April 13, 2017
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After a car accident, there are time limits for when you should complete parts of the process. For example, immediately after an accident with injuries, you’ll want to visit a doctor or have an ambulance take you to the hospital. You don’t want to delay because that will hurt your chances at recovery. If you delay other parts of the process, it’ll impact whether you receive damages for your injuries.
Document the Incident
These steps are valid in the case of any accident where there have been injuries. You’ll want to write down as much as you can remember about what led to the accident. If there are witnesses, try to ensure that you have their names and a statement about the accident especially when someone else was at fault.
Lost Wages and Medical Bills
After the accident with injuries, you’ll need to document how much time you missed from work and keep meticulous notes about the medical portion of your claim. Any evidence, pictures and notices should be in a file.
Notifying the Insurance Company
While you don’t have to know whether you intend to sue or not after a car accident, you do have to notify your insurance company of the accident immediately. You’ll contact your insurance company as well as the other person’s company to inform them of the accident.
Notification of Intent to Sue
After an accident, you don’t have to sue immediately, but you can let the other party know that you intend to sue them. This is a step in the process that you can take or not. It’s not required unless the entity you’re suing is the city, county or state, which had a part in the accident itself.
Hiring a Lawyer
At some point in the process, it makes sense to hire a lawyer. It should actually be done as soon as possible when you’ve decided to sue the other party. The attorney can provide sound, practical advice about the steps you need to take in the process. He or she will be able to do much of this work since it can be incredibly confusing when you’re still reeling from the accident and dealing with your injuries.
When you meet with a lawyer for the first time, it should be as soon as possible after the accident, so he or she can give you quality legal advice. Every situation is a bit different, but they all will follow the same laws and rules, which the lawyer can help with as soon as you make contact.
The state of New York has rules about car accidents. If you plan to sue an individual, you’re living in a no-fault state, which means that you’ll have to collect from your own insurance company for your injuries before you can sue the other party unless you have serious injuries. There’s a threshold of injuries covered by the no-fault claim.
From the time of the accident, you have 3 years to approach the court and file a lawsuit against the person responsible for your injuries or the accident itself. This is called a statute of limitations.
When you pass the statute of limitations in the state, you are unable to file a claim. The court system will refuse to hear any part of your case because the law is in place, and you’ll have to follow it.
The rules are different for the government. You might be planning on suing the city or state because of the circumstances surrounding the accident. For example, you might want to file a suit against the driver of a city bus who caused your accident. In this case, you’ll have 90 days to file a complaint against the city. The complaint differs from the actual lawsuit. You’ll have up to one year to file a lawsuit against the city in the same case. You’ll have 90 days to file a complaint against a county or the state itself too.
This might not seem like a lot of time since medical treatment can still be ongoing at the 90-day mark. You don’t have to know the final outcome of your treatment or the final numbers to file an intent to make a claim.
Letter of Notification
While you might have called your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company to inform them of your intent to sue, you should send a notification letter too. There can be no mistake when you’ve sent the letter to the other party in writing. The driver responsible for the accident and your injuries might even talk to their insurance company about settling the case in a timely manner, which can only help your case.
There are always statute of limitations when it comes to filing a lawsuit against someone else in the event of an accident. You can always file an intent to sue letter with the other party long before you’re ready to file the lawsuit itself. If you plan on suing a government agency or the city, county or state for the accident, you have less time than you might have expected. It’s always a good idea to speak with an attorney about the specifics of your case before time runs out for the claim itself.