How long has it been since your accident? Are you recovered from your injuries? Are you still trying to unburden yourself of the piling medical bills? You may still be able to file a personal injury claim and seek restitution for your injuries, but you have to make a decision. While you have not felt rushed to make a decision, there is a clock on filing a personal injury claim, and that clock varies from state to state. You need to know about the statute of limitations, age exceptions and the rules for suing a governmental body.
Statute of Limitations
Personal injury claims are typically subject to a standard statute of limitations. These statutes protect potential defendants from abusive persecution or frivolous lawsuits by limiting the time a plaintiff has to file a claim. Typically, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the accident. It is necessary to point out that the law only applies to filing a claim and not having and completing the trial. Also, some states offer less or more time, so it is beneficial to check with the local authorities to determine specifics.
Exceptions for Minors
The two-year statute typically only applies to people 18 or older. Minors have a different set of standards. If you were injured as a minor, then you have two years from the date of your 18th birthday. Therefore, minors have a significantly longer deadline than adults. For example, if a 15-year-old is injured in an accident, then hypothetically, they will have until their 20th birthday to file a claim, or five years. Again, this information can vary by state, so always check with your local authorities or an attorney to verify.
Exceptions for Governmental Entities
It is worth noting that in most jurisdictions, the statute only applies to civil disputes between two drivers. If the claim is against a government agency, like public transportation, then you likely have far less time to make a claim. In fact, the two-year timeline gets dwindled down to only a few months or less, which makes the decision process even more crucial.
You likely have more time than you thought for filing a personal injury claim, but that doesn’t mean you should postpone filing. It is often better to file when the incident is fresh in your mind, but it is still important not to rush it. Contact a local personal injury lawyer to discuss your potential claim and seek advice.