The days in the aftermath of a car accident can be extremely chaotic, especially when you have been injured as a result of the incident. Be aware that there are limits, called statutes of limitations, that allow claims to be brought in court for only a certain period of time after an injury. These limitations vary by state. Keep reading for more information on what a statute of limitations is and how it could impact your ability to file a lawsuit.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is essentially a law that prevents a claimant from bringing a court case after a certain period of time has passed. The timeframe for filing lawsuits after a vehicle crash depends upon the state in which the accident. These statutes of limitations are enforced for civil and criminal court cases. They begin on the date of injury or the date it was discovered or could have been reasonably discovered.
What Are the Statutes of Limitations?
For personal injuries experienced in car wrecks, the statute of limitations varies between one and six years, depending on the state. On the other hand, property damage claims can be barred anywhere from one to ten years after an accident.
Are There Exceptions?
There can be exceptions to the statutes of limitations imposed on car accident lawsuits. Those could include when the defendant is no longer in the state. In some cases, courts may allow you to wait until the other party returns to file the lawsuit. An extension may also be granted if the defendant is legally incompetent or unfit to stand trial until the other party is competent. There may be several additional exceptions to the statute of limitations in your state as a car accident lawyer like one from Greenspan & Greenspan P.C. can explain to you.
What Should I Do?
If you have been injured in a car accident, you should meet with several attorneys as quickly as possible to ensure you can file a claim within the statute of limitations. Of course, your health takes precedence over everything, so get yourself well enough before worrying about lawsuits. If you are not well enough, you could have your spouse or another loved one get the process started for you. Discuss your options with several law firms and make a determination as to who you feel will best represent your interests in a lawsuit.
Contact an attorney today if you were injured in a car accident and feel you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party.