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How long after a car accident can you make a claim?

So, you’ve been in an accident and want to claim on your car insurance. You might be wondering whether you can push it to the back of your to-do list and get to it next week. But is this possible? How long after an accident can you make a car insurance claim?

While in some cases it could be acceptable to wait a week or two before claiming, it is ill-advised.

In most cases, you will want to contact your insurer after getting in an accident as soon as possible, typically within 24 hours. It’s important to note that this includes if you aren’t going to make a claim. Insurers like to be kept in the loop about any changes to their customer's circumstances, and your car crashing into another one definitely falls under that.

When it comes to the actual window for making a claim, it varies. Different insurers will have different timeframes.

However, a good rule of thumb is two weeks after the accident. This is because as time goes on, it becomes more and more difficult to gather the relevant information that might be pertinent to the case. This could be CCTV being deleted or witness testimonies becoming fuzzier.

It’s important to find out what this deadline is as if you miss it your insurer will almost certainly invalidate your claim. There might be some situations where this is extended, such as if you are in hospital as a result.

If you’ve suffered from personal injury and want to claim compensation, then you legally have three years to do so. However, as with car insurance, it’s advisable to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible, as any delays will only work to hinder your claim from being successful.

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