How Long After a Car Accident Can You File a Claim?

If you have recently been in a vehicle accident, you likely have a lot on your plate. If you suffered an injury, your emergency medical treatment is likely your priority. However, there are countless other issues you will have to deal with after a crash. From securing transportation to scheduling vehicle repairs, these matters can lead to a substantial burden.

To get out from under these financial pressures, you will need to obtain compensation for your losses. Typically, this requires filing an insurance claim. There is a right time for everything, however, and this is no exception. If you fail to file your claim on time, the insurance company could deny it. This is true whether you would have otherwise been entitled to benefits or not.

However, the deadline to file an insurance claim depends on which insurance company you are filing it with. In most cases, you will rely on your own insurance company. If another driver is at fault, it could make sense to file a claim on their policy and avoid paying your deductible.

Filing a claim with your insurance

When it comes to any issue with your insurance carrier, the specifics will likely depend on the language of the policy. Some policies will list a time frame for filing. It could be in a matter of days, weeks, or months. While every policy is different, most include language urging or requiring you to file as soon as possible. The insurance companies want to be notified immediately, as investigating a claim becomes more challenging as time passes. If you fail to do this in the time allotted, your carrier could deny it.

Filing a claim on the other driver’s policy

The deadline to file a claim with another driver’s insurance company differs from your own. While you have a contractual relationship with your insurance provider, the same cannot be said for the other driver’s insurance. Since you are not bound to the terms of their policy, you are not required to abide by their rules. However, insurance companies have the discretion to accept or deny a claim and long delays could work against you.

The most important deadline is the statute of limitations. As long as you still have the right to bring a lawsuit against their driver, the other insurance company is likely to consider a claim. If resolving a case makes more sense than risking a lawsuit, the insurance carrier could accept it months or even years after an accident. However, if the statute of limitations passes, the threat of a lawsuit is gone forever. The insurance company will not consider your claim at that point.

In Pennsylvania, the deadline is two years. If you have not filed a claim within two years of your accident, the chances of obtaining benefits from an insurance policy are low.

How a Pittsburgh car accident attorney could help

Whether you are dealing with your own insurance company or taking on the at-fault driver’s carrier, you have the right to seek legal counsel. A car accident attorney in Pittsburgh could advise you on your best course of action following a wreck and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. To learn more about how a lawyer could help, contact Chaffin Luhana right away to schedule a free case evaluation.