If you have recently been involved in a car accident in Kansas City, you likely have a lot on your plate. Although your primary focus may be on recovering, it is also important to stay aware of how long you have to file a car accident claim. The deadlines for filing a claim will depend on whether it is an insurance claim or a lawsuit, as well as which insurer you are filling it with.
Filing a Claim With Your Insurance
If you have comprehensive coverage, you can choose to rely on your own insurance company to cover an accident. If another driver is at fault, it can make sense to file a claim on their policy if you want to avoid paying your deductible. When it comes to a deadline for filing a claim, it will likely depend on the language of your policy. Some auto insurance policies will list a time frame for reporting an accident and filing a claim. Each policy is different and could be a time constraint of days, weeks, or months, but most include language urging or requiring you to file as soon as possible. That usually means within a few days or weeks at most. Insurance companies want to be notified immediately since investigating a claim becomes more challenging the more time passes. Failing to file a claim within the time allotted can result in a denial.
Filing a Claim on the Other Driver’s Policy
The deadline to file a claim with another driver’s insurance company will be different from your own. You have a contractual relationship with your insurance provider but not with the other driver’s insurer. Because you are not bound to the terms of their policy, you are not required to abide by the deadlines they set for policyholders. However, the at-fault party’s insurer has the discretion to accept or deny your claim, and a long delay won’t work in your favor.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
The most important deadline is the statute of limitations. Under this law, car accident victims are limited in the time they have to file a personal injury lawsuit related to a car accident. In Kansas City, the deadline is two years. If you have not filed a claim within two years of your accident, you cannot collect compensation.
As long as you still have the right to bring a lawsuit against an at-fault driver, their insurance company will likely consider a claim. Most insurers would rather settle a case than risk a lawsuit, so there are times that they will accept claims months or even years after an accident. However, if the statute of limitations has passed, the threat of a lawsuit is gone forever.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, schedule a free consultation with a skilled Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer to discuss your legal options today. Contact Goza & Honnold online or call (913) 451-3433.