Limitation Law: The Timeframe to File a Lawsuit
Any personal injury claim must be filed in court within a specified time. This period is known as the “statute of limitations”. Each state contemplates, in its state legislation, statute of limitations for different types of legal cases. These laws set specific deadlines for a potential plaintiff to file suit in state court or to lose forever the ability to file a lawsuit on the basis of such a claim.
For that reason, it is important to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to avoid running out of the statute of limitations on your claim and preventing you from doing so. You can always withdraw your claim at a later date, but if you don't file it on time, you won't be able to file it after the statute of limitations has expired.
What is the statute of limitations in personal injury cases?
The statute of limitations depends both on the type of personal injury case being filed and the state court in which the lawsuit is filed. Most states have statute of limitations for personal injury ranging from 1 to 3 years; however, some have terms ranging from 4 to 6 years. Several states have shorter statute of limitations for libel and libel personal injury. Some states also shorten the statute of limitations for wrongful death and medical malpractice cases .
When does the period of the statute of limitations begin?
To know how much time you have to file, you need to understand when the statute of limitations begins. In most instances, it takes effect from the date of the incident or from the date you knew (or should have known) that you suffered personal injury from the incident.
Is the period of the statute of limitations ever extended?
Most states extend the statute of limitations in certain circumstances. This procedure is known as "suspending" the statute of limitations. If, for example, the injured party is a minor, the statute of limitations may not take effect until the minor reaches the age of majority. The statute of limitations can also be suspended or paused if the defendant files for bankruptcy.
What happens if my attorney lets the statute of limitations expire?
If you hired an attorney before the statute of limitations expired and authorized them to file a lawsuit on your behalf, then you may have grounds for legal malpractice action against you, if the attorney did not file. the claim before the expiration date established according to the statute of limitations.
Limitation laws exist to provide certainty to potential defendants. Potential defendants can rest assured that they will not be sued if the statute of limitations for a particular incident has been met, and they can move forward with their personal and business decisions without the uncertainty posed by the unknown expense of a potential lawsuit. .
It is important to understand what the statute of limitations is in your particular state for the specific personal injury, so that you can file a claim on time and correctly and thus preserve your right to recover damages for your injuries.
Talk to a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney Today
This article is intended to be helpful and informative, but legal matters can be complicated and stressful. A qualified personal injury attorney can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local personal injury attorney to discuss your unique legal situation.