Whiplash and other neck injuries are very common after accidents. If another person caused your injuries, they might be responsible for your costs. However, you will need to file a neck injury claim within the time limit.
The “statute of limitations” means the time limit for a personal injury case. If you miss the statute of limitations, you can no longer seek compensation for your injuries. It’s vital to know the deadlines established by your state.
Time Limit for Neck Injury Claims
In Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years (Georgia Code Section 9-3-33). That means the time limit is two years from the date of your neck injury. You must file an insurance claim or civil lawsuit within this time.
There are a few exceptions to the time limit. If a government entity is involved in your injuries, you could have as little as six months.
The statute of limitations varies by state. If you’re unsure of the time limit for your area, contact a personal injury lawyer. Personal injury time limits are strict. If you miss the deadline, you probably won’t have a case anymore.
How to File Your Neck Injury Claim Before the Time Limit
The clock starts ticking after your accident happens. To have a strong case, you should get started as soon as possible. Waiting too long to gather evidence can also hurt your claim.
Here are some ways you can prepare a neck injury claim within the statute of limitations.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
If you are well enough after the accident, document the scene. You can do that by:
- Calling the police to report the accident.
- Taking pictures or your injuries and property damage.
- Photographing the entire accident scene.
- Getting contact information for any eyewitnesses.
Note any traffic or surveillance cameras nearby. Your lawyer might be able to get footage of the accident.
Write down whatever you can remember about the crash. Memories fade quickly, so record everything about the accident.
Get a Full Medical Exam
Don’t wait to get medical treatment. You will need to have a full understanding of your neck injuries, and you’ll also need to know what type of treatment to expect. Even if you feel okay, have a doctor evaluate you for injuries.
Many neck injuries take time to develop. For example, you might not realize you have whiplash until the next day. If symptoms worsen after you’ve seen the doctor, schedule a follow-up appointment.
If you don’t document your medical treatment, it will hurt your case. The at-fault party’s insurance company will use it against you. The insurer might say that you weren’t hurt that badly because you waited to get treatment.
Document Your Damages
Save any evidence of your accident costs. You will need to provide proof of your losses in your insurance claim. Common neck injury damages include:
- Medical bills
- Prescription medications
- Lost income (from missing work time)
- Loss of earning capacity
- Vehicle or property damage
- Pain and suffering
Save bills, receipts, and other evidence of your expenses. Doing this will make everything more manageable when you start building your case.
If you wait for more than a week to document your damages, it will look suspicious. The insurance company or jury might doubt your entire accident case. Protect your legal rights by getting prompt medical attention and tracking all costs.
Talk to a Neck Injury Lawyer
After your accident, contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. A neck injury lawyer can help you with all of the above. They will use what you’ve gathered to build your case.
Your lawyer will begin working on your case immediately. They’ll investigate your accident and injuries. They can also calculate the full value of your accident costs.
Remember that personal injury claims take time. Your lawyer might need much of the two-year time limit to build your case. The sooner you reach out, the easier it will be for both of you.
Neck Injury Claim Versus Lawsuit
Most neck injury claims end with a settlement. However, you will probably have to fight for a fair offer. In some cases, a neck injury case will need to go to court.
Insurance companies often offer a lowball settlement upfront. The insurer is hoping you’ll take the lowball and end your case. If you have an experienced lawyer, he or she will work to negotiate a fair settlement.
If your lawyer is successful during negotiation, you’ll receive a reasonable settlement offer. But sometimes, an insurance company will refuse to negotiate. If that happens, your lawyer can help you file a lawsuit.
Talk to a Neck Injury Lawyer for Free Today
The time limit for a neck injury claim goes quickly. Two years might seem like a lot of time. But you will need to use that time to build your case. To ensure you don’t miss the deadline, get help from a neck injury lawyer.
At John Foy & Associates, we can handle the legal side of things after your injury. We have over 20 years of experience with personal injury law. Our attorneys know how to build a strong claim.
We’re here to make the process as stress-free as possible. We will not collect a fee unless we win your case. Plus, the consultation is 100% FREE. To schedule your FREE consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.