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How Long Do I Have to Claim an Injury After a Car Accident?

Picture of Car Crash

When it comes to a car accident, victims must cope with many uncertainties. For the injured, worries about medical bills and returning to work are paramount. These individuals must also repair or replace their vehicles, file insurance claims and keep their households on track. For families who lost a loved one in a crash, the struggle can be even more difficult.

In the scramble to make ends meet, the thought of filing a personal injury lawsuit can get lost. However, a lawsuit could be the answer that victims need. The timetables for filing these lawsuits can vary, which means you may not know the right time to file your case. Here are a few important deadlines our Oakland personal injury attorneys think you need to know about.

After a Car Accident, How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?

Statutes of limitations restrict how long you have to file a lawsuit. Depending on the conditions surrounding a car accident, different limits may apply. For example, if you are injured in a car collision, you only have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, California gives accident victims three years to file a property damage claim. These limits become even more strict if a government vehicle or employee was involved in the crash.

What If I’m in an Accident With a Government Vehicle?

If the accident involved a federal or state employee or vehicle, then that entity may be responsible for the resulting damages and injuries. Victims in these cases have six months from the date of the crash to file an administrative claim with the agency. The government then has 45 days to respond. If the government rejects the submitted claim, then the victim only has six months to file a lawsuit. If the government doesn’t respond at all, then the victim must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the collision. Before a lawsuit can be filed against a government entity, specific criteria must be met.

Why Is It Important to Know California’s Statutes of Limitations?

This information is essential for anyone who has been injured in an auto accident. Even people who think that they walked away uninjured need to contact an attorney to be prepared. There have been occasions where victims have discovered that they were seriously injured in a crash months later. Dealing with the medical bills that result from such a discovery could prove devastating.

For those who have more urgent injuries, these statutes of limitations give you time to recover. During this period, you can establish a health plan with your physician. This plan can give you a solid understanding of what it will take to meet your medical needs in the future. A legal strategy based on your doctor’s recommendations could help ensure that you are not stuck with out-of-pocket costs after you have settled a claim.

Legal Representation Focused on Your Needs

Managing these time constraints is why consulting an experienced Oakland personal injury attorney should be your priority after an accident. Here at Heinrich Law, PC, we have the experience to help clients manage their time properly. We focus on the needs of our clients to help them reach a favorable conclusion for their claims. Call (510) 570-1608 today to schedule a free consultation.

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