What's the Time Frame for Filing a Personal Injury Claim?

by Donna

My 16 year old son was rear ended 2 weeks ago. His car was totaled (it was a volvo so that tells you how hard he was hit). He was stationary in his vehicle at the time of the collision.

We are still negotiating the settlement for the loss of the car. About two days after the accident he started to complain about his back hurting. I have been treating him with ibuprofen. Is it to late to seek a medical consult and file a personal injury claim on the other person's insurance?

They were ruled at fault for the accident. I don't want him to have some injury that shows up after we have settled. Did we miss the time window for this?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "What's the Time Frame for Filing a Personal Injury Claim?":

Donna (Athens, GA):

It is certainly not too late to file a personal injury claim. In the State of Georgia there is a 2 years Statute of Limitations, or time period in which a person has to either settle their claim or file a lawsuit.

The settlement of the car is normally handled by one of the at fault insurance company’s Claims Adjusters. There are usually two claims adjusters involved in the settlement of a personal injury/collision case. One claims adjuster takes care of the property damage, and the other deals with the personal injury issues.

When speaking with the property claims adjuster tell her you would like to file a personal injury claim as well. She will either have someone from her insurance company contact you, or give you the telephone number of the department in the insurance company you need to call to begin the settlement process for the personal injuries suffered by your son.

At or about the time you contact the personal injury claims adjuster take your son to the doctor for a full examination. The doctor may order at least two tests. The first may be an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) examination, and the second a CAT Scan (Computer Axial Tomography) examination. Those tests are excellent indicators of broken bones, damaged internal organs, and more.

You can either pursue the case yourself or retain a personal injury attorney. Personal injury attorneys charge a contingency fee. That means you will not have to pay any money in advance, and the attorney only is paid if, and when, she either settles the case or wins it at trial.

If you can’t afford to take your son to the doctor or have the tests you might ask the personal injury attorney if she can recommend a doctor who will withhold the medical bills until your son’s case is finalized. Those procedures are quite often associated with the personal injury claims process.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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