How long after a car accident occurs can you do an insurance claim?

Asked 12 months ago - Houston, TX

After an accident, if one of the people involved starts feeling the aftermath of the accident how long can you wait to do an insurance claim? Is there even a time limit? What if the situation becomes a he-said she-said, who would be liable?

Additional information

What if there was no police report or witnesses?

Attorney answers (12)

  1. Brian Heath Crockett

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 2 years is the statute of limitations. The best evidence on a he said she said is the police report and witnesses. Good luck.

    Top Personal Injury Lawyer - Trial Tested - Proven Results - Free Consultation: 855-648-4695. Legal disclaimer:... more
  2. George Louis Legrand

    Contributor Level 12

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If the person you are asking about was injured, the first step is to get good medical care. There is not a minimum time to make a claim, but in Texas if a lawsuit becomes necessary, it must be filed within 2 years of the injury. If there are injuries involved, this person you speak of should get a free consultation from a Board Certified personal injury lawyer. Most people are no match for an experienced insurance adjuster. It always helps to have that kind of experience in your corner. I hope this was helpful.

    This answer and all answers and information I provide on Avvo are intended to provide general information only and... more
  3. Michael David Myers

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It's called a statute of limitations. It varies based on a number of factors (e.g., location of accident, whether defendant is federal government, etc.).

    You should check with local counsel to see whether it makes sense to pursue a claim. AVVO has a tool to help you find a lawyer: http://www.avvo.com/find-a-lawyer

  4. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Within 2 years

  5. Gerald R Stahl

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Mr. Crockett and Mr. Legrand both laid it out well. Good Luck!

  6. Daragh John Carter

    Contributor Level 14

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I wouldn't wait any longer than necessary before getting medical attention if you think that is what you need. Insurance adjusters call this a "treatment gap" and will argue that your waiting to go to the doctor is a sign that you are not hurt. I understand there are lots of good reasons a person may not immediately go to the emergency room, but insurance adjusters don't care about any of them.

    If there is a dispute on who was at fault for an accident, a favorable police report can help but an independent eyewitness is usually much stronger evidence because the officer didn't see the accident with his/her own eyes.

  7. Christopher Keith Fletcher

    Contributor Level 4

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The applicable time period to file suit under the Statute of Limitations will vary widely, depending on the circumstances of the wreck. For example, if one of the injured people is a new-born baby, that person's limitations period could be as long as 20 years. Conversely, if the wreck occurred across the Louisiana border, the limitations period could be as short as 1 year. Regardless, you should have the injured people call an experienced attorney as soon as possible. In practice, the limitations period under the Statute of Limitations is usually not as pressing of a concern as getting the injured people timely medical care in concert with quick action to investigate the facts of the wreck. Among many other things, these are the types of issues a lawyer will be able to assist you with.

    No attorney/client relationship is intended or implied by this communication unless you subsequently hire Simmons &... more
  8. Daryl L. Derryberry

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I suggest you consult with a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial attorney sooner rather than later. In general, you have 2 years from the date of the wreck to file suit. I would not give any statements to any insurance company until you have consulted with an attorney. Insurance adjusters only care about paying you as little as possible to resolve your personal injury claims so be very weary of them. Good luck.

    By providing this legal analysis of the issue presented, no attorney/client relationship is being formed.... more
  9. Kenneth Parks Gober III

    Contributor Level 10

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If the claim is against another persons auto insurance, there is a 2 year statute of limitations.

    He-said-she-said cases can already be tough, waiting won't make it better.

    If someone was injured, call a local personal injury attorney, most offer a free consultation.

  10. Gregory Joseph Kish

    Contributor Level 4

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Typically, in the State of Texas, you have two (2) years to bring a lawsuit to recover damages. That being said, you would want to file a pre suit insurance claim well before that statute of limitations expires.

  11. Michael R Crosner

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Immediately consult a local personal injury attorney - many offer free initial consultations. You can locate a local attorney right here on avvo under the tab "Find a Lawyer"

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney .... more
  12. Gary Jay Mandel

    Contributor Level 4

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is no specific certain time you need to "file" a claim (not do an insurance claim ) however the law does set a time limit when you need to start a legal action. Check your jurisdiction to be sure.

    Good luck.

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