Car Accidents and Statutes of Limitations

injury claim paperwork with pen and reading glasses sitting on desk
The statute of limitations is the time period in which a lawsuit can be filed following an injury or death caused by the negligence of another person or entity such as the city government.

What Are the Statutes of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the time period in which a lawsuit can be filed following an injury or death caused by the negligence of another person or entity such as the city government. The statutes of limitations in Washington, D.C. can be different, depending on the category of the type the injury and on the age. However, this important part of the D.C. Code Ann. § 12-301(8) can interfere with your ability to recover damages, especially if you’re dealing with an insurance company.

Call Roeser Law When You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident

At Roeser Law, all the attorneys and staff are fully committed to ensuring their clients’ rights are protected. It is our duty to provide our clients with compassionate service and to make sure they receive the compensation they deserve. Call us today at (202) 660-4070 to find out how we can help you.

Why Are the Statutes of Limitations Important?

Why is this important? It’s important because, after a car accident, the time to file a lawsuit is 36 months from the time the incident occurred. If the injured person is a minor, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin to run until they turn 18. However, if a wrongful death occurs because of a car collision, the statute of limitations is two years.

If the Insurance Company Balks, the Statutes of Limitations Could Run Out

Everyone knows that insurance companies don’t like to make payouts. Why should they? After all, they are in business to make a profit. However, remember, the statute of limitations after a car accident injury is three years – two if a family has suffered a wrongful death. That clock starts running on the day the accident occurred to indicate the amount of time the injured party/parties have to file a lawsuit, which is what many people do if insurance negotiations don’t work out.

How Can Negotiating With an Insurance Company Be a Problem?

If you suffered a small injury and your medical bills aren’t too high, you might be successful in obtaining a settlement from the insurance company. However, with a serious injury, the medical bills can quickly become astronomical. The insurance company isn’t going to want to pay out that much money and often uses tactics to stall such as the following:

  • Insurance dragging: Those who are injured in a car accident often can’t work and are watching their medical bills pile up and they naturally panic. The insurance company knows this, so they will offer much less than is necessary, hoping the injured person will settle. If he/she does, the injured party cannot go back to the insurance company and say they didn’t pay out enough to cover their damages.
  • Waiting for the statute of limitations to expire: By dragging their feet, refusing to respond to requests and questioning the evidence that supports the claim, the statute of limitations can come closer and closer. This is important because if the claim isn’t settled and paid before the statute of limitations is reached, the injured party can no longer sue to recover the damages.
  • Medical records showed a pre-existing condition: This is a big one, and a good reason you should have an attorney handle your claim. Pre-existing conditions of any type can give the insurance company a way to fight your claim and either refuse to settle or drag it out so long you can’t sue.

Roeser Law Firm

Because dealing with the insurance company after an injury accident and the risk of the statute of limitations running out can and does happen, enlisting the help of an injury lawyer to handle negotiations with the insurance company or file a lawsuit to get you fair compensation may be prudent. 

We at the Roeser Law Firm are here to help you after you have been injured in a traffic accident. Please feel free to contact us at (202) 660-4070 or through our website online. You shouldn’t have to pay the bill yourself for your accident injuries or have to settle for less than you deserve and we can help.

Zeke Roeser


3000 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 140
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 660-4070