How long can someone file an insurance claimafter an auto accident?

UPDATED: Jan 29, 2011

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How long can someone file an insurance claimafter an auto accident?

I was in an accident in 2008; I was ticketed driving too fast for weather conditions. The other person only sustained minor damage to his vehicle (dent in the front) and suffered a busted lip. When he was taken to the ER he refused medical treatment. Now in 2011 I was served with papers stating his insurance company was suing me for almost $12,000.

Asked on January 29, 2011 under Accident Law, Illinois


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The short answer is someone usually doesn't have very long to file an insurance claim after the accident -- the point of injury.  Usually your insurance company will give you one year based on your state's law but check your policy and check your state law on tort violations from accidents. Sounds like the insurance company (yours and his both fell down on the job). Did the summons you were served include your insurance company as a respondent, defendant? Most likely they were not if he waited this long to serve.  In which case, his lawyer or insurance company may have a viable claim if the statute of limitations is three years in your state.  Contact your insurance company immediately, fax a copy of the summons over and begin discussions with your assigned representative immediately. Your insurance company may have to hire a lawyer to defend you on this one; don't back down, insist the company take care of your issues. If the company doesn't, it could be in serious violations of state insurance consumer protection laws.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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