How Long After A Car Accident Can You Report a Personal Injury?
The Car Accident Statute of Limitations
Whether minor or major, car accidents can be very traumatic. The trauma from an accident can lead to shock, which can create confusion in your mind making you uncertain about deciding on your next move. Often, the psychological side effects of the accident can delay the detection of a life-threatening injury. Acting quickly after an accident to report a personal injury is crucial. After an accident, you may have a short time to file a claim in seeking compensation for the damages. The car accident statute of limitations is the time you have to take legal action against the negligent party.
The time period in which you can report an injury is dependent on whether you’re pursuing legal action against personal injury or making an insurance claim. Read on to find out how you can defend yourself lawfully in both cases.
Handling Insurance After an Accident
The first thing to do after an accident is to seek medical attention. This is critical and can help to strengthen your claim. Some injuries, such as whiplash may not be detected immediately after an accident. Once you allow too much time to elapse after an accident, it becomes harder to prove that the accident directly contributed to your injuries.
Here’s what to do after a car accident:
- Seek medical attention immediately after an accident, even if you’re not feeling any discomfort.
- Don’t accept responsibility for the accident
- You have 24 hours in which to notify your insurance of the accident.
- Filing a claim with your insurance company must be done within three days after the accident.
- Never provide recorded statements to the insurance company of the other party if you are questioned.
- Take pictures of the accident scene. If possible, also document what you remember, while you’re still at the scene.
- Consult an attorney before making any decision to accept a settlement offer from an insurance company.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
When you’re filing a personal injury lawsuit, you should follow the steps stated above. Nevertheless, you still have to apply the filing period for personal injury statute of limitations, which should be done immediately after finding out that you are injured. If you don’t file a lawsuit within the specified time, and the time expires, you will lose your right to do so. However, this may not be the case in exceptional circumstances. Once you feel that your injuries are caused by a negligent party, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer right away.
Every state has its specific law regarding the statute of limitations. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for many personal injury claims is three years. This is the same for those injured in car accidents. The injured party has three years to start legal proceedings from the date the accident occurred.
When you’re filing a personal injury lawsuit, know that time starts running out the moment you realize you are injured.
Legal Proceeding For Damages In A Car Accident
The most important reason for filing a claim in a car accident is to get compensation for your losses. Usually, this is settled via monetary damages award granted by the court. This award is compensation to the injured person for losses resulting from the accident.
Awards for damages take care of losses such as:
- Medical expenses, hospital stays, and other related health care costs
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earnings or loss of ensuing earning power
- Wrongful death expenditure (if applicable)
- Property damages resulting directly from the accident
Since financial compensation will be helpful if you receive injuries in a car accident, you have to take note of filing deadlines. Failure to do so can derail your compensation from the court.
Be aware of filing timeline so that you will not miss the chance of bringing a lawsuit. Missed deadlines can be very costly in legal claims.
Is it possible to get an extension on the Car Accident Statute of Limitations?
You may be able to get an extension if you missed the deadline for submitting your car accident lawsuit.
Usually, these extensions are applied only to special cases. For example, if you are incapacitated because of an accident, and you cannot file a claim as a result, the court may grant you an extension. However, you will need to show medical evidence.
There may be other exceptions or extensions, but you will have to discuss this with a proficient car accident lawyer. Speaking with a lawyer will help you to find out what additional documentation is needed.
Contacting a Car Accident Attorney
If you received injuries in a car accident, the knowledgeable car accident attorneys at Hopkins Law Firm are ready to assist you. We fully understand how important it is to file claims quickly so you don’t lose out on the compensation that is rightfully yours.
We have established a track record of successfully representing our clients in lawsuits. We can help you prepare your car accident claim within the legal deadlines so you can maximize on your monetary compensation. We are always available to speak with you.