How Long After a Car Accident Can I Claim Injury?

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How Long After a Car Accident Can I Claim Injury?

How you respond in the aftermath of a car accident determines whether you receive just compensation to recover your financial losses. The first item on your to-do list should be to call 911, even if you do not think the collision warrants the involvement of an emergency response team. Calling 911 ensures every party involved in the crash receives prompt medical care. It also notifies the nearest law enforcement agency about the collision. Law enforcement personnel can secure the accident scene to prevent further damage, as well as conduct an exhaustive investigation that leads to the submission of a formal police report.

After getting the nearest law enforcement agency involved, you should seek medical care to address any immediate issues, as well as any injuries that may develop delayed symptoms. Receiving immediate medical care helps you file a more persuasive insurance claim and—if you gather enough physical evidence—a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Copies of your medical bills and records can verify the extent of your injuries, as well as the financial losses you have sustained as the result of the car accident.

Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney should be the next item on your to-do list after a car accident. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer who specializes in handling car accident cases helps you claim your injury before the deadline for filing an insurance claim and a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Your attorney also conducts a separate investigation that includes obtaining the footage captured by a traffic and/or security camera. Interviewing witnesses represents an important part of your attorney’s job as well.

Since 1988, Morgan and Morgan has represented clients that sustained injuries as the result of a vehicle collision. Our team of personal injury lawyers has recovered more than $20 billion in compensation, with a significant percentage of the money coming from car accident cases. Morgan and Morgan wins legal favorable judgments for our clients, as well as negotiates settlements that help our clients avoid the costly and time-consuming litigation process. One of the most important roles of the car accident lawyer that you hire from Morgan and Morgan involves ensuring you claim your injury or injuries in a timely manner.

Learn more about the importance of claiming your injuries with a sense of urgency by scheduling a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer from Morgan and Morgan.

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FAQ

Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • How Long After a Car Accident Do I Have to File an Insurance Claim?

    Unlike the statute of limitation imposed by state law to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages, states have not established a deadline for policyholders to file insurance claims for the financial losses associated with a motor vehicle collision. Insurance companies have the legal power to establish claim filing deadlines for policyholders. You must read the insurance policy contract to determine how long you have to file a claim after an auto crash.

    Insurance companies prefer that policyholders report their injuries as soon as possible after a car accident, preferably within 24 hours after a personal injury incident. However, you should first contact a car accident lawyer before letting your insurance company know about your injuries. Far too many insurance companies take advantage of policyholders that do not retain legal representation. If you file an insurance claim without the help of a state-licensed car accident lawyer, the insurance company you have to deal with might deny a valid claim or approve a claim for a value that is worth much less than what you deserve.

  • What Is the Deadline to File a Civil Lawsuit?

    At Morgan and Morgan, we assign a properly credentialed investigator to help your personal injury attorney collect physical evidence and interview witnesses that verify your version of what transpired before, during, and after the vehicle collision. If we discover another party committed one or more acts of negligence, the car accident lawyer assigned to your case will recommend filing a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.

    Each state has established a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit, with most states setting the deadline between two and four years. However, you might live in a state that has established a deadline of as long as six years or as short as one year. The clock typically starts ticking for the filing deadline on the day of the car accident. Because a car accident might produce an injury such as a concussion that often develops delayed symptoms, you might receive an extension to file a personal injury lawsuit.

    Although state law grants plaintiffs plenty of time to take legal action, you should file a personal injury lawsuit as quickly as possible after an auto crash. Your attorney wants to interview witnesses as close to the date of the car accident as possible to receive the most accurate accounts. Witness accounts tend to lose credibility the longer they are given after a personal injury incident. Another reason to file a personal injury lawsuit quickly is to recover your financial losses before rapidly increasing medical bills put you in a deep financial hole.

    If you fail to file a personal injury lawsuit that seeks monetary damages before the expiration of the statute of limitations, expect the court clerk processing your case to remove it from the judicial docket.

