How Long Do You Have to File a Claim After a Car Accident?
Pay attention to the statute of limitations in your state.
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After a car accident, you've got a limited amount of time to go to court and file a personal injury lawsuit. That amount of time is set by a law called a statute of limitations, and every state has such a law. In some states, the lawsuit-filing window is as small as one year, while in the most generous of states (Oregon), it's 10 years. Most states' time limits fall around two or three years. You'll find the statute of limitations for every state in the chart below.
So, what happens if you wait too long and try to file your lawsuit outside of the time limit set under your state's statute of limitations? The court will almost surely throw out your case as time-barred, and you'll lose any right to compensation for injuries and other losses stemming from the car accident. So, it's important to keep these laws in mind as they pertain to the timeline of your case.
While these laws set time limits for going to court and filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident, you also need to keep these same deadlines in mind when it comes to filing a claim with an insurance company after a car accident. It's a good idea to get the claims process started as soon as possible after the accident, leaving yourself the option of going to court -- and the time to do so under the statute of limitations in your case -- if the claims negotiation process doesn't provide you with a satisfactory solution.
Find your state on the chart below to understand what kind of filing deadline you'll be up against in your case.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Car Accident
For more information on car accident laws in your state, click on your state's link.
|State||Time Limitation||Title, Chapter, Article Number|
|Alabama||2 years||Title 6, Ch. 2, 6-2-38|
|Alaska||2 years||Sec. 9.10.070|
|Arizona||2 years||Title 12, Article 3, Sec. 12-542|
|Arkansas||3 years||Secs. 16-56-104, 16-56-105, 16-114-203, 16-62-102|
|California||2 years||Code of Civ. Proc. Sec. 340|
|Colorado||2 years||Colo. Rev. Stat. Sec. 13-80-102|
|Connecticut||3 years||Conn. Gen. State. Sec. 52-584|
|Delaware||2 years||Title 10, Ch. 81, Sec. 8119|
|DC||3 years||Title 12, Ch. 3, Sec. 12-301|
|Florida||4 years||Title 8, Ch. 95, Sec. 95.11|
|Georgia||2 years||Sec. 9-3-33|
|Hawaii||2 years||Rev. Stat. Sec. 657.7|
|Idaho||2 years||Title 5, Ch. 2, Sec. 5-219|
|Illinois||2 years||Ch. 735, Act 5, Art 13, Sec. 13-202|
|Indiana||2 years||Title 34, Art. 11, Ch. 2, Sec. 34-11-2-4|
|Iowa||2 years||Chapter 614, Section 614.1|
|Kansas||2 years||Chapter 60, Art 5, Sec. 60-513|
|Kentucky||1 year||Title 36, Chapter 413, Sec. 413.140|
|Louisiana||1 year||Ci. Code. Art. 3492|
|Maine||6 years||Title 14,Part 2, Ch. 205, Sub. 1, Sec. 752|
|Maryland||3 years||Courts and Judicial Proceedings, Sec. 5-101|
|Massachusetts||3 years||Title 5, Ch. 260, Secs. 2A and 4|
|Michigan||3 years||Chapter 600, Act 236, Ch. 58, Sec. 600.5805, number 9|
|Minnesota||6 years||Ch. 541, Sec 541.05, 541.07|
|Mississippi||3 years||Title 15, Ch. 1, Sec. 15-1-49|
|Missouri||5 years||Title 35, Ch. 516, Sec. 516.120|
|Montana||3 years||Title 27, Ch. 2, 27-2-204 and 27-2-207|
|Nebraska||4 years||Title 25, Section 207, 25-207|
|Nevada||2 years||Chapter 11, Sec 11.190|
|New Hampshire||3 years||Chapter 508, Sec. 508.4|
|New Jersey||2 years||Title 2A, Ch. 14, Sec. 2A:14-2|
|New Mexico||3 years||Ch. 37, Art. 1, Sec. 37-1-8|
|New York||3 years||Civil Practice Laws and Rules, Art. 2, Sec. 214|
|N. Carolina||3 years||Title 1, Section 1-52|
|N. Dakota||6 years; 2 years in wrongful death||Title 28, Ch. 1, Secs. 28-01-16 and 28-01-18|
|Ohio||2 years||Title 23, Ch. 5, Sec. 2305.10|
|Oklahoma||2 years||Title 12, Ch. 3, Sec. 95|
|Oregon||10 years||Ch. 12, Sec. 12.110|
|Pennsylvania||2 years||42 PA Con. Stat. Section 5524|
|Rhode Island||3 years||Title 9, Ch. 1, Sec. 9-1-14|
|S. Carolina||3 years||Title 15, Ch. 3, Sec. 15-3-530|
|S. Dakota||3 years||Title 15, Ch. 2, Sec. 15-2-14|
|Tennessee||1 year||Title 28, Ch. 3, Sec. 28-3-104|
|Texas||2 years||Civ. Prac. & Rem Code, Title 2, Ch. 16, Sec. 16.003|
|Utah||4 years||Title 78, Ch. 12, Sec. 78-12-25|
|Vermont||3 years||Title 12, Part 2, Ch. 23, Subch. 2, Sec. 512|
|Virginia||2 years||Title 8.01, Ch. 4, Sec. 8.01-243|
|Washington||3 years||Title 4, Ch. 16, Sec. 4.16.080|
|West Virginia||2 years||Title 55, Ch. 2, Sec. 55-2-12|
|Wisconsin||3 years||Chapter 893, Sec. 893.54|
|Wyoming||4 years||Title 1, Ch. 3, Sec. 1-3-105|