How Soon After I am Injured do I have to File a Lawsuit? How Long Will I have to File a Claim?

This article is for people who’ve been injured in an accident and need help thinking through the next steps.

Getting injured in a car accident can mean dealing with an enormous amount of pain and going to multiple doctor’s appointments. It can mean time missed away from work. You may even miss important once in a lifetime personal events after a crash. You have paid into the insurance system and you will certainly want to file a claim to be reimbursed for your car repairs and medical bills. You may also be entitled to recover money for pain and suffering. If you have lost a loved one to an accident, or if you cannot reach a settlement with an insurance company, you may want to consider suing an at-fault driver or a company that was responsible for the accident. It always helps to know how long you have to file an insurance claim or file a lawsuit.

This posting is mostly for those in California and New York states, the two most populous states in the Union.

Filing an Insurance Claim

California is a tort state which means that the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying the bills related to the crash. It is important to get the insurance information of the at-fault driver. When you have a traffic accident in the state of California, you must report it within 24 hours. If there were injuries, you should call the police right away and wait for an officer to arrive.

Although the other driver may be responsible for the accident, you should still call your own insurance company to make a report. Although there is no set time frame for reporting an accident to your insurance company, you should report it as soon as possible. An insurance company may try to deny a claim if you do not report it within a “reasonable amount of time.” It is never a good idea to give an insurance company a reason to deny your claim.

Filing a Lawsuit

You have two years to file a lawsuit for injuries after an accident. You will have three years to file a lawsuit for damages to property. The clock starts ticking as soon as the accident happens, so be sure to read your accident report carefully.

If you are injured by a government-owned vehicle, you will have only six months to file an administrative claim with the agency. The government agency will then have 45 days to approve of or deny your claim. If they send you a rejection letter, you can still sue them, but you will only have six months to do so. If they fail to send you a rejection letter, you will have two years to file a lawsuit.

Finding a Lawyer

A good personal injury attorney will have an excellent reputation with the state bar and they will be well versed in state law. Their office will be staffed with trained legal assistants who are committed to doing all the research necessary to get you the best settlement possible. An experienced personal injury attorney can negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf and represent you in court in the event that it is necessary. Lawyers Richard Morse and Vikas Bajaj bring a wealth of knowledge to personal injury cases and will work hard to get the money you deserve.

If you are in New York state, we recommenced you contact Obrien and Ford.  They basically provide personal injury legal help in Buffalo, but their legal expertise extends to the entire state.   If you had a sporting injury that might be caused by negligence, some kind of bad or defective product, or someone attacked you – then give these guys a call.

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