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How long do I have to file a lawsuit after an auto accident?

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2023 | Car Accidents |

When people are in an auto accident in Connecticut, they will immediately think about their future. That includes the medical issues they might suffer from due to the impact, how it will inhibit their ability to work and what it means to their family. Thinking about legal options will inevitably take a backseat to simply getting well.

Since there are other priorities following a crash, the amount of time that elapses from the date of the accident to filing a legal claim to be compensated is important. There is a statute of limitations that must be adhered to. Those who do not file their claim in time might not be able to recover for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering and property damage.

What is the statute of limitations after a crash?

According to state law, a person who was injured in a crash or those who lost a loved one must file their claim in a timely manner. The relevant law, Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 52-584, states that there can be no action taken based on the injury to a person or for their property if it had been caused by negligence or reckless or wanton misconduct after two years have passed.

For example, if a driver was speeding and rear-ended the injured person’s car, they can be sued for damages. The key is that a lawsuit must be filed within two years of when the injury was discovered. Many times a claim is settled with the insurance company prior to the two year statute of limitations. However, if a settlement offer does not properly reflect the injuries and pain and suffering sustained, a lawsuit must be filed.

In some instances, the injuries are obvious. Broken bones, cuts, bruises and other clear injuries would warrant an immediate filing. However, as in the example of the rear-end crash, a person might not realize how seriously injured they are. Whiplash, brain trauma and internal damage could take longer to manifest and delay the decision to seek treatment and, consequently, to file a claim.

The key after a collision is to take it seriously when there is any chance of an injury even if it is not clear. Getting medical care and undergoing tests can show what might be lingering internally. Taking the necessary steps to get an accurate diagnosis can be essential to getting the claim underway before the two-year limit elapses.

People need to know the law after an accident

These issues can be confusing. A person who was hurt in an auto accident and family members who need to help care for an injured person might believe that it is only fair that they can file a claim to recover compensation. However, the law limits how long they have.

In these cases, it is imperative to know these details to ensure that everyone has a chance to make a full financial recovery. If the deadline is approaching, it is wise to act quickly to file a claim. This can happen to anyone regardless of their age, education and job. Having the case analyzed is the first step.