After an accident, the first thought is usually to get medical help and try to recover. Trying to balance between doctor appointments and the recovery process tends to put a lot on one’s plate. There is also the issue of trying to file for a personal injury suit to claim damages for injuries sustained.
While you might get tempted to put it off until you fully recover, the statute of limitations stipulates a set period for you to file your insurance claim. Failure to get your case filed within the set period could cause you to lose out on the fair compensation that should’ve been accorded to you, among other things.
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims varies by the state, In California, for example, it is within two years from the accident’s date. Once the two-year period expires, courts would be likely to reject your case out of hand, no matter its strength.
Below are some of the dangers of waiting too long to file a personal injury claim.
The more time passes, the harder it is for your personal injury attorney to gather all the relevant documents. These documents may include medical and police records, among other materials needed to support your case.
Filing your personal injury claim on time is necessary because of the rawness of evidence. After an accident, you can get access to evidence that would be beneficial to your case. Insurance companies typically hire experts and investigators to uncover all the relevant facts of the accident to support your claim.
However, when a lot of time passes by, the evidence gets lost, and the gathering of proof becomes increasingly tricky. This could also be costly on your end because your attorney would need to hire an investigator to collect the evidence at your financial expense.
After an accident, there is a high chance that at least one person witnessed the crash. This witness could prove to be a substantial asset for your personal injury claim. It is also likely that at the time, they may have spoken to the police about the crash.
However, as time progresses, the witness could be hard to track down for any number of reasons. Additionally, there is a likelihood that said the witness could be unable to recount the events of that day accurately, thus providing conflicting and unreliable information.
The Insurance Will Lowball You
It is no secret that insurance companies have several tricks up their sleeves to avoid paying you. Waiting too long to file your personal injury claim could be used against you when determining your compensation.
Early filing ensures that you have enough time to negotiate back and forth with the insurance company to reach a substantial settlement offer. On the other hand, late filing can result in a hurried negotiation settlement that would see you get a low offer.
You can consult with a reputable and experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that you get fairly compensated if you fail to file the claim on time.
You Risk Losing the Settlement Altogether
As mentioned, insurance companies are always looking for loopholes and excuses to avoid compensating you the value that you deserve. Waiting to file the personal injury claim for long or filing when the statute of limitation has run out can be sufficient grounds for the insurance company to deny your request for compensation.
It is understandable why one would put off filing a personal injury claim. However, waiting too long to file can be detrimental to your claim. It is always advisable to get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney to effectively navigate the filing process.