How Long After Accident Can You Sue (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Upto 2 years

Accidents are spine-chilling incidents. No matter with whom it occurs it is always devastating and breaks down everyone both mentally and physically. Accidents are increasing all around the world every day. Maybe, no matter how much we consider ourselves safe, there are always some chances that we will end up getting involved in some road accidents. Accidents can occur anytime. Approximately 1.35 million people die in road accidents around the world every year with 20-50 million people suffering from non-fatal injuries and many others getting a disability as a result of the injuries.

Countries Annual death rates in road accidents
United States of America 38,000 persons approx.
India1,51000 persons approx.
China63,194 persons approx.

Road accidents are very traumatic and disastrous. It is also very unpredictable. If you get into any kind of road accident, the first thing that you will always need to do is to focus on your health so that you recover quickly. Besides it, there are some important things you need to know.

  1. You have got two years for filing a lawsuit.
  2. It will be wiser to file as soon as possible
  3. You must initiate insurance claims immediately after the accident.
  4. You must speak with a lawyer as soon as possible
  5. The last thing is documenting everything.

Road accidents occur worldwide mainly due to the fault of the driver. Let us see why road accidents occur-

  1.  Drunk while driving
  2. Not considering wearing a seat belt.
  3. Heavy raining and wet roads
  4. Worst road conditions including potholes.
  5. Driving recklessly by breaking the traffic rules.
  6. Driver fatigue.

In general two types of accidents may happen.

  1. In the first case where a third party is affected. It can be of any form of injury and damage to the properties.
  2. In the second case where damage is done purposefully including damage to its owner’s vehicles
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Fines Amount of Compensation (in Rs)
Use of mobile phones while driving Rs 500 ( for first time offense)
Rs 2000-5000 (for second time offense)
Ignoring the red signalRs 100-500
Traffic Violation Rs 300-1500
Over SpeedingRs 400-1000 (for first-time offense)
Rs 2000-5000 (for second-time offense)
Rash DrivingRs 1000 and/or 6 months jail (for first-time offense)
Rs 2000-Rs 5000 (for second time offense)

The accident which has occurred must be addressed to the police immediately. To recover from the damage, the owner or a person with whom the accident occurred must record the complaint. In case of the owner’s death, his heir or closest relatives should file a petition demanding compensation.

How Long After an Accident Can You Sue?

The time limit is up to 2 years. Within that time frame, one needs to file a lawsuit.

Things that are extremely necessary while filing a lawsuit are:

  1. FIR copy as written by the closest police station from the spot of the accident.
  2. A copy of Medico-legal credentials / Death Certificate
  3. Documentation of claimants
  4. Original expense records signed by the hospital
  5. Medical Records

If you miss the time frame and still want to file a lawsuit, then don’t worry. You can file a special petition before the court of law requesting to allow you to file a lawsuit against an accident involved with you. According to the court of law, if the accident causes loss of lives or any fatal injuries, compensation is given.

Cause of Compensation Amount of Compensation
Compensation due to any person’s death due to accidentRs 50,000
Due to fatal injuries leading to permanent disabilitiesRs 25,000

Why Does it Take So Long After the Accident to Sue?

You must be wondering why it takes so long to sue after an accident.

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Now let’s share an interesting fact.

  • Generally, if you are willing to take less compensation than what do you deserve, a lawsuit will settle down quickly. But maximum people never agree to settle for the less than they deserve. This is one of the reasons why it takes so long after an accident to sue.

If the exact amount of losses are known and the burden or liability is not in controversy, then the case takes less time to settle down compared to one where there are extreme injuries or damages.

Factors that are responsible for putting the brakes on your lawsuit are–

  • Medical treatments after an accident take along to heal. So, how long the period of the medical treatment after the accident lasts will affect your case.

This means your case can’t be shut unless and until you are discharged and set free by the doctors of the hospital after completion of the treatment. If you are still going through treatments, your lawyer is unable to demand medical compensations, until your doctor who is treating you discharges you.

  • If the dependent i.e. the criminals who are sinning is cooperative or not will also slow down the case.

The maximum time when we talk about the accidents, the people committing the crime completely hesitate to accept the sin by their own mistake but also hesitate to compensate

  • It also depends on if your lawsuit goes or does not goes to prosecution.

Conclusion

Accidents are the product of reckless driving. Legal procedures take much time. Always it can not be successful. So it is our duty that we become alert and careful while driving so that accidents can be avoided and lives can be saved.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3893966/
  2. https://kerleyschaffer.com/file-lawsuit-after-car-accident#:~:text=You%20have%20two%20years%20to%20file%20a%20lawsuit&text=However%2C%20it%20does%20mean%20that,the%20damages%20on%20your%20own.