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How Long After a Car Accident Can You Claim Injury?

Jeff Varcadipane

February 28, 2024

The timeframe for claiming injury after a car accident is based on the statute of limitations in your specific location. This law establishes the deadline for filing a legal claim in court, and missing it can significantly hinder your ability to seek recovery. Additionally, the type of claim also determines the statute of limitations, such as bodily harm or property damage.

Usually, ensuring adherence to deadlines may not be easy for someone without a legal background. We recommend hiring a New Jersey car accident lawyer as soon as possible to assist you and ensure you file your claim within the stipulated time. Doing so avoids the chances of missing out on possible compensation.

The Statute of Limitations

Different states have different statutes of limitations. This tells how much time you have to claim injury.  Here are different time frames for different types of injuries depending on your location:

Failure to file your claim or lawsuit within this timeframe may have several consequences. The other side, especially if it’s an insurance company, will likely request evidence that you submitted your claim before the deadline to continue negotiations. The defendants are not legally bound to keep negotiating a potential settlement if you don’t meet the specified deadline.

Also, courts can be strict if you don’t meet legal deadlines. The opposing counsel might request the court to drop the case because you didn’t file it on time. Your best shot is if there’s a valid reason for the delay and an exception applies. If not, the court will grant the defendant’s wish and end the case.

However, if you find yourself late with your claim, you can use the legally acceptable tolling factors to extend the time within which to file your injury claim. Some of the common tolling factors include:

  • Minority: If the person involved is a minor, the statute of limitations may be tolled until they reach the age of majority.
  • Mental incapacity: In the case of mental incapacitation, the statute of limitations tolls until the defendant regains mental competence.
  • Concealment: The statute of limitations clock may stop if the defendant fraudulently conceals information relevant to the case.
  • Discovery rule: Where the injury is not immediately noticeable, the statute of limitations should begin when the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have found out about the harm.

This allows you to assume that you have exceptions to extend the timeframe for filing your claim without speaking to an attorney first. Let them discuss and review your case to determine the best course of action to maximize the chances of fair and timely compensation.

What To Do After a Car Accident?

After a car accident, you need to take some steps to help protect yourself legally and ensure fair compensation. We have observed that the initial steps taken after a car accident greatly determine the outcome of the claim.

Here, our car accident lawyers recommend taking the following steps:

Seek Medical Attention

It’s important to see a doctor promptly after the accident. Mounting evidence shows that addressing injuries quickly may prevent long-term disabilities. Also, medical records are very useful in documenting the timeline by establishing the date of the injury. Similarly, seeking prompt treatment provides evidence of the extent of your injuries.

Note that if you skip medical attention, this might give the defendant an opportunity to dispute your claim on the basis of medication gaps. Usually, they may argue that because you didn’t seek medical attention, the injury was not a result of the alleged negligence.

Hire a Car Accident Attorney

As soon as you receive an injury diagnosis, you should consult our car accident law firm. We can assess your legal options and assist you in dealing with various legal aspects of your case, ensuring you don’t miss any crucial deadlines and helping build a strong case for your claim.

Consult a Car Accident Lawyer From Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC

Filing your injury claim within the designated timeline after a car accident is very important. This is because missing these deadlines may result in losing your right to seek compensation. At Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC, we understand the significance of timely action in personal injury cases. Our car accident lawyers can help you meet these crucial deadlines. Reach out to us today for a free case evaluation.

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