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How Long After a Car Crash Can You Claim Whiplash?

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An estimated two million Americans experience whiplash every year, making it one of the most common personal injuries. Whiplash symptoms can arise after the injury date, which is why you need to have plenty of time to file a lawsuit. How long after a car crash can you claim whiplash? Most often, you will have two years to file a lawsuit. However, this can vary depending on the state where the injury took place, as well as many other factors.

Can I Sue for Whiplash? 

Whiplash occurs when the head snaps forward and back, similar to a whip, due to an unexpected force. Most often, they come from front and rear-impact car accidents, but they can also arise from other experiences, such as sports injuries.

Whiplash can occur from even low-impact collisions, and the pain can vary immensely. Regardless of the severity, getting it treated right away is a good idea to avoid further injuries. In addition, suing for whiplash can ensure the injured party gets compensation to pay for any necessary medical attention.

Besides whiplash, check out our article on what can you sue for in a car accident to determine what a plaintiff may be eligible for.

How Long After a Car Crash Can You Claim Whiplash

A statute of limitations is the time period in which you can bring forward legal action. For most types of lawsuits, there is a specific amount of time from the incident in which you can file a lawsuit. If you try to file a lawsuit after this period, the legal claim is invalid.

The statute of limitations will vary depending on the type of lawsuit and the state. Whiplash is considered a type of personal injury. Here are some of the statutes of limitations for personal injury in some major states.

man holding his neck post whiplash
  • California: Two years from the injury date. If the injury was not discovered right away, this becomes one year from the discovery date.
  • Nevada: Two years from the injury date.
  • Arizona: Two years from the injury date.
  • Colorado: Two years from the injury date. Extended to three years if the personal injury was the result of an auto accident.
  • Pennsylvania: Two years from the injury date.
  • New York: Three years from the injury date.
  • New Jersey: Two years from the injury date.

There are a few exceptions, noticeably when a case enters tolling. In tolling, the time period is suspended due to various reasons, like the defendant being a minor, in prison, out of state or clinically declared insane. When tolling is involved, you will want to consult with an experienced attorney to determine how long after an accident you can sue.

How Long Does It Take To Feel Whiplash Symptoms?

In most cases, the symptoms from a whiplash neck injury will arise a few days after the injury takes place. It’s best to try and see a doctor right away to understand the severity of the injury, as well as a personal injury attorney to see what compensation the injured party may be entitled to.

Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney for Whiplash

So how long after a car crash can you claim whiplash? While you often have at least two years to file a lawsuit, this timeline varies from state to state, as well as with type of lawsuit, so it’s a good idea to reach out as soon as possible to cover medical bills, time off work and any pain and suffering. At Avrek Law, we have recovered more than $1 billion in compensation for clients in for over 45,000 cases. With over 50 years of combined experience, we specialize in personal injury in several states. Contact us to set up a free consultation.

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