How long after a car accident you can claim injury depends on which state the accident happened in. Time limits for filing personal injury lawsuits depend on a state’s statutes of limitations. For example, in Florida, you normally have four years to file a lawsuit, according to Florida Statute § 95.11.
However, in other states, the time for filing a lawsuit may be much shorter. It could be two years or even as short as one year. The Louisiana Statute of Limitations 4.1, for example, generally permits filing a personal injury lawsuit up to just one year after the date the injury occurred.
While there can be exceptions and extensions to the statute of limitations’ time frames, these extensions typically require proof of some special circumstance that prohibited the claimant from filing earlier. If you discovered that you are out of time for filing a car accident claim in your state, you should consider speaking to a car accident lawyer, as you may still be able to file a claim.
Car Accident Injury Records
While you generally have some time before filing a lawsuit, depending on the applicable state laws, you should get any injuries seen by a medical professional as soon as you can after an accident, if you have not already done so. Even something you may have shrugged off as a minor injury can worsen in the days and weeks after a car accident.
If you are considering bringing a claim against the at-fault party in your accident, you will need evidence to prove your injuries. Having medical reports detailing your injuries will be important for your case. You might also wish to hang on to any accident reports, photographs of the scene or your injuries, and any other supporting evidence or proof of your injuries from the accident.
Typical Car Accident Injuries
Some common injuries from car accidents include:
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Whiplash is a type of neck injury that can occur when a car is rear-ended or stops suddenly. Whiplash may not be painful immediately after the accident but could develop in the hours and days after and can potentially cause severe pain.
If you have any pain or stiffness in your neck, or you are experiencing unusual headaches after an accident, you may have whiplash or another injury and should get these symptoms evaluated and documented by a medical professional as soon as possible.
A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can affect the function of your brain. Symptoms of a concussion can initially be mild, according to Mayo Clinic, and may not show up for some time after an accident.
Some of the symptoms of a concussion include memory loss, headaches, and confusion. You may also feel nausea or fatigue. If you notice any symptoms of a concussion in the days after the accident, you should seek medical advice urgently.
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While you can potentially break any bone in a car accident, bones that commonly break in motor vehicle accidents are those of the hands, arms, feet, and legs. While broken bones are rarely life-threatening, they can cause prolonged absence from work and may need costly surgeries.
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Musculoskeletal injuries are those that occur in your muscles, ligaments, and nerves. These types of injuries may require extensive and costly rehabilitation care, such as physical therapy.
While it is normal to concentrate on the physical injuries suffered in an accident, do not underestimate the emotional scars that can result from a severe car accident. Car accidents can leave you with debilitating anxiety and, in some cases, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you experience any persistent anxiety, panic attacks, or flashbacks after an accident, you should seek medical advice. Emotional injuries may require therapy or medications.
Most injuries from car accidents can cause you physical discomfort, mental anguish, and costly medical bills. They could even cause you to lose wages, or in the worst case, could prevent you from returning to your career. However, you may have legal recourse.
If you need advice on how you could receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses, as well as your pain and suffering, you should speak to a car accident lawyer for help.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Fight for You
We can help you establish how long after a car accident you can claim injuries. Even if you are out of time, according to the statute of limitations in your state, we may still be able to help you file a lawsuit. You should not have to pay for all your medical costs and other expenses if someone else is at fault for your accident.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation to determine whether you have a case and could receive compensation at (800) 794-0444.