Some time will need to pass after an accident for you to be able to sue for personal injury, this will allow medical professionals to assess the extent of your injuries and to find out all of the injuries you could have.
Being in an accident can be traumatizing and any injuries you incur could leave you out of action for weeks, months, or even years, so until you’re feeling well enough to deal with the stress of beginning the process of suing for personal injury then we’d recommend waiting.
If incur a major injury and you're still going through ongoing treatment for a long period, then it's best to wait until you've finished with your medical treatment or care so if you do try to file a claim you can try to recuperate the loss of finances through medical bills and any loss of salary from you not being able to work.
Some people walk away from an accident thinking they have no injuries and not go to the hospital, and then days, weeks, or even months later discover that something is wrong with them due to the accident.
You normally have up to 3 years from the date of the accident or the date that you discovered the injury to file a claim or a personal injury lawsuit, however, there are some exceptions to this 'limitation' period when there are special circumstances.
There are also some states in the US that allow personal injury claims to be made after 5 years from the date of an accident or injury, so make sure to check with your state regulations.
If a parent or guardian is trying to make a claim for an injury from an accident on behalf of their child who is below the age of 18.
The injury could've happened anytime before the child was 18 and they now have a further 3 years until the child's 21st birthday to start a claim as an adult.
If an injured person started to begin the process of making a personal injury claim but then passed away, then close family members of the deceased person can make a personal injury claim on behalf of the deceased person within 3 years from the date of death.
Is it worth it to sue after a car accident?
No, it is not worth it to sue after every car accident, especially in minor car accidents.
If nobody was seriously hurt (maybe a few cuts or bruises as a minimum) and the other driver in the car has auto insurance then you can go through the insurance company to get a reimbursement to cover the cost of repairs to your damaged car.
However, if you were involved in a major accident that was not your fault and you’ve incurred many serious injuries, then it may be worth suing when the time comes to try to reclaim some of the financial losses due to medical bills and salary lost from time off work.
If you cannot prove that the other driver was at fault in the accident, then it could be risky and financially irresponsible for you to try and sue them.
Not only will you have a chance of losing the case which could result in you having to pay compensation to the other driver, but you’ll have wasted money on funding the case with an attorney.
If you’ve filed a claim through the insurance companies and it’s been denied or you feel you’ve received too low a settlement, then you can decide to go down the legal route.
Insurance companies will try and offer as low a settlement as possible, which can be a real kick in the teeth if you’ve incurred some severe injuries from the accident.
If the settlement they’re offering does not match what you’ve paid in medical bills or any money you’ve lost from not being able to work, then we’d recommend going down the legal route.
If the driver at fault in the accident doesn’t have auto insurance, then you may have no choice but to go down the legal route to claim compensation for any injuries or damages.
If you’re not sure whether you should settle or go ahead and sue in regards to your car accident, then you can seek legal advice as they’ll be able to advise you on how likely you will be to win your case in court.
If the driver at fault in the accident was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then you’ll have good grounds to be able to sue them as they’ll have no case to fall back on as they were clearly in the wrong.
How long after a car accident can you claim for damage?
After a car accident, you should make sure to take lots of photos of both cars involved and also get a copy of the police report so you can prove to the insurance company the extent of the damage.
You should try to report your car accident as soon as possible to the insurance company otherwise if too much time goes on, then it’ll be hard to prove that the damages to your car were caused by the car accident you were in.
Insurance companies will have various policies on how long you have after a car accident to claim for damage, some vary from days to weeks. So check with the insurance company before waiting too long to go forward with the claim.
The insurance company will often send someone out to evaluate the damage to your car and they’ll ask for evidence of some quotes of estimated costs that it’ll require to get your car fixed to make sure you won’t use the money for anything else.
If you’ve incurred major injuries during the accident that has made you unable to be fit to file a damage claim, then the car insurance company will be sympathetic to your situation, however, the compensation from filing a lawsuit for the accident may exceed what you could get from a car insurance claim.