It might feel like time is standing still when you are in pain after a car accident. But if someone’s negligence resulted in your injuries, you have a short time to pursue legal action. Waiting too long could eliminate your chance to seek compensation for medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Statute of Limitations
Arizona’s statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits is generally two years. This means you have two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit. However, many personal injury lawsuits begin as insurance claims. It takes time to gather the necessary medical records, receipts, and other documents to file a claim. You must also consider how much time you might spend negotiating to reach a settlement figure. Many insurance companies’ initial offers are lowball amounts to see if they can settle as cheaply as possible.
Engaging a Phoenix personal injury lawyer is your best option for obtaining the total value of your claim.
Exceptions to the Rule
Arizona’s statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits is generally two years, but that’s not always true. If a government entity’s negligence is involved, you only have 180 days from the date of the incident to serve a “notice of claim” before your claim is barred. If the notice of claim in either denied, or the government entity does not respond within 60 days after being served, you then have one year in which to file your lawsuit.
The Arizona Revised Statutes address certain instances when you might have longer than two years to seek legal action:
- Defendant is absent: The defendant flees or is otherwise absent from the state
- Minor plaintiff: Individuals under the age of majority (18)
- Discovery rule: When a reasonable person would not discover the injury right away
Potential Delays in the Legal Process
Arizona court schedules are always busy, pushing your court date further out. Other potential delays might harm your chances of seeking compensation:
- Gathering and examining evidence
- Interviewing witnesses
- Obtaining the other side’s evidence
- Negotiating with the insurance company to avoid going to court
Starting early gives you a buffer against unforeseen delays and gives your Phoenix personal injury attorney enough time to build a strong case.
What To Do Immediately After a Car Accident
Your first step after any car accident is to protect your safety and health. Even if you feel relatively fine, always see a medical practitioner. Some injuries, such as concussions, might not be evident at first but carry severe consequences if left undiagnosed or untreated.
Your other steps after a car crash should include:
- Take photos at the scene.
- Get a copy of the police report.
- Follow your medical provider’s instructions.
- Keep all medical records and bills.
- Avoid posting about the accident on social media.
- Consult our Phoenix car accident lawyer for guidance.
Contact Our Phoenix Car Accident Attorneys Today
If you’ve been in a car accident in Arizona, don’t wait. The clock is ticking, and every moment counts. At Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer, we focus solely on protecting the rights of the injured. We fight for every dollar to help you get back to your pre-accident life. Our Phoenix personal injury firm treats you like a family member with caring, professional service.
Talk to a personal injury attorney about your accident before it’s too late to pursue compensation. Contact the Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer today for a free consultation.