Life after a car accident can be hectic, especially if you were severely injured. There is often a tendency to focus on healing and getting back to work. However, if the months are turning into a year or more, you should act now to make sure your rights are protected.
Don’t Sign an Insurance Settlement Quickly
Insurance companies are often eager to get you to settle a claim, which can be much less than you might be owed. That’s why it’s important to talk with an attorney who is experienced in personal injury and auto accidents. They can guide you through the process, whether it happened last week or last year.
Do Talk to an Attorney Quickly
If you have been waiting for a long time since your accident, you need to understand that there is a limit to how long you have to file a claim. Most states recognize a statute of limitations, which often limits the time you can recover damages to about two years. However, there are circumstances that may extend this time, so don’t give up without talking to an attorney. For example, if you were underage when the accident happened, or you have been unable to get information about the other driver, you may have more time. An attorney with personal injury experience can review your situation and let you know what your options are.
Another situation that can extend the time to file a claim in some cases is if the accident victim died some time after the crash. If you lost a loved one who died a long time after the crash, but as a result of their injuries which were sustained in the accident, you may have more time to bring a claim for wrongful death.
The Courts Are Not Forgiving About the Statute of Limitations
You should know that if the statute of limitations does pass, there is generally no recourse. There may be some circumstances as mentioned above that “start the clock” on some date later than the accident itself. But once the statute of limitations has gone by, courts will automatically deny your claim. This is because the more time passes, the more difficult it is to come to a good understanding of exactly what happened and who was at fault.
The important thing to know about checking your options is – do it as quickly as possible. Don’t give up just because your accident happened some time ago, but don’t delay either. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.