Car accidents can leave you with a lot of pieces to pick up afterward. What you might not know is that those pieces often have deadlines that you must meet to get rightfully compensated. If you need to file a claim for damages to your car, you only have so much time to do so. The same goes for seeking medical help and filing a lawsuit. Here’s your guide to deadlines in car accident claims.
Filing a Claim
A statute of limitations refers to a given timeline for certain legal matters that you must complete before the deadline. Each state has its own for car accident claims. In some states, you have a little as two years to file a claim. In others, the deadline extends up to six years following the accident. There can be a difference in deadlines depending on if you’re claiming for an injury or property damage. A good rule of thumb for both is two years, as that is about the average among all states. You should check your state laws immediately so that you don’t miss it.
Filing a Lawsuit
Most states allow two years to file a lawsuit. The main reason for having this statute of limitations is so that the defendant has an idea of when they might need to go to court. It also helps you collect relevant evidence that isn’t outdated. If you are considering suing, you should talk to an attorney early on in the process. Sometimes cases can take a very long time to build, and you want to make sure it is ready in time for the deadline. This is another reason to file your claim early — in the event that it gets denied and you need time to sue.
Seeing a Doctor
There aren’t any legal deadlines for seeing a doctor after an accident, but there are general guidelines you should take into account. If you wait to see a doctor, the insurance company may claim that your injury was unrelated to the car accident based on your late doctor’s report. It’s good to see a doctor no more than three days after the accident to make sure your injuries can be traced to the crash.
Hiring a Lawyer
There isn’t necessarily a “right” time to hire a lawyer. Some cases don’t need a lawyer at all. If you think you can handle the case yourself, only to run into problems halfway through the process, you can still hire a car accident lawyer, at any time.