Statute of Limitations
If you have suffered an injury and intend to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation, it is important to do so in a timely manner. There is a limited period of time in which to file a suit after a personal injury occurs.
The legal rule known as the “statute of limitations” sets out a time limit for filing a case. Statutes of limitations apply to any lawsuit arising from an injury or accident. After the expiration of the statute of limitations period, the victim essentially loses the legal right to pursue compensation for the injury. If a lawsuit is filed after this deadline, it will be dismissed by the court, and the victim will not be able to recover payment for their damages, even if they otherwise had a valid case.
Why This Time Limit Exists
There are a number of reasons why statutes of limitations exist. First, there is a limited period of time in which to file a suit in the interest of fairness. The statute of limitations prevents people from filing a lawsuit many years after the fact. This delay often means that evidence has been lost and eyewitnesses’ memories have faded, significantly affecting the case. Such statutues also enable the responsible parties to move on with their lives, without fear of being surprised by a legal claim years after the fact.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
If you are considering filing a lawsuit, it is important to do so within the statute of limitations. The period you have in which to file a case varies widely, depending on the state, the reason you are filing the lawsuit (also known as the cause of action), and several other considerations that are specific to the circumstances of your case. The statute of limitations applicable to your case may vary from one year to six years, or longer in certain limited cases. Depending on the law in your state and the situation involved in the case, the limitation may begin from the date of the injury, or from the date the harm or injury was discovered.
The “Discovery of Harm” Rule
In the majority of cases, the time period a victim has to file a claim starts from the date the injury or accident occurred. However, in some cases this time can be extended to begin on the date the injury is discovered, or the date on which the victim should reasonably have known that they had suffered harm. For example, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice suit involving a surgical sponge left inside a patient may begin on the date the patient discovers the problem, not on the date of the initial surgery. An attorney in your state can determine whether this rule applies to your situation.
Contact our Lawyers Today
If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, contact our lawyers today to find out how your state’s statute of limitations laws will affect your case. An attorney in the state where the injury occurred can determine the statute of limitations that applies to your situation. Our lawyers can help you file a legal claim in a timely manner, ensuring that your case is not denied on the basis of being filed too late.
By beginning the claims process as soon as possible, you can ensure that you do not lose your legal right to recover compensation. By contacting our lawyers as soon as possible also ensures that all possible evidence can be gathered before it disappears, and that you can get the lawsuit over with so that you can go on with your life.