When it comes to filing insurance claims and lawsuits with the court, a statute of limitations ensures you do so in a timely manner. This is usually so that evidence can still be linked in a reasonable timeframe to the initial injury and that the defendant has an idea of how long they have to be summoned. It’s good practice to file a personal injury claim as soon as possible in case your claim gets denied or you run into obstacles, as you’ll then have time to file a lawsuit. Here’s how deadlines work for personal injury lawsuits.
Different State Laws
Your statute of limitations depends entirely on the state where you reside. Some states give you up to six years to file a lawsuit, but this is on the long end. Most are about two years, and some are only one. You should look into your state laws shortly after an injury to give yourself a proper timeframe for filing a claim and lawsuit.
When the Deadline Begins
Statute of limitations for personal injury cases start as soon as the injury occurs. This is for insurance claims and lawsuits alike. If you wait too long to file a claim, only to have the claim wrongfully blocked, you may have only a short time to put together a lawsuit. Lawsuits can take time to gather evidence to make a case, and you may pass the deadline before everything is ready. Making a claim in a punctual manner gives you time to file a lawsuit if necessary in the future.
Missing the Deadline
If you miss the deadline, you probably won’t be able to file the lawsuit at all. The point of the statute of limitations is to limit plaintiffs from bringing forth cases years after an accident has happened. However, if you discover you have an injury later, a judge may rule to extend your deadline, and your new statute of limitations will begin upon discovery. This does not happen often.
Filing a Lawsuit
There are many key steps to take when you file a lawsuit. Making mistakes during this process could get your case thrown out completely, setting you back in precious time and effort.