How Long Do I Have to File a Claim After an Accident?

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Accidents can happen to anybody. Car accidents are a major cause of personal injury but there are slip and falls, and other forms of accidents causing personal grief, medical problems and economic difficulties. When an accident occurs, you have the right to file a claim. This may involve property damage as well as personal injury. So, what is an accident claim, and how long do I have to file a claim after an accident?

What Is An Accident Claim?

A claim is a request or demand for payment for problems resulting from an accident. Generally, the claim or demand letter goes to the insurance provider – yours and/or the person “at fault” for the accident. It contains information directly related to the accident. These include:

  • Personal injury type
  • Severity
  • Medical bills
  • Doctor and other medical records
  • Police report
  • Photos documenting the accident, where it occurred, who it involved, what was involved
  • Financial issues directly resulting from the injury
  • Any property damage – car, personal property
  • Costs of repair work and/or replacement costs

Accidents produce other expenses. Do not neglect to include them. Be sure to provide information on long-term effects including future medical costs and financial losses.

How Long Do I Have To File A Claim After An Accident?

Filing an Accident Report is about gathering all the pertinent data and documents. It is also about informing the right parties. These include the police and your insurance company. Your insurance policy tends to specify a nonspecific time for filing. In general, accident insurance policies include a phrase stating you must file an accident incident within a “reasonably prompt” amount of time.

It is best to file an accident claim as soon-as-possible. While the insurance policy is non-specific concerning time, state legislation is not. There is a statute of limitations on the filing of an accident claim. It is state-specific. Generally, the time allotted ranges from 1 year in Kentucky and Tennessee to 6 years in North Dakota and Maine. The most common limit to filing is 2 to 3 years.

One thing you need to note besides the length of the statute of limitations is the application. The time does not start at the inception of the personal injury. It dates from when you learn of the harm.

Talking To A Lawyer

A skilled accident attorney lawyer is beneficial in you filing the right claim within the proper timeframe. He or she will guide you through the sometimes frustrating process from start to successful conclusion.

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