You were hit by a careless driver in a parking lot. To keep their insurance rates from rising, you agreed to pay the driver. After a while, the driver stopped paying. Now you want to file a claim against the insurance company. Are you too late?
The time limit for filing a claim regarding car accident insurance depends on your state’s laws and the insurance provider. You have a deadline for filing a claim. If you file a lawsuit late, your claim may be denied. This filing deadline is known as a statute of limitations. While you don’t have to resolve your claim in the time limit, it is important to file it in court.
When does the clock start to run?
The day you are injured, your right to file a claim usually begins. Each state has its own statutes of limitations, as mentioned above.
You should know that your personal injury case may have a different deadline than your property damages claim. Find out the statute of limitations in your state for both your personal injury claim and your property damage claim. These dates should be written down and kept in mind for settlement negotiations.
There are different procedures for filing a claim if you were injured by an employee of the federal, state or local government. This type of claim usually has a shorter time limit.
Give yourself time to file
To beat the clock, you need to file a lawsuit if the statute of limitations for your claim is nearing. You have met the statute once you file the case in court. You may need to file your personal injury and property claims together depending on the laws in your state.
What happens if you file late?
Most states allow you to file a claim for car accident insurance within 2 to 3 years. Even if your claim is filed after the deadline, the court may reject it.
The statute removes the court’s power to grant relief. This may seem harsh but it is based upon the idea that justice cannot be achieved by sitting on your rights and not doing anything. Furthermore, as time passes, witness memories can fade and important records may become lost.
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You may file your claim late if you don’t know the identity of the driver who hit you or if you are under 18 at the time of the accident. There are exceptions to the statutes of limitations in certain states. However, these exceptions can lead to your claim being lost completely.
How do I make a car accident insurance claim?
Even if you are confident you can settle your claim through settlement negotiations it is wise to ensure you have enough time to file a lawsuit in the event that negotiations fail. Talk to an experienced attorney about your case and how to protect your right to file a lawsuit.