How long do I have to report a road accident?

Whether you're driving to work, driving home from a family trip, or running errands every day, there's never a good time to get involved in a car accident. However, these incidents tend to happen more frequently than we would like and you need to be prepared to handle them as best you can. if you asked yourself How long do I have to report a car accident?keep reading, we'll explain it to you right away.

When you have an accident with your car, no matter who is to blame, you will have to take care of some things relatively quickly. After that fender blow (or worse) there are a few steps you need to take to ensure your problem is effectively resolved.

Of course, proper medical care should be the priority if you or one of your passengers are injured. However, you should also consider how much time do you have to report a car accident your insurer or, if necessary, how much time you have to file a claim.

What happens if my car is declared a total loss?

📰 Contents
  1. How long do I have to report a car accident?
  2. How long do I have to file a complaint or lawsuit?
    1. How much time do I have to report a traffic accident: statute of limitations
    2. How long do you have to report a car accident to the authorities?

How long do I have to report a car accident?

Each state government sets the time it takes to file an auto insurance claim after an accident, which typically ranges from one to 10 years.

The deadline may vary for different types of complaints, even within the same jurisdiction. For example, the time allowed for a global claim may differ from that for personal injury or property damage.

Please refer to the tables below for your state's statute of limitations when filing a claim. Please note that contacting your insurance agent as soon as possible will simplify the claim process.

How long do I have to file a complaint or lawsuit?

You can only file a complaint or lawsuit within the liability time limit set by your stateKnown as the "statute of limitations". Each state has its own statute of limitations, and there are different time limits for various types of damages, such as personal injury or property damage. We will review the statute of limitations for each state in the table below.

You should be aware that your auto insurance policy may indicate that you must initiate the claim procedure immediately at the time of the accident or within 24 hours of the date the damage to your vehicle occurred.

However, the shorter deadline stated in your policy is not limiting and does not prevent you or another driver from filing a claim or lawsuit months or even years later, provided that within the statute of limitations of the state in which the accident occurred. This is because some injuries and mechanical damage are not noticeable until days or weeks after the accident with your car.

IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that the longer you wait to file a complaint, the harder it will be to defend it.

Insurance companies may suspect significantly delayed claims and will investigate whether the damage was actually the result of the covered accident or a subsequent accident. If they have legitimate reasons to doubt your request, they can deny coverage.

Claims for auto insurance generally fall under one of two limitation periods:

  • A time limit for personal injury claims
  • Another time limit for other claims, including property damage (to another vehicle), collision damage (to your vehicle) and total damage (to your vehicle from theft or vandalism).

How much time do I have to report a traffic accident: statute of limitations

Condition physical damage Property / Collision / Full damage
Alabama 2 years 2 years
Alaska 2 years 2 years
Arizona 2 years 2 years
Arkansas 3 years 3 years
California 2 years 2 years
Colorado 3 years 3 years
Connecticut 2 years 2 years
Delaware 2 years 2 years
Florida 4 years 4 years
Georgia 2 years 4 years
Hawaii 2 years 2 years
Idaho 2 years 2 years
Illinois 2 years 5 years
Indiana 2 years 2 years
Iowa 2 years 5 years
Kansas 1 years 2 years
Kentucky 1 years 2 years
Louisiana 1 years 1 years
Maine 6 years 6 years
Maryland 3 years 3 years
Massachusetts 3 years 3 years
Michigan 3 years 3 years
Minnesota 6 years 6 years
Mississippi 3 years 3 years
Missouri 5 years 5 years
Mountain 3 years 2 years
Nebraska 4 years 4 years
Nevada 1 years 1 years
New Hampshire 3 years 3 years
New Jersey 2 years 6 years
New Mexico 3 years 4 years
New York 3 years 3 years
North Carolina 3 years 3 years
North Dakota 2 years 2 years
Ohio 2 years 2 years
Oklahoma 2 years 2 years
Oregon 2 years 6 years
Pennsylvania 2 years 2 years
Rhode Island 3 years 10 years
South Carolina 3 years 3 years
South Dakota 3 years 3 years
Tennessee 1 years 3 years
Texas 2 years 2 years
Utah 4 years 3 years
Vermont 3 years 3 years
Virginia 2 years 5 years
Washington 3 years 3 years
Washington DC. 3 years 3 years
West Virginia 2 years 2 years
Wisconsin 3 years 3 years
Wyoming 4 years 4 years

If the fault lies with another driver and the accident occurred in the no-fault state, you will first need to submit your initial claim under your collision protection or personal injury (PIP) policy.

However, you can also file a claim against the other driver if you suffer permanent or permanent physical injury and the cost of the treatment exceeds your policy coverage.

What does total self mean in Spanish?

How long do you have to report a car accident to the authorities?

The amount of time available to report a car accident to DMV or to the police varies by state. In case of minor accidents, after which no insurance claim is required, it may not be necessary to report it to the authorities. However, most states require that you report accidents that result in injury or involve more than $ 2,000 in property damage.

IMPORTANT: Since some injuries and damage to the vehicle are not noticeable until days or weeks later, it is always best to contact the police immediately after an accident.

The police report will serve as evidence for all reports you file with the DMV and for any claims you can file with your auto insurance company.

Here are the time limits for reporting a traffic accident in each state. When an "immediate" report is required, you are generally expected to call the police from the crash site.

Alabama 30 days
Alaska 10 days
Arizona Right away
Arkansas 30 days to file a car accident report, 90 days to provide proof of insurance.
California 10 days
Colorado Right away
Connecticut Right away
Delaware Right away
Florida 10 days
Georgia Right away
Hawaii Right away
Idaho Right away
Illinois 10 days
Indiana Right away
Iowa Right away
Kansas Right away
Kentucky 10 days
Louisiana Right away
Maine Right away
Maryland 15 days
Massachusetts five days
Michigan Right away
Minnesota 10 days
Mississippi Right away
Missouri 30 days
Mountain Right away
Nebraska 10 days
Nevada Right away
New Hampshire 15 days
New Jersey Right away
New Mexico Right away
New York 5 days
North Carolina Right away
North Dakota Right away
Ohio 6 months
Oklahoma Right away
Oregon Three days
Pennsylvania Three days
Rhode Island 21 days
South Carolina 15 days
South Dakota Right away
Tennessee 20 days
Texas 10 days
Utah Right away
Vermont five days
Virginia Right away
Washington four days
West Virginia five days
Wisconsin Right away
Wyoming 10 days

While you may be given a few hours or several weeks to report an accident, doing so immediately after the collision can increase your chances of recovering your losses.

Insurance companies and courts rely on police reports as vital proof, and having an agent assess the scene of an accident helps insurers clearly determine who was to blame.

Now that we've answered your question: How long do I have to report a car accident? You just have to pay attention to the deadlines we have entered in the tables according to your status. Also, remember that the faster you do it, the better. Good luck!

If you want to discover other articles similar to How long do I have to report a road accident?, you can visit the Last News category.

Nathan Hamilton

Nathan Hamilton

Nathan is a car enthusiast and industry professional with decades of combined experience in the automotive sector. Along with his team of writers and researchers, all passionate about automobiles, he is committed to delivering reliable and relevant content that ranges from detailed insurance guides to maintenance tips and much more.

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