May 13, 2024

How Long You Have After A Car Accident to File A Claim

car driving crash

After a car accident, you will be reeling emotionally. You may even be hurt physically. You may wonder what the next steps are. The last thing on your mind is a statute of limitations regarding claims and legal action.

Statute of Limitations?

While it’s probably the last thing you want to hear, every state has a statute of limitations regarding your car accident claims. A statute of limitations, in case you weren’t sure, is a time limit. Some states only allow you a year from the date of the accident to file claims of any kind while others allow you up to six years to file a claim.

Car accident insurance claim time limits depend on the insurance provider and the laws of your state. There is a time limit for filing a claim and filing a lawsuit too late may result in having your claim denied. The legal term for this filing deadline is a statute of limitations. You don't need to resolve your claim within the limitations period but you do need to have it filed in court.  (1)

For specific information regarding the statute of limitations, a lawyer specializing in car accident claims can help you understand the limits and your responsibilities. Finding a car accident attorney New York is a good way to ensure you meet any deadlines, and that you provide the correct information when filing your claim.

Meeting the Statute of Limitations

In some states, like New York, the statute of limitations depends on the kind of claim you’re making. For example, a material damages claim (for repairs or replacement of the vehicle), an injury claim, or a wrongful death claim may each have a different statute of limitations. The best way to know your deadline is to speak with a car accident attorney New York City.

The best thing you can do following an accident is to get the ball rolling as soon as possible regarding your claim. Seek medical advice regarding injuries or potential injuries. Prepare documentation regarding the accident itself and consult a car accident attorney to learn your rights and responsibilities as they apply to your case within your state. Dragging your feet will increase the chances of your claim being denied if it gets processed at all.

Navigating the arena of car accident claims alone can cost you money and time. A consultation with a car accident attorney in New York before you attempt to file a claim on your own will help you have a greater understanding of the items you need to successfully file a claim promptly. Even if you feel sure that your claim won’t enter the legal realm of settlement negotiations with attorneys and court dates, it’s still important that you file your claim with plenty of time left before the deadline.

Other Laws That Affect Car Insurance Claims

Auto accidents are subject to many state-specific laws like car insurance policies, statutes of limitations, and damage caps for things like medical bills. As a result, it's easy to underestimate your damages or even overlook important factors in your case. If you're considering filing a car accident claim or have received a settlement offer, an injury attorney at a personal injury law firm can help you make the right choices. (2)

Even if you think you have a cut and dry case regarding your accident, there could be statutes that you have overlooked while trying to overcome the accident itself and file an accident claim at the same time. As a layman, you won’t know all the intricate details of the legal code that governs claims in your state. However, a car accident attorney New York City could advise you on the most effective way to move forward with the claims process.


Following a car accident, you are dealing with a variety of emotions as well as any physical pain you may have as a result of the collision. You could be dealing with medical personnel, not only for yourself but also for other people who were in your vehicle. There are forms for virtually everything, and many of them seem confusing. The last thing you want to hear is that you have a deadline for completing everything.

Informing your insurance company of the accident seems like a simple directive, but it might not always be as simple as it sounds. The processing of an insurance claim, and any potential legal cases, requires you to be responsible for sharing all pertinent information on time. It can be wise to consult with a car accident attorney to help you through the process. a


1. Can I file a car accident claim after the statute of limitations has passed?

You could file the claim after the statute, but it likely would not be considered. It’s important to get all claims filed before the deadline set by the state. To better understand the statute of limitations and the reasons for it, speak with a car accident attorney New York City.

2. My brother died as a result of injuries suffered in a car accident. The other driver in the accident was under the influence of alcohol at the time. Do I have a case?

The answer is possibly. These claims, like other car accident claims, have a statute of limitations. They also have their own set of requirements for filing. To understand the entire process, and to have your case evaluated, it’s best to schedule a consultation with a car accident attorney New York.

3. I heard that New York is a no-fault state. What does that mean?

In a no-fault state, each party must file their claim with their own insurance company. Typically, a PIP (personal injury protection) policy is required above the standard minimum state-required coverage. Sometimes these states are more difficult to file for legal compensation following an accident. For a more thorough explanation of what it means to be a no-fault state, contact a car accident attorney in New York City.