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How long after an accident can you file a claim?

In life there are so many things you can plan for. A vacation, a birthday, a graduation, but one thing we never plan for is a car accident. Accidents can be a headache for anyone involved, especially if you find yourself in a predicament where you’ve been injured due to the crash.

I’m sure the last thing you’re thinking about in that moment is contacting a personal injury lawyer and filing a claim, but I’m here to tell you that if you have been injured in a car accident in the state of Florida, our attorneys at Demesmin & Dover Law Firm are here to help! Give us a call at (866) 954-6673 and we can set you up with a free consultation and take steps toward getting you the compensation you deserve.

What is the time limit for filing a car insurance claim?

The sooner you make that call, the better! This is because if you fail to file a claim within the allotted amount of time from the crash, then you run the risk of losing your compensation. If for various reasons you can’t make the call immediately, or if you experience delayed pains from the accident, don’t feel discouraged or think that it’s too late to file a claim.

As long as you’re aware of the time that you must make the claim, and you are still within that window, then we can still fight for compensation. It is important to act quickly because preparing a proper case to make a claim takes time, and many factors must be considered. Calling quick provides our attorneys with enough time to assist you in filing a claim before the deadlines.

To best understand how long we have after a car accident occurs to file a claim, we should first understand what that time span before it expires is called. This period of time is called the statute of limitations and is defined by the Cornell Law School as “any law that bars claims after a certain period of time passes after an injury”. There isn’t one set time for a statute of limitations, but instead, the period is dependent on the type of claim, as well as its jurisdiction. When it comes to car accidents in Florida, the statute of limitations is 4 years from the date of the crash. Any time after this your case is likely to be dismissed in court. I’m sure after hearing that the statute of limitations for car accident claims is 4 years, you might be thinking “My neck really is still hurting from that fender bender back in 2020”, but there is another deadline that you should keep in mind if you’re seeking to make an insurance claim.

How do I use my Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage?

If you are looking for compensation under your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy, then you must be sure to act quickly. Not to mention since Florida is a no-fault state you are required to have this type of coverage but lets dive deeper into how to use it.

How long after the auto accident do I have to use my PIP coverage?

In the state of Florida, it is required you seek medical attention within 14 days of an accident for you to be able to make a PIP claim without fear of it being denied by your own insurance company. After any motor vehicle accident, the first type of coverage to be utilized when it comes to medical bills is from your own insurance company. That is why it is imperative that you seek medical attention and call your insurance company and a car accident attorney immediately to get your accident claim filed as soon as possible!

How much of my medical expenses are paid by PIP coverage?

Your PIP policy will cover up to $10,000 in damages from the accident, from the driver's insurance company whether they were at fault or not. It may feel like you’re being rushed, but these deadlines are set in place to prevent insurance fraud. Also, going to the doctor with urgency helps your doctor link the accident to the cause of injury. If you do find yourself past that 14-day window, then you still have the 4 years to file an injury lawsuit, but this route requires there to be someone at fault for the accident.

How long do I have to file a Bodily Injury claim?

Now that we understand the 14-day rule when it comes to PIP insurance policies, it’s important to understand what Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) insurance is. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, “[BIL] pays for injury or death to others. Judgement occurs when an at-fault party is sued in a civil court for damages caused in a motor vehicle crash and has not satisfied property damage and/or bodily injury requirements.”

Essentially, if you are injured in an auto accident and you aren’t at fault, after you’ve received your PIP insurance compensation, you can now file a personal injury lawsuit and be compensated though the other driver's insurance company.

What exactly does BIL insurance cover, you may ask?

Bodily injury liability coverage covers medical expenses (including emergency care services, hospital fees, ongoing care costs, etc.), legal fees and legal counsel, loss of income (if the injured parties miss work or are unable to perform job functions due to their injuries or ongoing medical care), pain and suffering (may involve payment when there is emotional stress or prolonged pain from an accident), and funeral costs (if the accident resulted in a fatality).

What limits do bodily injury claims have?

Much like with PIP insurance, BIL insurance has its limits as well. The limits generally applied to BIL insurance are “limit per person” and “limit per accident”. Limit per person, as described by expert insurance writer and editor Carol Chung, is “the maximum amount your insurance company will pay to cover each person involved in an accident. If your policy limit per person is $25,000, that’s the maximum amount your insurer will pay toward their expenses”. Limit per accident is “the maximum amount your insurance company will pay to cover all people involved in an accident.

If your limit is $50,000 and you cause an accident that injures two people, $50,000 is the maximum amount that your insurer will pay toward their combined expenses. Each injured party will still be subject to the per-person limit as well”. These numbers are important to note if you are trying to put together a lawsuit, as they give you an idea of the range of expectations for the compensation you might receive.

How does the claims process work if I was hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist?

You’ve got into an accident, you’ve contacted Demesmin & Dover Law Firm, and you’ve gone to see a medical professional about your injuries. Done everything right, but you are now told that the party at fault for the accident is either uninsured or underinsured.

What does that mean for your claim? It could spell trouble unless you have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. Investopedia defines UM coverage as “a component of an auto insurance policy that provides coverage when the policyholder is in an accident with someone who does not have insurance. It is an add-on to a standard auto policy and pays for injuries to the policyholder and passengers, and in some instances for damage to property, if the other driver is legally responsible for the accident but uninsured”. This coverage also applies to hit-and-run drivers, and essentially covers all the same expenses that would be covered by BI insurance.

You are not required to have UM coverage in the state of Florida, so if you are injured in an accident by someone without insurance, and don’t have UM coverage, you aren’t entitled to compensation! Typically, your UM coverage amounts will match your liability coverage amounts, but it is dependent on the policy that you decide to go with. Don’t believe that you aren’t able to receive more compensation just because you were involved in a hit-and-run or if the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance, if you’ve already set yourself up for success with a solid UM insurance policy you will be compensated!

So how can I best prepare myself to make a car accident claim?

With a better grasp on the deadlines and insurance policies that all go into making an injury claim here in the “Sunshine state”, you’re now ready to take on the perilous roads of Florida. Remember, in life there are so many things you can plan for. A vacation, a birthday, a graduation, but one thing we can’t plan for is a car accident.

What we can do is put ourselves in a position to win and be sure to stay informed and up to date with our insurance policies. Retain basic knowledge of our state’s laws involving car accidents, and their statutes of limitations. Seek immediate medical attention to stay ahead of the curve on that 14-day PIP insurance deadline. If you miss that deadline, don’t feel like you’ve missed out completely on compensation because there is a 4-year statute of limitations on BI claims.

The at-fault party’s lack of insurance isn’t an “end all be all” for compensation for your injuries. Any finer details are left in the hands of our exceptional accident attorneys here at Demesmin & Dover. We’ll handle the headaches that come with fighting for compensation from insurance claims. Hopefully you’ll never have to put any of this information into practice, but if you do, make sure to act fast and call (866) 954-MORE (6673).


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