If you’ve been in a car accident, you may be feeling a lot of stress and anxiety. Not only do you have to deal with the aftermath of the accident, but you also must deal with insurance companies, car repairs, and possible injuries. One of the most common questions is, “How long after a car accident can I claim injury?” The simple answer is that it depends on the severity of your injuries and the state in which the accident occurred. Here is some information to help sort that out.
What Should You Do Following an Accident?
After a car accident, you need to take specific steps to ensure your safety and the safety of others, as well as to protect your legal rights.
First and foremost, if you are able, move yourself and your vehicle to a safe location off the road. If you are not able to move your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights and wait for help away from traffic. Once you are in a safe location, call for medical help if anyone appears to be injured. Even if there are no visible injuries, it is always best to err on the side of caution and have everyone checked out by a medical professional.
Next, do not admit blame for the accident. It is important to let the insurance companies sort out who is at fault. Simply state the facts of what happened without placing blame on yourself or anyone else.
Then, take pictures of the damage to both vehicles as well as any visible injuries. These pictures will serve as valuable evidence later. If possible, get the contact information (name, address, phone number) of any witnesses to the accident.
Once you have taken care of these immediate steps, call your insurance company to report the accident. Be sure to document everything with your insurer, including when you call and what is discussed. Keep all correspondence with your insurance company in one place so that it is easily accessible if needed later.
Finally, see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident even if you do not believe you were injured. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not be immediately apparent. A medical professional will be able to document any injuries you sustained in the accident, which will be important if you need to file a personal injury claim later.
Massachusetts Car Accident Statute of Limitations
If you or someone you know has been in a car accident, it is important to know the statute of limitations for filing a claim in Massachusetts. The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after an injury. In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for car accidents is three years from the date of the accident. This means that if you were in a car accident on January 1, 2022, you would have until January 1, 2025 to file a claim.
If you have been in a car accident and are considering filing a claim, it is important to speak with an experienced Boston personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options under the law and can ensure that your claim is filed within the statute of limitations.
When an Auto Accident Becomes a Personal Injury
After a car accident, you may be confused about what to do next and whether you have a personal injury claim. If your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, some or all of your medical bills, and even pain and suffering.
The first step is to seek medical attention if you have been injured. It is important to document your injuries with your doctor so that you can show the extent of your injuries later. Once you have seen a doctor, you should then consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss your case.
How to Tell if An Accident Was Due to a Defective Vehicle
If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s important to know how to tell if the accident was due to a defective vehicle. There are a few things you can look for to help determine this:
- Were any of the vehicles involved in the accident recalled? You can check online to see if there have been any recent recalls of the make and model of the car you were driving or the car that hit you.
- Was there anything unusual about the way the accident happened? If it seems like something that wouldn’t normally happen, it could be due to a defect. For example, if your car suddenly lost power and crashed, that could be indicative of an electrical defect.
- Have you or anyone else experienced similar problems with your vehicle before? If you have, it’s possible that the accident was caused by the same defect.
If you think your accident may have been caused by a defective vehicle, it’s important to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. They can help investigate what happened and potentially file a claim against the manufacturer if necessary.
What to Do if The Accident Caused a Wrongful Death
If the accident caused a wrongful death, you may be able to file a claim for wrongful death. This type of claim can be filed by the deceased person’s surviving spouse, child, or parent. The claim can seek compensation for the loss of companionship, support, and earnings.
Difference Between At-Fault and No-Fault States for Car Accidents
There are two different types of car insurance systems in the United States: at-fault and no-fault. In an at-fault state, the driver who is responsible for causing an accident is also responsible for paying for any damages that result from the accident.
In a no-fault state, each driver involved in an accident pays for their own damages, regardless of who is responsible for the accident. No-fault states typically have lower car insurance rates than at-fault states, because drivers in no-fault states are not as likely to sue each other after an accident. At-fault states have higher car insurance rates because drivers in at-fault states are more likely to sue each other after an accident.
There are 12 no-fault states in the United States: North Dakota, Florida, Utah, Kansas, Michigan, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Hawaii. If you live in one of these states and are involved in a car accident, you will likely have to file a claim with your own insurance company regardless of who is responsible for the accident. If you live in an at-fault state and are involved in a car accident, you will likely have to file a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company.
Get the Help of an Attorney to File an Injury Claim
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important to know your rights and how long you have to file a claim. In Boston, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. This gives you plenty of time to seek medical attention and gather evidence to support your case. However, it’s important not to wait too long as there may be deadlines for filing certain types of claims. If you’re not sure what steps to take after an accident, be sure to speak with an experienced attorney who can help guide you through the process and protect your rights.
Daniel J. Larson, Esq. is the lead attorney at Larson Law. Larson Law is the premier Boston Car Accident Lawyer specializing in personal injury, intellectual property, and civil litigation. Daniel has represented individuals, start-ups, and businesses on corporate formation matters, brand protection, and other legal business strategies.