How Long After Car Accident Can You Claim Injury?

Accident Attorney

May 17  

How Long After Car Accident Can You Claim Injury? Find Out Here So You Can Protect Your Case Value and Get Your Bills Paid If You Are Hurt In A Car Accident.

If you’re a victim of a serious car accident, the last thing you should think about is how you can file a claim. You should take care of many other more important things, one being those injuries. You should get proper medical attention as soon as possible. Talk to your insurance company, get your car to your repair shop, etc.  

If you’ve sustained major injuries, you might need to delay these things. However, you can have someone close to you, such as a family member, notify your insurance company that an accident has occurred; ASAP.

Most insurance companies will require accidents to be reported within 30 days of it happening. Take note that this doesn’t mean you should file a claim within this time frame – only report it. Even though your car accident lawyer may advise you to delay filing an accident claim, you should notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as you can. 

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Another you should do as soon as possible is to let your insurance company know that you were injured and that you’re positive that you weren’t at fault. Even better, you can tell your insurance company that the police report states that the other driver was at fault for the accident.  A car accident lawyer can assist you in these matters. 

In this article, we’re going to look at how long after a car accident can you claim injury, what you should do before doing so, and other relevant information that you need to know. 

Things You Should Do Before Filing an Injury Claim

Filing a claim and reporting your car accident are two very different things. Your insurance company will most likely require you to report any car incidents within 30 days of it happening, but you don’t have to file a claim within this period. 

Most insurance companies will also require you to file a police report within 24 hours of the accident, especially if you have major injuries. There is a high chance that a car accident that involves injuries will be reported via 911, either by a witness or one of the drivers. This means that for injury claims, this requirement is, most often, already covered. 

What you need to do before filing an injury depends entirely on your insurance company and your state. However, these are some of the most important things you should do

  1. At the scene of the accident, if you can, call 911. By doing so, you’ll ensure that anyone needing serious medical help will receive it as soon as possible.  This will also allow the police to investigate the accident and file a police report; which is something your insurance company may require. This is especially true whenever injuries are involved. 
  2. If you’re able to, call your insurance company as soon as possible. If not, have someone close to you – like a family member, to do so.
  3. Once your insurance company notifies you about your claims adjuster, you should contact them immediately. 
  4. Before filing a claim, make sure you have all the documentation that your insurance company will need. These can include the names, contact numbers, addresses, and insurance information of everyone involved in the accident. Most likely, you won’t be able to gather them all yourself at the accident scene or after. However, this job is for the police to handle so contact them for the information. If you can, take photos of the accident scene for evidence.

When You Should File a Claim for Injuries Depends on Your Insurance Company and Your State

Each state has its unique statute of limitations when it comes to filing a claim for injuries in an accident. For traffic accident injuries, the statute of limitations can range from one year in a few states to around six years in the states of Minnesota and Maine. The statute of limitations for most states is two or three years. However, there are a couple who have a statute of limitations of five years.

This means that in most states, you’ll have at least a year to file an injury claim. While in some states, you’ll have up to five to six years to file a claim. This may seem like you have a lot of time to file a claim, so what’s the hurry? Keep in mind that this statute of limitations is for filing a lawsuit. Your insurance company may have a different limit when it comes to filing a claim on your insurance. 

Most insurance companies will have short limits when it comes to reporting an accident while many of them will have no limits on filing a claim besides the statute of limitations. Nevertheless, if your insurance company has a limit and you file a claim for injuries after that limit, your insurer may not be obligated to entertain and pay your claim.

Some insurance companies may even have a shorter time limit than your state’s statute of limitations. Your car accident lawyer will help you understand the differences between the two. Additionally, the insurance company of the driver at the fault of the accident can also have different limits.

If you plan on filing a notice of claim with the other driver’s insurance company, make sure to state that you’re injured and the other driver is responsible for the accident. Make sure to also say that you are only limited by the statute of limitations of your state for filing an injury claim. 

Should I Delay Filing a Claim for Injuries?

There are plenty of insurance companies that encourage you to file a claim as soon as possible, even right after the scene of the accident. However, your car accident lawyer may advise you to delay. 

There are plenty of valid reasons to delay a claim for injuries. One is that you may lose coverage for injuries that are discovered at a later date if you’re filing a claim against your insurance company. There are plenty of injuries that don’t become apparent until days, weeks, or even months later. 


In summary, the amount of time you have to claim injuries after a car accident entirely depends on your insurance company and state. Remember that reporting an accident and filing a claim are two very different things. You need to report an accident as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours of it happening. Your car accident lawyer may strongly advise that you delay filing a claim for injuries as long as you can, to maximize the coverage for your injuries.

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