How much time do you have after an accident to file a claim?

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2011

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How much time do you have after an accident to file a claim?

I accidentally rear-ended someone. We immediately pulled over and exchanged info. We did not file a police report. I did not file a claim, as I was waiting to let the person I hit file the claim, since he is the only one who had damage to his car. I noticed that he never filed the claim. It is now 1 month later and he is calling to tell me that he has had an estimate of the damage from a third party company (not my insurance) and that he is now ready to file the claim. I feel this is unacceptable as he could have had other damaged included in the estimate that was not from the accident.

Asked on September 8, 2011 under Accident Law, Colorado


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Okay I can understand that you are waiting for him to contact your insurance company and to put in a claim under your policy rather than under his policy of insurance.  But I really do hope that you at least advise your insurance company that you were involved in an accident and that the other party had damage to their vehicle.  You have an obligation under the terms of your policy to notify your insurance company of any accident, your fault or not.  And they will ALWAYS want a police report filled out.  Always.  Never do that again.  You need to call the insurance company asap and report the claim.  They will send you paperwork and you will have to fill it out and cooperate.  Otherwise they may have a basis to disclaim.  Good luck.  

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