. It is essential because injuries often arise a few days later, and a police docket can provide the details needed for a car accident lawyer to open a case.

Car accident attorneys can hold the guilty party's insurance company liable for any property damage, car crash expenses, or physical injuries caused by the negligent driver. The Keating Firm LTD offers a free case review, which helps people receive a fair property damage claim settlement on their repair bills or motor vehicles.

If the need for physical therapy becomes apparent, the first step for the individual is to know they have up to two years to file a claim against the other party. An experienced attorney can help victims through the process of receiving the payout for any suffering caused by the incident.

Filing an insurance claim is the initial move to receiving compensation for all injuries of parties involved in car accident lawsuits. Typically, insurance adjusters are assigned to the case to examine the client's negligence and adjust the insurance coverage accordingly.

If the victim's insurance company cannot reach a settlement offer with the other party's insurance company, the matter may need to be taken to court via a law firm. Furthermore, if a successful lawsuit is filed, the case may go to trial, and the other driver involved would need to prove their innocence for their best interest.

The person filing the insurance claim needs proof of property damage and how much money was spent on their medical expenses, automobile repairs, mental anguish, plus pain and suffering.

What to Do After a Car Accident

Knowing what to do after a car collision is of the utmost importance for motor vehicle collision survivors, as it prepares them for the next step, which accessing the situation.

Don't Panic

Even though car collision limitations expire after two years, there is no need for victims to panic immediately after the accident. It's good for them to take a deep breath and regain their thoughts before proceeding to the next step.

Check Personal Injuries and Property Damage

The other driver and their passenger must be checked for injuries, and an ambulance called if anyone in the other vehicle was severely or fatally wounded.

Call the Police

Calling 911 can help injured victims, while law enforcement can also open a car collision report, which can be used to prove the event to the person's insurance policy coverage or a court of law.

Take Videos or Photos

It is recommended that all motor collision sufferers take photos of the accident scene, including any bruising or bodily harm, plus pictures of both automobiles. This evidence can be used in a free consultation at Keating Frim LTD by any relatives involved in an auto collision.

The company can take care of the time-consuming filing of a claim if someone gets badly injured or a vehicle is damaged.

Exchange Piece of Information with the Involved party

After an accident, all parties need to collect relevant information about each other; this information includes:

  • Plate and driver's license numbers

  • Contact information and full names of everyone involved in the event

  • Color, type, and model of automobiles involved in the accident

Consider Hiring a Car Accident Attorney

When it comes down to a car accident, many extra expenses often need to come out of the victims' pocket, including doctor's visits, medication costs, and therapy. There are also often medical expenses and pain and suffering from motor vehicle collisions, which must be compensated for by the guilty driver.

These sorts of injuries can disrupt the injured person's daily routine and even keep them out of work, leading to lost wages or terminated employment. In most cases, insurance companies fight it out in court, but without an experienced attorney, car crash victims could suffer from some claim adjuster's unscrupulous behavior.

A car accident lawyer can help sufferers protect their rights by doing everything to gain the total compensation required for mental anguish caused by the other driver's negligence.

How Long One Should Wait Before Filing a Claim?

Waiting too long after an automobile collision can be the downfall of either party involved because it delays the relevancy of the case. The closer to the accident the lawsuit is filed, the more chance the person wins the claim and gets awarded the compensation they deserve.

An individual can sue after a car wreck, but that does not guarantee that the lawsuit or settlement is going to be received quickly. If a claim is filed a year or a few months before the limitations run out, the victim may find themselves unable to compensate for the injuries sustained in the collision.


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