A car accident can be an emotionally and physically traumatic experience. The last thing you want after a traffic collision is for it to continually affect you and your loved ones. To resolve legal and financial matters as quickly as possible, it is important to understand the Ohio car accident timeline and process.
How Long do I Have to Report a Car Accident in Ohio?
There are multiple answers to this question depending on the type of legal action and outcome you are pursuing. From an accident standpoint, a crash report may be filed with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles within 6 months of the accident date as long as the one or more of the following criteria is met:
- Someone has been injured
- There is at least $400 worth of property damage
- The driver or owner of the vehicle does not have car insurance or acceptable financial responsibility coverage
However, from a personal injury or property damage perspective, it is important to consider that there is a statute of limitations in Ohio. This creates a timeframe in which legal action may be taken after a car accident. The statute of limitations exists to encourage a quick resolution of the case, protect the integrity of physical evidence and witness testimony, and prevent injured victims from delaying a case to extract more damages from the liable party. The statute of limitations in Ohio to file a lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident, with some exceptions:
- Minors involved in accidents have two years from their 18th birthday to file a claim. For example, a 16-year-old who has been injured in an accident has two years from their 18th birthday, for a total of 4 years, to file a claim.
- If a victim does not discover an injury until after the date of the accident, the statute of limitations begins on the date the injury was discovered or should have been discovered rather than the date of the accident (the discovery of harm rule).
Learn More About the Car Accident Timeline and Process in Ohio
Understanding the different deadlines for filing suit after an accident can help the process proceed smoothly. Considering the narrow timeline of the Ohio statute of limitations, it is in your best interests to contact an experienced car accident attorney immediately after a traffic wreck. Many aspects of a car crash claim are time sensitive, including gathering evidence, collecting witness statements, and communicating with the other party’s insurance company. The sooner an attorney is involved, the stronger the case they could prepare on your behalf.
At O’Connor, Acciani, & Levy, our experienced Cincinnati personal injury lawyers can work tirelessly to build your case and pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact our firm today for a free consultation.