How Long do You Have to Report an Injury After a Car Accident?

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How Long do You Have to Report an Injury After a Car Accident?

February 09, 2021
By Lafferty Gallagher Scott

Following an Ohio car accident, you should report an injury claim to your insurance company right away. If you are not transported from the scene to the hospital, try to make an appointment to see a doctor within the first 72 hours. Some injuries can take a few days to become noticeable, but you also have to rule out internal injuries that are not visible to the naked eye.

Once you start the claims process and pursue compensation for your damages, there is another deadline that you must familiarize yourself with, as well. Like other states, Ohio has a cutoff on how long you have to file a lawsuit for your injuries. This deadline is called the statute of limitations. When you have an Ohio car accident lawyer representing you, we will make sure to file a lawsuit within the deadline. 

Statute of Limitations in Ohio

Ohio Revised Code section 2305.10 says that you must file any personal injury lawsuit for bodily injury within two years from the date of injury. That means in most cases, you only have two years from the date of the car accident to ensure you file a lawsuit. If you fail to meet the deadline, the court could bar your case, and you would not be entitled to collect anything for your damages. That means even if you were in negotiations with the other driver’s insurance, they are not obligated to pay you anything.

For example, consider a situation in which the other driver’s insurance company offered you $10,000 five days before the statute of limitations expired. If you did not accept the settlement and return the release or file a lawsuit, you could wind up with nothing. If you go back to the insurance company to accept the offer two days after the statute of limitations lapses, they will ask for proof of filing. If you cannot provide evidence, they will rescind the offer.

Exceptions to the Two-Year Deadline

There are several exceptions to the two-year deadline. If the plaintiff is a minor or was incapacitated, section 2305.16 of the Ohio Revised Code says that a claimant who is under 18 or of unsound mind when the accident occurred has two years from their 18th birthday or the date their disability designation is lifted.

Under Ohio Revised Code section 2305.15, there are certain other exceptions to the statute of limitations. For one, if the defendant is outside of Ohio or in hiding, it will not count against the two years. The other exception applies when the defendant is in prison. The period of incarceration will not count against the statute of limitations.

Contact an Ohio Car Accident Lawyer

If you or someone you love was injured in a car crash, let the skilled Ohio car accident lawyers at Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC help. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us protect your rights and ensure the statute of limitations is preserved in your case.










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