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What Is the Time Limit for Reporting a Car Accident to an Insurance Company?

Car accidents are stressful enough without having to worry about whether you should report them to your insurance company. Ultimately, your decision will have a substantial effect on your personal injury compensation. If you decide to file a claim, you need to be away from any statutes of limitations that exist in your state for reporting a car accident to an insurance company. 

If you have been injured in a car accident, the Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers can help you seek compensation for your injuries. 

When Should You Notify Your Insurer of an Accident?

Accidents happen — some minor and others life-altering — but which ones should you report to your insurer? As a rule of thumb, when determining which accidents to report, you should consider whether you might decide to file a claim for the incident. You should also consider the possibility of the other party filing a claim against you and if it will affect your policy.

If you answer yes to either of these questions, notify your insurer of the accident. Failing to do so could result in difficulties processing your claim later. You should consider informing your insurance company of:

  • A car accident where either you, your passengers, or other drivers or passengers were injured
  • A car accident where there was significant property damage
  • An accident where a visitor gets injured on your property through a dog bite, slip and fall, or other injuries

How Long After an Accident Should You File a Claim?

There is no universal answer to when you should file a claim with your insurance company because there is no set deadline across the board. The statute of limitations, if there is one, will usually vary depending on your policy, the insurer, and your state of residence.

Most insurance companies don’t provide a strict window of time within which you can file a claim. Instead, they include phrases such as “promptly” or “within a reasonable time,” which means you are required to report your accident as soon as possible.

If you wish to report an accident and are confused about the deadline, try to do it within 72 hours of the incident. You can also check your policy to see if it mentions an explicit deadline or call your insurance agent. Some insurers will even require you to report the accident to the police within 24 hours.

Filing a Claim in Your State

Besides your insurance company, you also need to worry about deadlines in your state. California laws require you to file bodily injury or property damage claims within 2-3 years of the accident.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

There is no universal time limit for reporting a car accident to an insurance company, as every insurer is different. An attorney can advise you on the best way forward.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys can help you recover your deserved compensation. Contact El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers today at 888-544-2136 to schedule a free consultation.