The law provides us with sufficient time to file a claim, allowing the injured to get treated and to heal first before diving into the paperwork and processes involved in an auto accident claim. The state of California has set these time limits for the filing of claims after an auto accident:
For property damage: 3 years
For personal injury and wrongful death: 2 years
This allowance provided by law, however, should not be taken for granted. Victims of auto accidents should start processing the claim as soon as they are capable, or at the very least, delegate that task to a trustworthy person.
Please note that the statutory limitations mentioned above do not apply to cases when the at-fault is a government agency or a related entity. For example, if you had an accident with a city truck and plan to file a claim, you don’t have 2 or 3 years. You only have 6 months from the date of the accident to file a notice of claim against the government agency at fault. If your claim is denied, then you have another six months to pursue the claim or file a lawsuit.
I understand that the aftermath of an auto accident is often a time of chaos–follow-ups on insurance, hospitalization, therapy, car repair, and if unfortunately someone died, fixing the funeral and mourning. To manage your time better and lessen your trouble, it’s best to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Expert legal advice can save you a lot of time and effort and prevent you from missing crucial legal deadlines that may affect your claim.