How Long Do I Have to Report a Car Accident in Arizona?

woman looking at the damage on her vehicle

Following an accident, the law provides you a specific amount of time by which you must file your car accident claim. While some factors impact that timeline, it’s generally the same for most cases. However, filing a claim is one thing. Reporting your accident is another story.

Reporting an accident is urgent and is one of the steps that you should take soon after the crash occurs. Here are some of the things you should know about reporting your accident, and the timeline allowed to file your car accident claim.

Reporting Your Accident

We recommend that you report your accident as quickly as you can. If you can, you should report the crash at the scene to best protect your rights. Not only should you report your crash to your own insurance provider, but you should also report it to local law enforcement.

The sooner you start the process, the better it is for your potential claim. If you wait to report your accident, insurance adjusters may try to use your delay against you. They’ll claim that you didn’t suffer damages or that your injuries were from a separate event.

The Timeline to File Your Claim

Under Arizona law (A.R.S. 12-542), you have two years from the date of your injuries to file a lawsuit in most cases. There are exceptions for statutory claims (e.g., lawsuits should be filed within one year for dog bites) or claims involving government employees (e.g., a notice of claim must be filed within 180 days for car accidents involving a police officer or city employee). If you don’t file a lawsuit within the required time period, you could forfeit your ability to obtain compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance provider.

If you are a minor and suffer injuries in your car accident, the timeline would start once you turn 18 years old.

Far too often, individuals are unaware of their rights. It sometimes leads to claim denials and problems with timelines. Our Mesa car accident lawyers at Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, PLC are here to work with you during this difficult time to protect your rights. We’ll help you file your claim in a timely manner to help you understand your options and pursue compensation.

Need to discuss your case in a free consultation? Call our firm today at (480) 999-9181.

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