How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Utah?
After a collision, you might want to know, “How long do you have to file a car accident claim in Utah?” The Accident Attorneys of America offer info and advice.
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Time Limitations on Car Accident Claims
As road users, we face shocking statistics. In Utah, one person is killed in a vehicle accident every eight minutes, one person receives bodily injury every 20 minutes, and one person dies every 33 hours. According to the Utah Highway Safety Office, 62,074 motor vehicle crashes occurred on Utah’s public roads in 2018, resulting in 25,645 injuries and 260 deaths. Almost every Utah driver will be involved in a car accident at some point in their lives.
It is essential to distinguish between the periods to submit your claim to your insurance company and the periods to file your legal car accident claim in court. Many people miss this distinction. They are pretty different.
Insurance Company Deadlines – a Closer Look
In most insurance policies, there is a specific period of time within which you have to report an accident to file a claim. It can either be vaguely stated as “as soon as possible” or very explicitly stated. It is crucial to comply with the policy as it is a legal agreement. Your insurance company may refuse to assist if you fail to meet the deadline.
Insurers are profit-driven businesses, so it’s better for their bottom line if they don’t pay you. There is no guarantee that insurers are looking out for your best interests. Using an attorney is the best way to deal with your insurance company (and the other insurance company). In such cases, you won’t have time to brief a lawyer to communicate with the insurance company if your insurance policy requires you to report the accident immediately.
Reporting Your Accident to the Insurance Company
For a successful insurance claim, you should do the following when reporting your accident to the company:
- Inform the insurance company of the accident within a reasonable period. Your lawyer can contact them with further details.
- Avoid making any admission of guilt or making any loose statements about feeling OK and slightly bruised. Your injuries may only present later, so this statement may be used to refute your bodily injury claims later.
If you have a personal injury case, hire a lawyer for insurance communications if necessary, especially if you must comply with their deadlines.
The Importance of Informing the Insurance Company as Soon as Possible
Typically, claims involve evidence and establishing fault. An accident must be reported to your insurance company or even to the other driver’s insurance company as soon as possible to initiate an investigation, conclude it, and make a settlement offer. In addition to the evidence and witness memories of the accident, your recollections must also be fresh.
Legal Deadlines for Filing Car Accident Claims
Depending on your state’s law, you have different timeframes for filing a lawsuit for car accident claims. These periods are referred to as “Statutes of Limitation.” Under Utah car accident laws, you must file a case within four years of the accident date.
General Rule in Utah
The general Utah law is that you have four years from the date of the accident, within which you must launch your claim as outlined in Utah’s Statute. However, if you fail to file within the respective periods, chances are you will be denied the right to sue by the court unless there are exceptional circumstances.
It is important to note that the statute of limitations varies for each state. If the car accident occurred in another state, you would need to determine the statute of limitations for that state.
Exceptions to the General Rule in Utah
An injured person’s estate or surviving family members have two years from the date of death to institute a wrongful death lawsuit if the injured person dies due to the injuries they suffered because of the auto accident.
An individual may only file a personal injury lawsuit against a government agency one year after the injury or death.
The law requires you to file a legal claim within three years in a car accident resulting in vehicle damage or property damage.
If the injured person was a minor at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until they reach the age of majority, after which they will have 4 years to initiate their claim.
Hire the services of America’s accident attorneys if you are unsure of the exact timeframes involved in claiming compensation for a car accident.
When Is the Optimal Time to Initiate Your Lawsuit in Utah?
As you may know, the answer to this question is not as apparent as you may think. After a serious accident, if you need extensive medical care, filing a claim too soon will not do you any good. In order to properly assess your recovery and include all past medical bills, you might benefit from waiting for a more extended period of time before filing your personal injury claim.
A claim should generally be filed after a prolonged period of time when you have:
Assessed all your injuries and determined a reasonable compensation amount for your injuries
Obtained legal guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney
Completed all or a significant portion of medical treatment
Ensured that all the evidence has been gathered to support your claim
It may take months or years for some injuries to manifest from their original cause. Filing a claim later allows for a more accurate estimate of future medical expenses, and past medical bills are easier to prove. To develop a strategy for your injury claim, contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Is it Necessary to Appoint a Law Firm to Sue in Utah?
The law does not require you to hire an attorney when you sue for injury in a car accident case. However, hiring a seasoned personal injury attorney is always in your best interests.
Choose the Accident Attorneys of America if you need a car accident attorney who is well-versed with Utah personal injury laws. Personal injury claims are the focus of our firm. You will receive high-quality legal services regardless of your financial situation. Our firm offers a free consultation to help you get started with your claim. Call us today!