How long after a car accident do you have to file a case for compensation?

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How long after a car accident do you have to file a case for compensation?


After a car accident, you may be able to file a case for compensation. The manner in which you will go about doing this, and the time line for doing so, will depend on a number of factors. 

  • If you reside in a state that has no fault rules, your claim or case will need to be filed with your own insurer for most injuries. This is because the no fault rules dictate that you may sue only for "serious" injuries, otherwise you must recover medical bills and lost wages only and you must recover them from your own insurer. To understand the time limit for filing a no fault or personal injury protection (PIP) claim, you will need to check the laws of your state and the terms of your insurance policy. In some states, this can be a very short period of time. For example, in New York, you have to file your PIP claim within 30 days
  • If you are intending to file a claim or case in court to sue the driver who was responsible (either because your injuries were serious in a no fault state or because you live in a fault state) then you must file your claim within the statute of limitations for your state. The statute of limitations can vary based on where you live. In some states, for example, you have 2 years to file wrongful death car accident claims and three years to file other claims. In other states, however, you only have two years to file any car accident claim. 

To make sure you file your claim on time so you can preserve your right to recover, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced attorney in the area where your accident occurred.