How long can I wait after a car accident to file a claim for damage or injury?

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How long can I wait after a car accident to file a claim for damage or injury?


After an automobile accident, there are many car accident legal issues to consider. In addition to understanding the rules for recovery in your state- such as whether you live in a fault or no fault state- one of the most important things you need to know is how long you have to file a claim for an injury. In most cases, if you wait too long to file your claim, you may be forever barred from filing it at all. In order to ensure this does not happen to you, you must understand the time limits and rules for filing in your state.

The specific time limit you have to file can vary, but as a general matter:

  • If you live in a no fault state, the insurance company and state law may set a time limit in which you must file your no fault paperwork with the insurance company. In some cases, you have a very short window of time (as short as 30 days) to file your paperwork
  • If you live in  fault state or tort state, the personal injury statute of limitations for your state will apply and set the timeline for recovery. This can range from anywhere from 1-5 years, but is most commonly a two year statute of limitations

To ensure that you file your claim within the appropriate time period, you should strongly consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can help make sure you comply with time limits and all other requirements necessary to preserve your right to sue.