How Much Time Do I Have to Claim an Injury from a Car Crash?
Sometimes car crashes that do not result in significant damage to your vehicle can cause significant injuries. However, you may not notice symptoms immediately after the crash. In fact, it could take days or weeks before you notice pain symptoms and/or seek treatment.
When this happens, victims may wonder if they can still file a claim for compensation. The answer is yes, but things could be a lot more complicated than if you had filed right away. For one, the insurance company will use the delay against you, claiming you were truly not injured at all or if you are hurt, it was because of something besides the crash.
Another factor that could complicate things is if you talked to the insurance company immediately after the crash. Did you say you were not injured? Did you say you felt OK? Your words will be used against you.
While your lawyer may still be able to obtain compensation, statements like this could present a significant obstacle.
Problems With Waiting to File a Claim
Not only could you pass the deadline for filing a claim, you could be giving the insurance company and at-fault party a strong reason to deny or devalue your claim.
After a car crash, insurance companies and at-fault parties are always looking for some way to attack your credibility. If there is a significant gap in time (more than a day or two) between the crash and you filing a claim, they may say you are just trying to get money and are not significantly injured.
They are especially likely to use these arguments if you did not seek treatment for weeks or months after the crash. The burden of proof for linking an injury to a crash is on the victim. It can be very difficult to establish this connection if your injuries were diagnosed a week or a month after your crash.
It is never a bad idea to go to the hospital or urgent care after a car crash. A licensed medical professional can look you over and run tests to help determine if any injuries occurred.
It may take more time for significant injuries to develop, but by seeking treatment quickly, you are documenting your initial pains that later can be linked to the crash. You are also helping to make it that much harder for insurance companies and at-fault parties to dispute your intention for filing a claim or attack your credibility.
Statements to the Insurance Company
It is best to keep your statements to the insurance company brief. You may not think you are seriously injured, but that may change in the future. You want to leave yourself room to maneuver if you begin experiencing symptoms. That means avoiding definitive statements about your condition, as these statements could soon prove to be inaccurate. The number one rule is to speak to an attorney before ever giving an insurance statement.
What is the Deadline for Filing a Car Crash Claim?
Your insurance company likely has a deadline for filing a claim, and if you miss it you may lose the right to do so. That is why it is important to contact a Bloomington car accident lawyer right away to determine if you may be eligible for compensation.
In addition to the basic setting up a claim, there are also legal deadline requirements to file a lawsuit on injury claims. Statute of limitations vary by state and also by type of claim. The SOL can be as short as two years from the date of the crash. Even though most car crash claims are resolved through an insurance settlement, sometimes your lawyer may need to take the insurance company to court to pursue maximum compensation.
By contacting a lawyer right away, he or she can determine if you may have a case and get to work gathering evidence. You want to give your lawyer enough time to prepare to file a lawsuit if it becomes necessary.
TSR Injury Law is Here to Help. Call Us Today.
If you have any questions about your claim or the legal process, give us a call today. We are here to help crash victims, including assessing whether you may have a valid claim for compensation.
There is no risk in contacting us because we do not charge for an initial consultation and you are not required to hire us if we find you have a case. In fact, our attorneys are not paid to represent you unless we obtain compensation for your damages.
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Call TSR Injury Law. No upfront fees. (612) TSR-TIME.