How Long After a Traffic Accident Can You Be Charged?

How Long After a Traffic Accident Can You Be Charged?

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How Long After a Traffic Accident Can You Be Charged?

Being involved in a traffic accident can be traumatic, and accident scenes are often chaotic. Some individuals suffer from shock immediately following an accident and do not know what to do. The at-fault driver may even flee the accident.

There is no clear answer to the question, “How long after a traffic accident can you be charged?” The length of time a driver may be charged after a crash depends on the state where the accident happened and whether anyone was injured or died in the collision. However, if another person was responsible for your accident, you must observe your state’s deadline for filing a lawsuit or risk losing your right to a settlement.

Morgan & Morgan’s experienced traffic accident attorneys can help you learn about your legal rights and determine your next best steps. Contact us now to find out more in a free case review.

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

  • What are the Statutes of Limitation in Hit-and-Run Accidents?

    Any drivers involved in traffic accidents with injuries or fatalities must remain at the scene, exchange contact and insurance information with all other parties involved, and help injured victims. Leaving the scene of a crash is a criminal offense that could lead to facing hefty penalties and even jail time.

    Filing a Personal Injury Claim Against a Hit-and-Run Driver

    If you were injured and suffered damages in a car crash with a hit-and-run driver, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in your state applies. However, if the hit-and-run driver concealed their identity or fled the state, you may have additional time to bring a lawsuit if they are identified and located later.

    Nevertheless, if you suffered injuries and damages in a hit-and-run accident, you generally must file a lawsuit within the applicable time limit. Depending on your state, the deadline could be between one and six years. However, since state laws vary and your deadline can depend on the facts of your accident, getting legal advice and guidance as soon as possible after experiencing a hit-and-run can be critical.

    Hit-and-Run Criminal Charges

    Depending on the accident’s severity and state laws, there may be no statute of limitations for criminal charges. For example, if a hit-and-run driver caused an accident involving fatalities, they could be charged with a crime many years later.

    If you or a loved one got hurt in an accident with a hit-and-run driver, an attorney from our firm could help you get justice and compensation.

  • What are the Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?

    The statute of limitations in your state determines a deadline for filing claims. Individuals filing after the deadline usually have their cases thrown out by the court. In other words, it is almost impossible to pursue compensation through the court system if you file too late.  

    However, some states have rare exceptions to this rule. You could have longer to file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver in the following cases.

    • The at-fault driver left the state
    • The victim is a minor under the age of 18
    • The victim was mentally incapacitated from filing a case sooner

    Understanding the statute of limitations in your state and how it applies to your case is crucial. Since exceptions to your state’s deadline are generally rare, you should get legal help as soon as possible. If you think you have missed the deadline for filing a lawsuit in your state, our attorneys may still be able to help you.

  • Could You Qualify for Compensation?

    If the driver in your collision is identified and charged with a crime, you could file a personal injury claim for compensation and hold them accountable for your injuries and financial losses. Victims in car crashes could be entitled to various damages, depending on the scope and permanence of their injuries, including:

    • Medical expenses now and in the future
    • Lost income
    • Out-of-pocket expenses
    • Pain and suffering
    • Emotional trauma
    • Loss of life enjoyment
    • Disability
    • Punitive damages

    Having an experienced and tenacious attorney by your side can be vital for recovering the compensation you need to get your life back on track after a severe crash. Morgan & Morgan’s experienced car accident lawyers can calculate your losses, determine the worth of your claim, and fight vigorously for maximum compensation on your behalf.

  • What is a Traffic Accident Wrongful Death?

    You could have a legal case if your loved one was killed in a traffic accident. However, it is essential to note that the time you have to file a wrongful death claim can vary, depending on state laws. If successful, wrongful death claimants could receive the following damages and others:

    • Medical expenses of the decedent before death
    • Burial and funeral costs
    • Lost wages and benefits from the decedent
    • Loss of services and support
    • Loss of companionship (spouse)
    • Loss of parental protection and guidance (minor children)
    • Emotional anguish

    Since time to get justice may be limited, victims should protect their rights as soon as possible after the death of a loved one and contact an attorney for help and advice.

  • What are Your Best Steps After a Hit-and-Run?

    Hit-and-run accidents can be confusing and frustrating. You might wonder whether you can ever get justice and how long after a traffic accident you can be charged. However, there are some steps you can take that protect your rights and could help you get justice and compensation.

    Seek Medical Attention Immediately

    If you refused emergency medical help at the accident scene, see a doctor promptly after the crash. Documenting your injuries can be critical for:

    • Ensuring a swift recovery
    • Determining your damages, such as future medical costs and wage losses
    • Proving your losses due to the traffic accident
    • Preventing an insurance company from disputing your injuries

    Ensure to attend all medical appointments and adhere to your treatment plan, which can be crucial for recovering what you deserve.

