The thought of filing a claim can be extremely intimidating at points. One of the larger issues can be the time frame that you choose to make the claim. Sometimes individuals will put off seeking legal help for many months due to a lack of money and delay the process of filing a claim. Sometimes the signs and injuries from an accident do not surface for many months and only appear after you stumble upon the issue itself. Once you are able to identify the injury, the reason for injury, and you feel like you can make a claim, it comes down to whether your claim has a legal leg to stand on. Depending on the type of claim to be made, the deadline requirements may differ. Remember, asking a lawyer is always the easiest way to determine if you are able to file a claim.

Preventative Measures

Since it is impossible to know whether you will be filing a claim the instant an accident occurs, it is important to follow certain measures to keep yourself and any potential claims “safe.” By this, we mean to say that individuals can take certain steps to protect themselves from future legal claims and to make sure potential claims are strong if you choose to go on the offensive. At the scene of an accident, be sure you and other parties involved are medically all right and safe from additional harm. When in doubt, call 911 for emergency medical attention and to get the police involved for evidentiary purposes. In addition, never admit fault at the scene in any manner – including apology statements. Make sure you swap contact and insurance information at the scene as well to preserve identities of those involved.

Covering Your Bases

As time passes after an accident you may not be sure where to turn next. If you are still in the process of deciding whether you wish to file a claim or not, it is in your best interest to “cover your bases” by speaking to the right people. For starters, you should see a doctor and be forthcoming with them regarding any pain or symptoms you are feeling. On the other hand, do not give recorded statements to insurance companies for any parties involved (including your own). While you may wish to convey information to loved ones, be careful how much you disclose in the event these individuals are called upon as future witnesses.

Time limitation

Claims for personal injury lawsuits have various time limitations depending on the type of claim you are filing and the state in which you are attempting to file a suit.  These limitations are referred to as the “statute of limitations.”  There may be “extensions” to the time limitations in some circumstances.  It can be hard to know the time limitations you fall under on your own, which is why it is important to seek legal assistance from a specialized attorney as soon as you might possibly suspect an injury.


While you may not be at risk at exceeding your time limitations for a specific claim, it does severely damage the credibility of what you are claiming if you wait longer to file. As time passes on, your injuries and mental damage may deteriorate or heal, which may cause some doubt within the claim. This is not a guarantee of loss of compensation but any insurance company that has to pay out will look to mitigate their damages. This often means that they will try everything in their own power to cut down on the compensation claim, even if that means exploiting the injured in the process. This can pose a possible challenge if you truly need the full amount you are claiming. The deterioration of your claim can be directly tied to how long you wait to file your claim, even if claiming cannot be done for quite a while.

Although it is a problem, it is not a dead end. You can still file the claim, and have an experienced injury lawyer help you through the process. Having an experienced lawyer will increase the likelihood that you obtain a larger portion of your claim, all while making sure you don’t end up getting caught in a legal bind. To be on the safe side, asking for a lawyer that specializes in your type of injury is a good route. Matching your injury to the proper lawyer ensures they know that area specifically, which means they can point out any possible loopholes or bindings that may hinder you in the process.

Remember, the easiest way to find out if your claim will still follow through is to hire a specialized injury lawyer. Be sure to reach out to one of our experienced attorneys regarding your injury today!

About Keith Lapeze

Keith Lapeze co-founded Lapeze & Johns with the focus of delivering dependable legal services to individuals hurt in accidents caused by negligence. After graduating third in his class from Louisiana State University Law Center, Mr. Lapeze continued his calling through commercial, environmental, and tort litigation where he is admitted to practice in both Texas and Louisiana, the United States Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Read more about Keith Lapeze here.

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