How long after accident can you make claim?

The insurance company generally has approximately 30 days to investigate your car insurance claim, although the number of days varies by state. Most state laws require that claims be processed promptly and without unnecessary delay, but processing and resolving them can take longer, especially if the accident was serious or if an investigation into coverage is necessary. Taking photographs of the accident scene and obtaining the contact information of any witnesses can help support your claim. In accidents with more injuries and damages, the investigation may take longer, which may delay receiving payment or payments of your claim.

Keep in mind that car accident investigations can take months to complete if there are serious injuries, multiple drivers and cars involved, and if it is unknown who was at fault. For example, a car accident with multiple serious injuries and a question about which driver was at fault may take longer to investigate than a small accident with a clearly at fault driver. If you file a claim with an insurance company, you have time for your car insurance company or policy to say that you have to start the claim process after an accident, that is, when the accident occurs or within 24 hours. States can also require you to report an accident to the police if the damages exceed a certain amount, but that doesn't mean you have to file a claim with your insurance company.

Every state has statute of limitations that dictate how quickly you should file a lawsuit after a car accident. You can expect to contact your adjuster frequently, and the investigation may last a few weeks or months, depending on the severity of the car accident. States can also require drivers to report an accident within a certain number of days if the damages exceed a certain amount. States are much more specific about the time you have to file a lawsuit related to an accident than insurers are in terms of the time you have to file a claim related to one.

Your insurance company may tell you that you should start the claims process as soon as possible after a car accident, but you may have more time than that. Ultimately, the timing depends on the circumstances of the accident and on factors such as state laws, the severity of the injury and property damage, the involvement of lawyers, and how quickly you filed the claim. If you plan to file a lawsuit after a car accident, consult with a local lawyer about your state's statute of limitations and the specific state requirements for filing a lawsuit. Insurance companies also use police reports as evidence, so it's vital to report an accident to determine fault.

You may need to provide your car insurance company with information about who was involved, the vehicle and insurance of anyone involved, the place and time of the accident, a copy of the police report, and the names of the officers who responded.

Joy Villenas
Joy Villenas

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