Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are involved in an accident and injured due to someone else’s carelessness, you have the right to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your injuries. However, there are limitations on this right. There is something called the “statute of limitation” which is essentially a time limit for how long after the accident you have to file. Learn more about how the statute of limitations works.
The Statute of Limitations
It is always in your best interest to file a lawsuit as soon as you can for a number of reasons, including:
- Increased chance of winning the trial
- All information is fresh in your mind
- Receive compensation quicker
- Avoid worrying about the statute of limitation
If you wait too long, any lawsuit you file will almost certainly be dismissed before it goes to trial. The specific statute of limitations for your case depends on many factors. First, every state has its own rules and regulations, which includes differing statute of limitations. Second, each type of lawsuits has a different limit. For personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is between one and six years, although the vast majority of states have it set at two or three years. This means you likely have two or three years after the injury to file a lawsuit. Keep in mind that most suits take several years to complete, but you only need to file the lawsuit in this time limit. Another thing to consider is that filing takes time too. You cannot start the process a week before the statute of limitations expires and expect to finish filing in time.
Statute of Limitations Extensions
While the statute of limitations is very strict, there are very few situations where you can get an extension. Generally, the only exception that is considered by most states is called the “discovery rule.” If you do not discover the injury or the responsible party until significantly after the accident, the statute of limitations does not begin counting down until you make this discovery. For example, you may have been in a car accident and thought you were fine. If 13 months later you discover that this accident resulted in a minor broken bone, you can still file even if the statute of limitations is one year. Likewise, if you never found out who the other driver was until 13 months later, you still could file. You should find a personal injury lawyer as early as possible. Your legal professional can provide you with more information about the statute of limitations.