When settling a personal injury claim there are a number of questions that arise. This article will answer some of commonly asked questions regarding settling a personal injury claim.
Question: How soon do I need to notify people of my intention to file a claim for my accident injuries?
If the claim you are filing for is against a government agency or employee, there is a specific number of days within which you should notify them. However, if it is not a government agency or employee you need not do notify them within a set number of days, but it is advised that acting right away (i.e. within a few days if possible) will improve your chances of receiving a quick and fair resolution to your claim. It is best to start as early as possible, within the first couple of weeks after the accident, if possible.
Giving notice of the accident does not obligate you to file a claim. Instead, it simply preserves your rights and stops others from saying later that your claim is unfair because you waited too long before informing them about your injuries. Further, if you quickly notify others about your intention to file a claim, you can move at your own pace processing and negotiating your claim with the insurance company or government agency that was responsible for causing your accident and injuries. Part of the purpose of your notification is to let the persons involved know that there was an accident at a certain time and location, that you were injured in the accident, and that you intend to file a personal injury claim. However, you should never agree to give the insurance company a recorded statement without an attorney present, no matter how innocuous the insurance company tells you it is.
Question: Is there a deadline for filing a lawsuit to recover compensation for one’s injuries?
If you and your attorney are not successful in reaching a settlement with an insurance company, you may need to start considering bringing a lawsuit in small claims court or other court. It is extremely important that you be aware of the laws called ‘statutes of limitation’. By definition, statute of limitation means “any law that bars claims after a certain period of time passes after an injury. The period of time varies depending on the jurisdiction and the type of claim. Statutes of limitation exist for both civil and criminal causes of action, and begin to run from the date of the injury, or the date it was discovered, or the date on which it would have been discovered with reasonable efforts. Many statutes of limitations are actual legislation statutes, while others may come from judicial common law.” Therefore, the statute of limitation is a time limit in which you have to file a claim. If you miss your state’s deadline, you will lose your right to recover compensation in court and you will be forced to abandon your claim entirely. With respect to the state of Alaska, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. For more information on settling personal injury claims and statutes of limitation, speak to an Anchorage accident attorney.