Car accidents are never easy to experience. At best, they are unnerving; at worst, they are frightening and painful, especially if they lead to severe injuries. The legal process of getting compensation for your injuries or damages to your property can seem confusing, with many unfamiliar procedures and terminology. One of the things you might wonder is how long after a car accident you can claim injury.
The answer: It’s not a good idea to delay a claim any longer than you need to. The longer you wait, the harder it may be to get the compensation you deserve, as you may face additional questions about the circumstances for the delay. Also, remember that under Nevada law, if your accident is not investigated by police, you have ten days to report it to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Difference Between a Lawsuit and an Insurance Claim
To explain why it’s not a good idea to delay your claim, it’s essential to understand the difference between an injury claim filed with an insurance company and a personal injury lawsuit.
Anyone who has ever been in an accident knows that the first step after a collision is to exchange basic information with the other drivers involved, including insurance company information. If someone has hit your car and caused damage or an injury, you will first want to file a claim with the other party’s insurance company.
A claim is simply a notification to the insurance company that you will be seeking compensation for damages or injuries caused by the insured person. It does not involve the court system but can be a precursor to a lawsuit. Sometimes in a serious incident, you may engage in negotiations with the insurance company. If negotiations fail, then you may decide to ask the court to step in by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Personal injury lawsuits go through a specific set of phases before they are resolved, potentially concluding in a trial on the facts and the evidence. But most lawsuits are settled before this point.
Claims and lawsuits have one commonality: In both cases, you need to keep careful records of what happened to you, including care costs. To be adequately compensated, you will need to document how much you spend on treatment.
Why Delay an Accident Claim?
Put: You shouldn’t. The longer the insurance company can delay paying out a claim on an accident that has resulted either in personal injury or property damage, the more money they make for themselves. It’s typical for the insurance company itself to seek ways of delaying payouts for the same reason.
Of course, one of the critical factors in deciding when to make your claim is your health. If you have been seriously injured in the accident, you may wait until you feel better before making a claim. This is also an excellent reason to seek help from an experienced personal injury attorney, such as those at De Castroverde Law Group. Your attorneys can represent you in filing the insurance claim and negotiate on your behalf towards a settlement while you focus on your recovery.
Why You Shouldn’t Delay an Accident Claim
You shouldn’t delay filing an accident claim any longer than necessary—the reason: The clock is ticking. Under Nevada law, you generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. In most instances, the filing of the lawsuit follows efforts to recover compensation from an insurance company for your injuries or property damage.
If you have the proper legal representation, that may involve negotiations, which will take some time. And if the talks ultimately fail, then your recourse is to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you wait too long to make your claim and ultimately have to file the lawsuit, you may run up against the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury matters. If you let it go beyond two years, a court might not hear your case.
Don’t delay making an accident claim, and make sure you seek advice from qualified personal injury attorneys. Sometimes insurance companies will try to lock you into a settlement sooner after an accident when you are most vulnerable. The experienced unique injury team at De Castroverde Law can handle insurance negotiations while you work on getting healthy.
Delay or no delay, it’s vitally important to keep excellent care records. One of the primary sources of compensation will be for your medical care. You will have to document the amounts you spent on treatment.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a law passed by a legislature that limits the amount of time someone has to initiate legal claims against another party, a time limit on making specific legal claims. Statutes of limitations have a long history under western systems of law. The objective is to prevent someone from deliberately waiting a long time, after which memories have faded or evidence is lost, to bring a claim. Statutes of limitations exist in both civil and criminal law.
In most circumstances, Nevada law allows you two years to file a lawsuit related to a personal injury caused by negligence or recklessness. The time is calculated from the date someone knew or should have known of the injury and the acts that led to it. In the case of a car accident, that will be obvious, of course.
Let the Personal Injury Lawyers at De Castroverde Law Guide You
The legal system can sometimes seem like a maze of rules and deadlines. Your best bet following a personal injury car accident is to seek the insights of an experienced personal injury attorney. The team at De Castroverde Law is ready to stand by your side as you seek compensation for medical treatment for your injuries, damage to your vehicle, and even, if applicable, for pain and suffering.
We offer a free personal injury case consultation where our team will review the facts and recommend how to position yourself for success in the legal system. The personal injury lawyers at De Castroverde Law handle a wide range of personal injury matters, including car, bike, and motorcycle accidents and slips and falls. Contact us today for an appointment.