If you were injured in a car accident, you might wonder how long after an accident can you file a claim. You file a claim with the insurance company for the at-fault driver. However, the deadline for filing a lawsuit is different from the deadline for filing a claim.
You have a specific amount of time to file a car accident lawsuit. Knowing the deadline for filing a car accident claim is crucial if you want to recover compensation for your car accident injuries.
How Long Do You Have to File an Insurance Claim?
New York requires drivers to have no-fault insurance as well as liability insurance for bodily injury. Many insurance policies require policyholders to notify their insurance company as soon as possible after an accident. The accident victim can file a claim any time after the car accident.
Car accident claims can take several months to more than a year to settle. It depends on several factors, including the duration of your recovery. Settling an insurance claim before you complete medical treatment is not in your best interest.
Therefore, the question becomes, “How long can a car insurance claim stay open?” It depends on the complexity of the case, your injuries, and the willingness of the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement.
The timeline for a car accident claim also depends on the statute of limitations for New York car accidents.
How Long After an Accident Can You Sue in New York?
The statute of limitations for most car accident claims is three years from the accident date. However, there are exceptions to this rule; it is best to consult an attorney as soon as possible following a car accident.
Allowing the statute of limitations to expire for a car accident lawsuit means you cannot pursue a legal claim against the person who caused your car crash. If you file a lawsuit after the deadline passes, the court dismisses the lawsuit. As a result, the person who caused your pain and financial loss would not be held liable for your damages.
How Do I File a Car Accident Claim in Queens, NY?
Calling 911 after a car crash is the quickest and easiest way to report an accident. Having a police report is helpful when filing an insurance claim. The police report is not conclusive proof of fault, but it is an official report that the accident occurred.
The insurance company for the at-fault driver investigates the cause of the crash. If the insurance company finds that its insured driver caused the car wreck, it should compensate you for your injuries and damages. However, the amount the insurance company pays may be far below the actual value of your damages.
A claims adjuster protects the insurance company from liability. The adjuster works to settle the insurance claim for the lowest amount possible. Therefore, an initial settlement offer is generally lower than you could receive if you hired a lawyer and pursued a personal injury claim.
Seeking legal advice before accepting a settlement offer is in your best interest. An attorney reviews your case to determine how much your claim is worth. An experienced car accident lawyer protects you from aggressive insurance tactics to help you get the money you deserve.
A personal injury lawyer also calculates the deadline for filing a lawsuit. Your attorney monitors the deadline to ensure that you do not lose your right to file a lawsuit if you cannot settle your claim through negotiations with the car insurance company.
What Damages Can I Recover for a Car Accident in New York?
New York tort laws permit accident victims to seek compensation for their economic damages. Economic damages include:
- Medical bills
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of income
- Physical therapy
- Personal care
- Diminished earning potential
- Long-term nursing care
You can also recover compensation for your “pain and suffering.” These non-economic damages include physical discomfort, mental anguish, and emotional distress. They also include impairments, scarring, loss of enjoyment of life, and disfigurement.
In a few cases, a plaintiff might be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages do not compensate you for your losses. Instead, they “punish” the at-fault party for gross negligence and intentional wrongdoing.
Punitive damages are rare in car accident cases, but your attorney will review your case to determine whether a jury might award punitive damages. If so, the attorney argues for punitive damages at trial.
Settling a car accident claim means giving up your right to sue the parties responsible for causing the car accident. Therefore, before signing the agreement, make sure you do what is best for you and receive maximum compensation for damages.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Queens, NY
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