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

ft lauderdale auto accident

When you have been involved in a car accident, you may not immediately think to consult a personal injury attorney, particularly if you feel that the accident was minor. But, as the full extent of your injuries and suffering becomes evident in the months following the incident, you may wonder how long you have after an accident to file a claim. Read on to learn some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the timing of filing a legal claim in Florida after a car crash.

How Soon Should I File?

As soon as you have been in a car accident and following medical intervention, you should immediately consult a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can assess the unique circumstances of your accident and determine whether your case has merit. The attorney will also be able to advise you on when would be best to file your legal claim.

Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?

In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance carrier for personal injury or property damage is 4 years from the date of the accident. The deadline for filing a wrongful death legal claim is only 2 years, which means that if a loved one died because of a negligent driver, you must file a lawsuit against the at-fault party within this timeframe.

However, it is also important to note that there may be other deadlines to be mindful of following a car crash. For example, car drivers with Florida PIP insurance must seek medical treatment within 2 weeks of the accident, or they risk their insurance provider denying their insurance claim. Seeing prompt medical attention is wise to improve your likelihood of physical recovery and make it easier for your attorney to connect the injuries you suffered to the accident that caused them.

What Happens If I Miss the Filing Deadline?

If you miss the statute of limitations deadline and file a legal claim too long after a car accident, the presiding judge may automatically dismiss your case. The best way to avoid missing the deadline is to engage the services of an expert Florida personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal system to win compensation for your injuries.

Why Do I Need a Attorney for My Car Accident Claim?

The legal field is complex and requires an aptitude for communicating effectively with insurance companies. After an accident, you should be able to focus fully on recovering. A attorney can help you by performing the following tasks.

  • Talking through your case with you, discerning the important details.
  • Drafting the necessary documents and compiling relevant evidence.
  • Talking to and negotiating with the insurance companies and the other involved parties.
  • Filing paperwork during the 4-year window.
  • Representing you in a trial if the case goes to court.

Will My Car Accident Case Go to Trial?

Many car crash cases settle outside the courts through private negotiations between those involved and their legal representatives. But, if no agreements are reached between the involved parties, the case will move on to trial.

Meldon Law Is on Your Side Following a Car Crash

When you have been injured in a car accident, you need an experienced legal team in your corner as you fight for the compensation you need to get your life back on track. At Meldon Law, our team is committed to helping you overcome the debilitating injuries and pain and suffering a car accident causes. We offer free consultations and work on contingency, meaning we do not receive compensation unless you do. Contact us when you have been involved in a car crash in Florida so we can get to work fighting for you.

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