If you are injured in any kind of accident, especially a car accident receiving treatment should always be the top priority. Once you’ve begun the process of recovering, you may begin to consider filing a claim if you believe that a negligent party was responsible for your injuries.
At Sutter Law Group, our experienced DuPage injury claim lawyer handles a wide range of personal injury cases. From nursing home abuse and medical malpractice cases to traumatic brain injury caused by motor vehicle accidents, our injury lawyers work to ensure you receive the right compensation for your claim. Clients throughout DuPage County hire the injury attorneys at our law firm for lost wages, medical bills, expenses, and more. The personal injury attorneys with Sutter Law Group work on a contingency basis, meaning there is no fee unless we win your case! Click here to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about your injury claim.
If you decide to file a claim against negligent parties after seeking treatment, it’s important to act fast to begin the claims process. While you don’t have to file the claim immediately, you will have a limited amount of time to file with a DuPage injury claim lawyer as soon as the accident takes place.
Our DuPage Injury Claim Lawyer Explains the Importance of Filing an Injury Lawsuit Before Reaching the Statute of Limitations
After an accident with sustained injuries, you will have a specific period in which to file a personal injury claim. The state where the accident occurred will dictate the amount of time you have based on the statute of limitations in place.
The statute of limitations will depend on the state and the type of case, but oftentimes you will have around two to four years to file a claim after an accident. Personal injury claims filed by Sutter Law Group often result in a quick personal injury settlement.
If you don’t file a claim before the statute of limitations is reached, you will typically be unable to seek compensation, making it important to file as soon as possible.
There are certain exceptions to the statute of limitations, depending on the circumstances. For instance, the statute of limitations may not be applicable for a period if:
• Either party involved in the accident is incapacitated
• The defendant in the case files for bankruptcy
• The plaintiff or defendant is located in another state
• The cause of the injuries sustained isn’t determined until years following the accident
• An accident results in a wrongful death
• The plaintiff in the case is a minor at the time of the accident
• The defendant committed an intentional abuse-based tort
Insurance Companies Don’t Wait for Victims to Recover
One of the reasons why it’s important to file a personal injury claim as soon as you can is that insurance companies won’t wait until you recover.
There are many actions that people take following an accident. As victims receive treatment, the negligent parties involved may be contemplating their defense. Individuals and entities may act to manipulate the facts in the case to support their claims and submit them to insurance companies. Meanwhile, insurance companies may begin investigations with the negligent parties’ claims in mind. Once the victim has had some time to recover, the insurance company may have already made a payment decision.
Why You Can’t Depend on Voluntary Settlements
Many people responsible for an accident won’t be willing to accept responsibility. The liable party may genuinely believe that they didn’t engage in any wrongdoing that resulted in the accident, or they may deny responsibility to avoid the legal and financial repercussions of their actions. In any case, try not to rely on voluntary settlements. Instead, prepare to file your claim as soon as you can.
How the Statute of Limitations May Affect Communications with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may or may not let you know when the expiration of your statute of limitations is approaching. The reason they may not inform you could be to avoid potential legal consequences, as the details around your statute of limitations could be considered legal advice that only attorneys can provide. However, it could be considered bad faith if an insurance provider doesn’t indicate when a statute of limitations is about to expire.
To avoid either issue, insurance claim representatives often stop negotiating settlements around one to two months before the expiration of the statute of limitations. Around this time, the insurer may make a final offer before ceasing communication if you don’t respond.
If the insurer investigates the claim and concludes that the other party wasn’t liable, it may decide that future communication isn’t necessary and close the file. After closing the file, it may remain dormant until someone involved in the claim decides to file a lawsuit at some point before the case expires. Once the statute of limitations is reached, the insurance company typically closes the file entirely.
When Is It Best to Settle a Claim?
While it’s important to begin the claims process immediately after you’ve sought medical care, you have some flexibility regarding the settlement. It’s usually best to wait until you’ve recovered as much as possible, reaching what is known as maximum medical improvement (MMI). If you experience any pressure to settle early on from an insurance company or another party, you don’t need to accept their offer.
What to Keep in Mind When Settling a Personal Injury Claim
As you wait for the appropriate time to settle your personal injury claim, there are some things to keep in mind, including:
The Statute of Limitations Will Run Out Eventually
You have until the expiration of the claim based on the statute of limitations to settle. However, try to keep your statute of limitations in mind to ensure you settle before you run out of time.
Give Yourself Time to Recover
It’s important to avoid rushing your recovery following an accident. Rushed recovery could lead to additional complications from your injuries. If you claim temporary disability while still working in an attempt to speed up the recovery process, this could also potentially devalue the claim.
Keep Appointments with Doctors and Fill Prescriptions as Needed
It can be frustrating and inconvenient to make visits to a doctor when you want to get on with your life, but keeping appointments and receiving regular ongoing medical care can help you make a full recovery. Your medical records can also help build your claim as proof of the severity of your injuries.
Filling prescriptions is equally important in your recovery. Insurance companies will see the need for a prescription as another indicator of the severity of pain.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney to Begin the Claims Process
If you want to build a strong personal injury claim that helps you recover the compensation you deserve, start by consulting a personal injury lawyer after you’ve taken some time to receive treatment. An attorney will help determine if you have a claim and provide advice on how to proceed and gather evidence.
If you or someone you love has been injured on the job contact, Sutter Law Group about a potential personal injury lawsuit. Serving DuPage County, Kane County & Cook County.