    Report and Document the Collision

    You should report an accident involving injuries or deaths to the police immediately. Call 911 and request medical help if required. Stay at the location of the accident until law enforcement arrives. If you experienced a hit and run, ensure to tell the police officer every detail you remember, especially any information that could help to identify the fleeing driver, such as:

    • A detailed description of the person
    • The make and model of the car that hit you
    • The direction in which the driver fled

    Try to document the accident by taking pictures and videos of the accident scene. Any information you can provide can help reconstruct how the accident happened and determine liability.

    Contact a Traffic Accident Attorney

    Working with an experienced and dedicated lawyer can lead to locating a hit-and-run driver in some cases. Moreover, your attorney can determine your next best steps for recovering compensation and ensure you know about any important deadlines, such as the statutes of limitations in your state. If the responsible driver is located, your attorney can gather the necessary evidence and file a lawsuit on your behalf.

  • When Should I Call the Police for an Accident?

    Traffic laws differ from state to state. However, in most jurisdictions, you should call the police for an accident report if:

    • The crash involved injuries or fatalities
    • There was considerable car damage
    • The collision was a hit-and-run
    • A commercial truck or vehicle was involved in the accident
    • A party to the accident was impaired (alcohol or drugs)
    • A damaged car is inoperable and needs to be removed from the road by a towing company

    In almost all crashes, except in minor collisions, calling the police is the best way to protect your rights, whether you were at fault for the accident or someone else caused the crash.

  • How Can Morgan & Morgan Help Me After a Traffic Accident?

    Hiring a Morgan & Morgan traffic accident lawyer can be critical for your claim, particularly if you got hurt in a hit-and-run. Other reasons for working with us can include:

    • You suffered severe injuries
    • Someone died in your crash
    • You have significant damages such as wage losses and medical bills
    • You are partially at fault for the collision
    • Your insurer denied or reduced your claim

    The process of recovering what you deserve can be stressful and lengthy. However, Morgan & Morgan can handle your claim from beginning to end, leaving no stone unturned in fighting for the settlement you deserve. Ways in which we can assist include:  

    • Help you get adequate medical assistance
    • Gather and organize medical records and other evidence for your damages
    • Prove liability of the other party in your crash
    • Negotiate with an insurance company
    • File a lawsuit on your behalf
    • Fight for what you deserve at trial, if necessary
    • Work for you on a “no-win-no-fee” basis

    You will be in good hands with America’s largest personal injury firm. Our tenacious attorneys have fought for the injured for over three decades, recovering more than $20 billion in damages.

  • What Is My Traffic Accident Case Worth?

    No two traffic accident claims are the same. Moreover, various factors play into determining the value of your claim, including your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages. It is worth noting that the value of your claim can be reduced by your percentage of fault in the accident. For example, if you are 40 percent to blame for a crash, you may only be able to recover 60 percent of your damages.

    Other factors playing into the worth of your claim can include:

    • The severity of your injuries
    • The degree of pain and suffering you endured as a result of the crash
    • The insurance coverage of the liable party
    • Whether you experience reduced life enjoyment due to the accident

    Your best step for discovering the worth of your accident case is to consult an experienced attorney who can assess your damages and calculate a fair settlement.

  • Who Pays for My Damages if the Hit-and-Run Driver Is Never Caught?

    Getting what you deserve when the hit-and-run driver has vanished can be tricky. While our team can work with the police to try and identify the driver who caused the accident and fled the scene, some perpetrators are never caught. However, even if the responsible driver remains unidentified, not all is lost, and you could still recover compensation.

    In the first instance, we can review your car insurance policy to determine other avenues for a settlement, such as an uninsured motorist claim. Uninsured motorist coverage can allow you to seek damages such as:

    • Medical treatment costs
    • Lost wages
    • Property damage or loss
    • Pain and suffering

    Although you might have to file a claim against your insurer, having a seasoned attorney in your corner can be crucial for getting what you deserve. Insurance companies are quick to deny and reduce claims, potentially leaving their policyholders with a settlement that is too low to compensate them adequately. Morgan & Morgan’s determined traffic accident attorneys can communicate and negotiate with your insurance company and ensure you are treated fairly.

  • Morgan & Morgan Never Settles for Less

    If you are thinking about holding a careless or reckless driver accountable for your damages and are wondering how long after an accident you can be charged, Morgan & Morgan could help. Depending on your state, you could still file a civil lawsuit against the responsible party after several years and recover what you need to move on with your life. However, since state laws vary, seeking legal advice as soon as possible after your crash can be critical.

    You do not need to struggle with a traffic accident claim alone. Morgan & Morgan’s dedicated lawyers can give you the best chance at recovering fair compensation so you can get your life back on track. Contact us now to discover your options in a free case review.

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