I was injured in a car accident in September 2015, should I wait to file a claim?

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I was injured in a car accident in September 2015, should I wait to file a claim?

I was riding a motorcycle and was hit
by a car their fault. I tore my ACL
in the accident and had surgery. Should
I wait until I am completely healed to
file the claim? My doctor says it won’t
be fully healed until summer 2017.

Asked on November 9, 2016 under Personal Injury, North Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can now inform the at fault party's insurance company in writing that you will be filing a personal injury claim when you complete your medical treatment or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary (see below).
When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the at-fault party's insurance carrier should include those items. You won't be able to attempt to settle the case until you have the total medical bills, all medical reports and total wage loss documentation.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at-fault party's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.
Hiowever, NC has a three year statute of limitations in personal injury cases which means that if the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party must be filed prior to the third anniversary of the date of the accident or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.  So, if your recovery is delayed and the three year statute of limitations is approaching, file the lawsuit or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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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