There are no strict time limits for filing a car accident insurance claim in Louisiana, but there are many reasons why you should start the process as soon as your injuries allow. These include:
- Evidence disappears, and witnesses forget details
- There is a deadline for suing the liable party if that becomes necessary
- You likely have bills to pay and losses you need to recover
- There are deadlines in some cases, such as when a government agency is liable
You can learn more about Louisiana’s car accident claim time limits that might affect your case by meeting with our traffic accident lawyer serving your parish. Personal injury law firms generally provide free collision reviews.
Deadlines for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Louisiana
According to La. Civ. Code Art. 3492, accident victims have a short time to bring a civil case against the liable party after a negligence injury occurs in Louisiana. Most states have these deadlines, which are mostly called a statute of limitations.
Louisiana calls them “liberative prescriptions,” but they serve the same purpose. If the victim does not sue by this date, the court will likely bar their case.
It is important to note that the time frame for filing a civil claim in Louisiana is relatively short. If you suffered injuries in a car crash, you likely have only up to one year to file the paperwork and begin a personal injury lawsuit. The court typically considers the accident date as the start date for this time limit.
Under some circumstances, there could be additional deadlines before the statute of limitations or exceptions to this restriction. You should check with an attorney who can determine the timeline for your case as soon as you can after a crash.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Deadlines Differ Between a Civil Lawsuit and Your Auto Liability Insurance Claim
The statute of limitations in Louisiana personal injury cases applies only to lawsuits. This law does not have a direct legal effect on an insurance claim. You can continue to negotiate with an insurer as this date passes or even file a claim after this date. However, this is not the best option for recovering a settlement.
You should always aim to file your auto accident claim and negotiate a fair settlement within the one-year limit. There are several reasons for this:
You Lose Leverage
The insurance company and liable party likely do not want to go to trial any more than you do. Knowing you are willing to sue if they will not agree to a fair settlement can serve as leverage in negotiations. If you miss the deadline, you will lose this leverage.
You Have Only One Option for Compensation
If you fail to negotiate a settlement based on your car accident claim within the one-year time limit, you will have no other options for seeking compensation if the insurer will not provide an appropriate settlement.
You Can Build a Stronger Case When You Start Earlier
Evidence disappears quickly after a car crash. If you do not get to work as soon as possible, key proof that shows negligence and liability could be gone before you look for it. This could include video footage of the accident, physical evidence, hazards at the scene, witness testimony, and more.
Our Louisiana Car Accident Attorney Can Help You File Your Case on Time
Car accident injuries are very common in Louisiana. In 2020, as of this writing, 828 people died in 762 accidents statewide, according to Louisiana State University’s Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation Safety (CARTS). An additional 64,503 suffered injuries in collisions.
Aside from the immediate trauma and pain, a car accident can also affect your future. Injuries are expensive to treat, and you may miss work while recovering. If you suffered injuries because of another driver’s bad behavior behind the wheel, you may be able to file a claim to recover:
- Medical expenses, current and future
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
It is important to remember that you have a limited time to act, however. We advise you to start as soon as possible. Car accident attorneys generally offer to assess your case and determine if you have a valid case for free. They also work based on contingency fees and charge no upfront fees.
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Speak With Morris Bart, LLC, About Your Crash Today for Free
The Morris Bart law firm is here to help. If you suffered injuries in a car crash that was not your fault, call us today at (800) 537-8185 for a free consultation.
We may be able to help you claim damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and more. One of our personal injury attorneys can look at your case and determine the best way to proceed.
to find a Morris Bart office near you.