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

san-diego-car-accidentIf you are injured in a car accident due to the negligence of someone else, you may be contemplating bringing a lawsuit for your personal injuries to obtain compensation. If you can prove someone else was at fault for causing the accident, then you are should to be able to pursue a successful claim for monetary damages.  However, there are strict time constraints imposed by law for bringing a personal injury claim after a car accident, and if you miss the deadline, you could be forever barred from bringing your claim.  These time constraints are generally referred to as the “statute of limitations.”

How long after a car accident do I have to bring a claim?

Although there are time restrictions which set forth the outer limits for bringing a lawsuit after a car accident, there are no restrictions that state you have to wait a certain amount of time before you begin your claim.  You can bring a lawsuit after a car accident as soon as you would like.  In fact, there are some advantages for pursuing your claim early, such as witnesses are often easier to locate and witnesses memories are often better. As such, it is important to locate a car accident attorney as soon as possible after being injured in a car accident.

Statute of Limitations for an adult after a car accident

Generally speaking, adults who have been injured in a car accident have two years from the date of the accident to bring a lawsuit. If you wait longer than two years after the date of the anniversary of the car accident, you will not be permitted to bring a lawsuit.  There are some exceptions to this rule, but they are not often met.  Thus, it is imperative that you file your lawsuit no later than two years from the date of the car accident.  If you are even a few days late, you may forever lose your right to bring a claim for compensation for your injuries.

Statute of limitations for a child after a car accident

The statute of limitations for a child injured in a car accident is a bit different.  The statute of limitations is still two years, but it does not begin to run from the date of the accident. Rather, the statute of limitations begins to run from the 18th birthday of the child.  Thus, children injured in a car accident have two years from their 18th birthday to bring a claim for damages after a car accident, or they have until their 20th birthday to file a claim. There are some exceptions to this rule, so if your child has been injured in a car accident, it is important to speak to an experienced lawyer right away.

Martinez & Schill LLP’s lawyers are experienced in handling car accident cases. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Riverside or San Diego car accident, contact us today for a free consultation.  We do not get paid unless we obtain compensation on your behalf.  San Diego 619-512-5995 or Riverside 951-200-4630.

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