How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident to Your Insurance
After getting hurt in a car accident, it is important to know about any time limits that could impact your case and your eligibility for compensation. The Los Angeles car accident attorneys at our firm often speak with clients who have questions about timetables in motor vehicle crash claims, including concerns about how quickly traffic collisions must be reported. We have provided some commonly asked questions below, along with answers that can help you to plan for your meeting with a car accident lawyer.
Q: IS THERE A TIME LIMIT FOR REPORTING THE ACCIDENT TO MY INSURANCE COMPANY AFTER THE CRASH?
A: Generally speaking, California law does not set a specific amount of time that you have to alert your auto insurance company to the fact that you were involved in an accident. However, the agreement you have with your insurance company—your insurance contract—could have specific language about the time limits. Many insurance contracts require insureds to report accident claims within a reasonable amount of time, which the insurance company may interpret to be 24 hours after the crash, 48 hours after the collision, or another short time window. Sometimes insurance contracts will specify that the insured has, for example, 24 hours after the accident occurs to report the claim in order to remain eligible for coverage.
It is best to report the accident as soon as possible to your insurance company, but remember to stick to the facts. Your insurance company is not on your side, and you should avoid providing any subjective information that could lead the insurance company to deny coverage. You should also discuss your case with a Los Angeles car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Q: WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DO NOT REPORT THE ACCIDENT TO THE INSURER IN A REASONABLE PERIOD?
A: If you fail to properly report the accident to your own insurance company within a reasonable period of time or the specific amount of time specified in your contract, the insurance company can deny your claim. This does not necessarily mean that you will be unable to obtain coverage. One of the car accident lawyers in Los Angeles at our firm can speak with you about filing a third-party insurance claim, as well as options for filing a car accident lawsuit against the responsible party.
Q: IS THERE A CONNECTION BETWEEN THE TIMELINE FOR REPORTING THE ACCIDENT TO MY INSURANCE COMPANY AND THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS?
A: There are multiple timetables you will need to consider in a car accident claim. As we noted above, you should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible after the collision. This reporting requirement is distinct from the statute of limitations in a car accident lawsuit. Under California law, a car accident lawsuit typically must be filed two years from the date of the accident, or else it will become a time-barred claim.
CONTACT OUR CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN LOS ANGELES
In most situations, your eligibility for insurance coverage depends upon you reporting an accident to your insurance within a reasonable time period. For most people with auto insurance, this means reporting the accident as soon as possible. If you need assistance with your claim, a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles at our firm can help with your case. Contact El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers to learn more about the services we provide.
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