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What Is The Timeline For Bringing An Auto Accident Injury Claim?


Each state has its own time limit for bringing a personal injury lawsuit. This is known as the statute of limitations. Generally, the deadline in Maryland and the District of Columbia is three years from the date of the accident. In Virginia, the statute of limitations, generally, is two years. It is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can review all of the facts to confirm what the legal deadline is in your case, and, if necessary, determine whether any exceptions may apply.

What Steps Should I Take If I Have Been Injured In An Auto Accident And Need To File A Lawsuit?

If you have been involved in an auto accident, it is best to call the police. Police officers can help to confirm and document the details of the accident. They can elicit insurance information or confirm lack of insurance. Any admissions that the at-fault driver makes to the police officer may be admissible in court. If a police officer arrives at the accident scene, it is important to obtain his name and badge number, and the incident number. The police do not always come to every accident, especially if there was not much damage and it is perceived that there was no immediate injury at the time. Many jurisdictions have regulations in place where the police do not come to the scene in such an event. It is important that you and the other driver exchange information, regardless.

You should exchange information with the other driver, including his or her name, address, telephone number, driver’s license number, vehicle registration, and any insurance policy information. It is also important to gather the names and contact information of any witnesses. If at all possible, take pictures. This ideally should include photos of the other driver’s license and registration, photos of any available insurance card, and photos of the vehicles involved in the accident, including license plate numbers. If possible, take photos of the accident scene and location landmarks. If you are unable to take photos, see if anyone might be able to do this for you. Never accept money from the other driver at the time of the accident. There is no way that anyone can determine the full extent of any injuries or damages at the time of the accident, and acceptance of money from the other driver may impair your ability to proceed with future claims.

You have a duty to report the accident in a prompt manner to your insurance company. That information would include the occurrence of the accident, the date, time, location of the accident; the name and contact information of the other driver; whether the police investigated, and police report number, if known. If you are asked by your insurance company whether you are injured and you know that you were injured, let the insurance company know you are injured and that you are intending to seek medical attention. If injury symptoms are not immediately apparent, it is best to let the insurance company know that you are not sure if you are injured and that you plan to get appropriate medical evaluation. Many injuries are not immediately apparent but manifest themselves later.

What Should I Do If the Other Person’s Insurance Company Contacts Me Asking For A Statement?

While you are required to notify your own insurance company to report the accident, you are under no obligation to speak with the other driver’s insurance company. The best way to handle the matter, in most instances, is to simply obtain from that insurance company the name and phone number of the insurance company representative and advise that you will get back to them at a later time. Details of an accident may take a while to sort through, and the extent of injuries may not be fully known for a while. Skilled insurance adjustors typically probe for any information that may be used to their advantage. We advise our clients, to defer communications at least until they have had an opportunity to confer with counsel. If we accept legal representation, we typically handle all communications with the other party’s insurance company for you, and we are also involved in communications with your own insurance carrier.

For more information on Timeline For Bringing An Auto Injury Claim, a free consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (301) 453-5656 or (703) 429-0888 today.

Steve H.Drone

Attorney Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne is an accomplished lawyer who practices in state and federal courts in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He brings more than 30 years of experience and a long record of success to each case. His law practice is distinguished by careful preparation and thorough analysis of each case.

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