Home Law Personal Injury Law How Long After A Car Accident Can I Claim Injury? 

How Long After A Car Accident Can I Claim Injury? 

Involvement in car accidents is more common than you think. Statistics reveal that more than five million car accidents were recorded in the United States in 2020—and around a million resulted in injuries. While no one wishes to be part of these, the reality is that driving inherently has risks in it.

While some injuries may be immediately apparent, others can take time to manifest. This raises an important question: how long after a car accident can you claim an injury?

Statute of Limitations

Every state has its provisions that act as a legal timeframe for claims to be brought. This is seen in car accidents where the statute of limitations mostly touches on personal injury and property damage claims. In Chicago, Illinois, for example, a person can only present their personal injury claim arising from a car accident within two years of the day when it occurred. The importance of ensuring that you present your claim within such time can never be overemphasized, as failing to do so may result in the inability to pursue legal action and recover compensation.

The statute of limitations is a strict deadline, and failing to file your claim within the allotted time can have severe consequences. It’s crucial to be aware of the specific statute of limitations in your state and to act promptly in consultation with a qualified personal injury attorney like Briskman Briskman & Greenberg and others. These firms have extensive experience handling car accident cases and can provide valuable guidance throughout the legal process.

Delayed Symptoms

One of the main reasons why it’s pivotal to understand the time frame for claiming injuries is the possibility of delayed symptoms. Some injuries such as whiplash, back pain, or concussions may not be immediately noticeable after a car accident. It’s not uncommon for victims to experience symptoms days, weeks, or even months after the incident.

Finding it difficult to identify delayed symptoms and link them with the car accident is common, especially if they occur a long time after. But irrespective of their seeming insignificance, it’s important for every person who may have experienced any distress to note down all such changes and seek immediate medical assistance. One might consider keeping a tab on their health to realize changes early enough. Keeping track of your health records might be helpful while connecting injuries with accidents clearly.

Medical Treatment and Recovery

When you sustain injuries, your primary focus should be on being medically attended and following the prescribed treatment plan. This process can take time, especially if you require ongoing therapy, rehabilitation, or multiple medical procedures. The duration of your treatment and recovery period can impact the timing of filing a claim, so it’s paramount to have a clear understanding of the extent of your injuries and the associated costs.

It’s essential that you keep a detailed record of all the expenses incurred during your medical treatment and recovery such as hospital bills and prescription charges, as well as any other out-of-pocket expenses linked to taking care of yourself. Such records will help work out the whole amount of compensated damage you’re likely to claim after all the necessary bills are settled.

Gathering Evidence and Documentation

To support your claim for injuries sustained, gather and preserve all relevant evidence and documentation. This may include:

  • Medical records: Detailed medical records documenting your injuries, treatment, and prognosis are essential for establishing the severity of your injuries and the associated costs.
  • Police reports: Obtaining a copy of the police report from the accident can provide valuable information about the circumstances surrounding the incident and any potential fault determinations.
  • Witness statements: If there were any witnesses to the accident, their statements can corroborate your version of events and support your claim.
  • Photographs: Visual evidence such as photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and your injuries can be powerful in substantiating your claim.
  • Lost wage documentation: If your injuries have resulted in missed work or lost income, you’ll need to collect documentation to support your claim for lost wages.

Gathering and organizing evidence can be a daunting task, especially when you’re still recuperating from the physical and emotional aftermath of a car accident. However, this evidence is crucial in building a strong case and maximizing your chances of receiving a fair claim for your injuries and damages.


The timeline for claiming injuries after a car accident can be intricate and time-sensitive. While some injuries may be immediately apparent, others can take time to manifest or be properly diagnosed. It’s crucial to be aware of the statute of limitations in your state and to act promptly in receiving treatment, gathering evidence, and consulting with a qualified personal injury attorney.


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