  • What Are the Most Common Types of Car Accident Injuries?

    Now that you know how long you have to claim an injury after a car accident, let’s review the most common types of injuries.

    Fractured Bones

    A bone that fractures as the result of the impact of a car accident can negatively affect just about any area of the body. The arms are where bone fractures occur the most often because drivers and passengers use their arms to brace for impact. Bracing for an impact places an inordinate amount of pressure on the arms and wrists. An accident, such as a side-impact collision, puts both legs in position to receive a strong impact that produces one or more fractured bones.

    Fractured bones can produce mild to severe symptoms, but regardless of the type of fracture, you should seek immediate medical care.

    Concussion

    Despite the advances made in the performance of safety restraints and vehicle safety technology, concussions remain a common injury that results from the strong impact caused by two or more vehicles colliding. Concussion symptoms frequently do not develop right away, Instead, you might not experience migraine headaches and/or acute memory loss until a few hours or a couple of days after a car accident. Concussions require time to heal, and for the most serious cases, recovery can take several months.

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is another common type of injury that develops because of the strong impact caused by two motor vehicles colliding.

    Whiplash

    Whiplash represents another type of injury in which symptoms might not develop for a few hours or a couple of days after an auto crash. This type of injury is caused by the head and neck violently moving backward before quickly moving with just as much force forward to normal positions. The incredible stress placed on the neck and shoulders can tear muscles and/or tendons. Whiplash can also produce concussion symptoms because of the trauma inflicted on the head.

    Undergoing a series of imaging tests of the head, neck, and shoulder can discover the signs of whiplash.

  • What Are the Most Common Causes of Vehicle Collisions?

    Before you file an insurance claim and/or a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages, the car accident lawyer assigned to your case by Morgan and Morgan must first determine the cause of the collision. Once your car accident lawyer determines the cause of the auto crash, you then decide whether the other party committed one or more acts of negligence that produced your injuries.

    Driving While Intoxicated

    Every state along with the federal government has run numerous public awareness campaigns concerning the dangers posed by driving while intoxicated. Nearly every state has imposed a maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08, but the low maximum set by the states has not deterred many drivers from making the poor decision to drive while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Driving while intoxicated diminishes motor skills, as well as leads to impaired motorists making poor operating decisions, such as passing other vehicles in clearly marked No Passing zones.

    Reckless Driving

    Operating a motor vehicle above the speed limit reduces the reaction time a motorist has to respond to a sudden threat. For example, a speeding motorist has little, if any time to avoid a car operated by a driver who fails to yield to oncoming traffic. Running stop signs and red lights are two other common types of reckless driving that cause auto crashes. If your lawyer determines another party committed one or more acts of reckless driving, acquiring traffic camera footage might help you build a strong enough case to file a personal injury lawsuit.

    Distractions

    Most states have passed some form of a hands-free law that prohibits motorists from holding an electronic communication device while operating a motor vehicle. Despite the enactment of state texting while driving laws, a surprising number of motorists continue to perform the dangerous maneuver. Texting and driving takes the eyes of a driver off the road, which makes it impossible to respond quickly to pending danger. Other forms of distraction include eating, combing hair, and reaching for a car accessory like a glove compartment.

  • Contact a Car Accident Lawyer at Morgan and Morgan

    We encourage every potential client to read the reviews left by our clients on sites such as Yelp and Google. You should see some common themes emerge, such as how helpful a personal injury lawyer from Morgan and Morgan can be when you are ready to file an insurance claim.

    The car accident lawyer assigned to your case helps you file the most convincing insurance claim, as well as ensures you complete every section on the claim form. We interact with the insurance adjuster processing your claim, which means you devote time to other important issues such as healing your injuries. Morgan and Morgan's attorneys also negotiate favorable settlements that help our clients avoid the insurance claim appeals process.

    Learn more about how a car accident lawyer from Morgan and Morgan can help you recover the financial losses generated by a vehicle collision by scheduling a free case evaluation today.

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