Why You Must Act Quickly After an Injury
Too often, we see cases of people who have been injured and who have a legitimate insurance claim lose their chance for compensation. Why are so many people falling through the cracks? This is simply because there is a strict limit on the amount of time after an injury that you can file a claim.
Once the statute of limitations runs out, it doesn’t necessarily matter why there was a delay; you lose your right to pursue your case. This gives insurance adjusters an incentive to stall you as long as possible, and they are more skilled at this than you might think. An adjuster will often say that they will review your case and get back to you, but is never heard from again. Unfortunately, this alone would not allow an exception to the statute of limitations. Should the statute of limitations run out, you can only reopen your case under very limited circumstances.
From the moment you are injured, the clock begins to run. A good personal injury lawyer can make all the difference in a successful insurance case, but we usually cannot do anything if the statute has run out. This is why it is absolutely vital to begin the process of pursuing your case immediately. The statute of limitations varies depending on the situation, but in California you have a two-year limit on most personal injury cases (but some have shorter ones) and a three-year limit for property damage. If the claim is against a government entity, like the state, county, or a city, or a school district or public transit, there is a six-month claim requirement. It’s important to note that this limit begins when the injury or damage occurs, not when the claim is filed.
We know that times are hard, and in the midst of an injury it can be difficult to think about the steps you must take, but acting quickly can mean the difference between justice and being left out in the cold. Because of this, we implore you to begin documenting your injury and treatment right away. In the hospital, take photographs of your injuries. Keep records of every treatment you get and call our experienced law firm right away before it’s too late.