After a car accident, medical attention should be your top priority if you or your passengers end up with serious injuries. However, you also need to think about how much time you have to report the accident so you can file a lawsuit.
Learn about the importance of reporting an accident promptly.
The Importance of Reporting a Car Accident
You may be in situations where you don’t want to report the accident at all, such as if a repair is estimated to cost less than your insurance deductible, but those times are few and far between. Generally, you should report it as soon as possible, and you can even try at the scene of the accident to ensure accuracy in your description.
Continue reading to learn more about how reporting an accident fast can help you receive compensation for any physical injuries.
Rules to Reporting an Accident
The rules surrounding a car accident report largely depend on your insurance company and policy. Additionally, you will need to research your state’s laws and limits, which are known as a statute of limitations.
A statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum amount of time the parties involved have to initiate legal proceedings from the date of an alleged crime. This means you can ask your state’s civil court for a remedy within a reasonable timeframe.
Each state has two different time limits: one for bodily injury claims, and the other for property, collision, and comprehensive claims. For instance, in Utah, a victim has four years to file a personal injury claim, and three years to file a property damage claim.
In the context of a car collision, any injury claim filed by a driver, passenger, bicyclist, motorcyclist, a scooter rider, or pedestrian are subject to this deadline.
The clock starts ticking the day of the accident. Depending on the relevant deadline, if you attempt to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, the defendant (the person you’re trying to sue) will ask the court to dismiss the case. A judge will grant the motion, and your case will go cold.
Once a judge dismisses your case, you won’t be able to file a lawsuit, so you must act immediately and file a report hours after an accident.
Six Steps to Filing a Claim
The whole point of filing a claim after an accident is to help alleviate costs, so make sure you’re thorough with your notes. Here are six steps you should follow after an accident to make the claim process go smoothly:
- Step 1: When you report the accident, make sure you get the officer’s information and police report number.
- Step 2: Write down the contact information for everyone involved in the accident, which includes witnesses.
- Step 3: Note the make and model of all other cars involved.
- Step 4: Take multiple pictures of the damage.
- Step 5: Report the accident to your insurance company immediately. Most companies have an app that allows you to report a claim from your phone.
- Step 6: Make several copies of all the documents.
Contact Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton
The sooner you report an accident, the faster you can file a lawsuit against a negligent driver if you’ve suffered physical injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton today for your free case evaluation.