If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, you may have suffered serious injuries that you can’t afford to pay for. Instead of worrying about how you are going to pay and recover, you can file an accident claim to receive compensation from insurance. Sometimes life can get chaotic after an accident and your attention is focused elsewhere, but it’s important not to wait too long to file a claim. There are deadlines, known as a “statute of limitations,” that dictate how long you have after the accident to file. If you miss this, you’ll be out of luck. Here are some deadlines and timelines to know about.

Varying Deadlines

It’s important to note that the average statute of limitations may not apply to you. Every state has its own limit, and these can sometimes cover a broad range. As soon as you know you’ll need to file a claim, check your state laws. You can find easy resources online that list every state’s limits. That way you’ll know exactly how much time you have.

Average Limitations

If you haven’t yet had time to look up your state’s laws, two years is a good estimate. This is the average time to file any car accident claim among the states. However, some states give you as little as one year to file. Others may allow up to six.

Settlement Timelines

Once you’ve begun the claims process, there is no one timeline to expect to reach a final settlement. A lot of individual variables can impact the length of the process. The more complicated your claim, the harder battle you will have with the insurance company to receive full compensation. Average timelines can extend from a month to six weeks, though it can take up to several years in some cases. It can take a few weeks to hear back from insurance for the first settlement offer. Once you receive it, you can choose to accept it or negotiate for a higher price.

When to Hire a Lawyer

You do not have to hire a lawyer, like a motorcycle accident lawyer immediately when you file a claim. Some people choose not to hire one at all and do fine negotiating a fair claim for themselves. Not everyone has a good grasp of the law, however, or they may get offered a heinously low compensation amount from the insurance company. If this applies to you, consider hiring a lawyer. You can hire one at any time throughout the entire process, but it can be helpful to hire one earlier on to get started on the right foot.