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People who have been wronged must decide whether to make a claim. Sometimes they ponder this question a long time before deciding. When considering whether to make a claim, people must also think about statutes of limitations. Statutes of limitations put time limits on when actions may be brought. If you wait too long to make a claim, and the statute of limitations passes, your claim will be denied - even if it was valid. Recently, a man who was hurt while getting off a plane made a claim against the airline to recover damages. A court noted that the statute of limitations for personal injury actions had passed, so his claim was dismissed and he lost the chance to recover for his injuries. Statutes of limitations have harsh results. Thus, if you are considering whether to make a claim, consult a lawyer promptly to assure your claim is not lost by delay. Also, even if it seems like a claim arose long ago, there could be grounds to overcome the statue of limitations.
If you have been involved in an accident, you may find the following information useful:
- DO NOT ADMIT FAULT
- If you are injured, do not exit your vehicle, wait to be treated by paramedics or request that paramedics be dispatched to the scene of the accident.
- Do not make any statements or discuss how the accident occurred, what injuries you suffered, or damages accrued with anyone other than police officer(s) or the paramedic(s) at the scene.
- Make sure that all information regarding the other driver(s) is accurate and complete, particularly license and insurance information and vehicle license number.
- If you have the slightest concern that you have been injured, you must inform the police at the scene.
- If you feel pain and discomfort, even after the accident, seek immediate medical attention.
- Do not make any statements (recorded or otherwise) regarding the accident to any insurance company without your attorney present.
- Do not sign any documents without benefit of counsel, regardless of whether they offer you a monetary settlement. You may be waiving important rights.
- Immediately contact your insurance company/agent and document a claim number.