Life tends to get chaotic after a car accident. You have the immediate chaos at the scene, as well as the issues that ensue in following days, weeks and months after. If you were injured in a car accident two years ago and you’re just barely able to think about hiring a lawyer, are you still able to file a claim?
The Insurance Company
Most insurance companies require you report your accident within a day or two. Claims are often required in just a few days after that. If you wait too long, you may not be able to prove your injuries were an actual result of the accident, and this could result in you forfeiting your right to obtain compensation this way. Be sure you understand the terms of your insurance policy to avoid this type of situation. If you are unable to contact the insurance company yourself, you should have someone designated to do so.
A Legal Standpoint
If you plan to sue the at-fault driver, you have to do so within the statute of limitations. It varies by state, with some being two years and others being four. If you live in a state in which the statute is shorter, you might have to look at the exact day the accident took place and the exact day you’re at today. If it comes short of two years, it’s possible you can hire a lawyer and move forward. If not, you may be out of luck.
Exceptions to the Rule
There always seems to be an exception to every rule, and the same holds true for the statute of limitations. Some exceptions that may extend the statute for your situation include:
- Being unconscious or not of sound mind. If that is the case following your accident, the statute would begin when you woke up or when you could think clearly and reasonably.
- Being a minor at the time of your accident. Minors can’t take legal action in a car accident, so you would be able to begin the process when you turn 18 years old, even if your accident occurred when you were 12.
- The other driver has left the state. If you can’t serve the other driver with a lawsuit because he or she left the state, the law will wait for you.
Getting Legal Help
Whether your accident was yesterday or yesteryear, getting legal help is important to a successful case. Contact your personal injury lawyer today for answers to your questions or for help getting started with the legal process.