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How Long do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Arizona?

February 7, 2022 By John Torgenson

Individuals who get into car accidents typically need to file their car accident claim quickly after the incident occurs. Insurance carriers have strict reporting deadlines, and failing to file a report promptly could result in a claim delay or denial. Here, we want to discuss the time frames involved with vehicle accident claims in Arizona.

Do You Have to Report a Crash to Police in Arizona?

In the state of Arizona, law enforcement officials are required to report any vehicle accidents that result in an injury, death, property damage of more than $1,000, or incidents that result in the issuance of a citation.

The reality is that this means that just about any vehicle accident that occurs in the state must be reported to local law enforcement officials or Arizona Highway Patrol. However, when an incident is reported to the police and they fill out an accident report, this does not mean that your accident claim has been filed.

Be Aware of Insurance Carrier Deadlines

The vast majority of vehicle accident claims in Arizona will be resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. When claims are settled through insurance carriers, as opposed to taking the case all the way to trial, they are typically resolved much quicker. However, insurance carriers are notoriously difficult to deal with, beginning with the deadlines in place to report the incident.

The vast majority of auto insurance carriers have strict reporting deadlines. Typically, insurance companies require that an accident be reported within a day or two after the incident occurs. Failing to do so could result in the carrier delaying or even denying the claim altogether.

Most initial car accident reports can be made to the insurance carriers by calling them, going on to their website to file a claim, or using their phone apps. The initial report is typically straightforward to fill out, and you only need to let the insurance carrier know that an accident occurred, where it occurred, the name of the other driver(s) involved, and basic crash information. You do not need to go into much detail with the insurance carrier when you initially file your claim, and we encourage you to limit any conversations you have with insurance claims adjusters.

Time Limit to File a Lawsuit

Statute of Limitations after a car accident in arizona

There are various reasons why an insurance settlement may not be the best route towards securing maximum compensation for a crash victim in Arizona. If the insurance carrier denies the claim or refuses to offer a fair settlement amount, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver directly.

In Arizona, the personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. This means that car accident victims in this state have a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the other driver. Failing to do so will result in the case being dismissed and the crash victim becoming unable to recover any compensation for their losses.

We strongly encourage you to work with a skilled Scottsdale car accident attorney to help you with every aspect of your case. This includes filing the claim with an insurance carrier as well as any lawsuit that becomes necessary.

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John Torgenson

John Torgenson is a highly experienced personal injury lawyer with over 20 years of practice in Arizona. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and his Juris Doctor from Notre Dame. John has a proven track record of securing substantial verdicts and settlements, including an $8.25 million recovery for a gunshot injury victim. His expertise has earned him AVVO ratings and recognition as a Super Lawyer.

John is also a sought-after lecturer on personal injury law, sharing his extensive knowledge with peers and aspiring attorneys. Beyond his legal practice, John is an avid golfer and actively supports organizations like the Military Assistance Mission, Arizona School for the Arts, Page Balloon Regatta, University of Arizona Foundation, Junior Achievement of Arizona, and the Tim Huff Pro Bono Golf Classic.

Passionate about advocating for injury victims, John dedicates his career to battling insurance companies and corporate interests, ensuring that the rights of those who are hurt are vigorously defended.