Personal injury is a common occurrence in the world we live in. Whether it is a slip and fall accident, a car accident, or medical malpractice, injuries can have severe consequences on a person’s life. In such situations, the injured party may be entitled to compensation for their losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, there is a time limit for filing a personal injury claim, which is referred to as the statute of limitations. In this article, we will discuss what the statute of limitations is and how it affects personal injury claims.
What is the statute of limitations?
The statute of limitations is a legal concept that limits the amount of time a person has to file a lawsuit after an injury or harm has occurred. The purpose of the statute of limitations is to ensure that lawsuits are filed promptly, while evidence and witnesses are still available. The statute of limitations varies depending on the type of case and the state where the injury occurred.
Personal injury statute of limitations
In most states, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two to three years from the date of the injury. However, some states have different time limits, and there are exceptions to the general rule. For example, if the injured person is a minor or has a mental disability, the statute of limitations may be extended. In some cases, the statute of limitations may also be paused or “tolled” if the injured person is unable to file a lawsuit due to circumstances beyond their control, such as being in a coma or serving in the military.
Why is it important to file a personal injury claim within the statute of limitations?
Filing a personal injury claim within the statute of limitations is crucial because if you do not file within that time frame, you may lose your right to pursue compensation for your injuries. Once the statute of limitations has expired, you will be barred from filing a lawsuit, and the defendant will have a valid defense against your claim.
Exceptions to the personal injury statute of limitations
As mentioned earlier, there are exceptions to the general rule of the personal injury statute of limitations. For instance, if the injury was not discovered until later, the clock may start ticking from the date of discovery rather than the date of the injury. In cases of medical malpractice, some states have a separate statute of limitations, which may be shorter or longer than the general personal injury statute of limitations.
In summary, the statute of limitations is a critical factor to consider when filing a personal injury claim. It is essential to file within the time frame set by your state’s laws to avoid losing your right to compensation. If you have been injured in an accident, it is best to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you do not miss the deadline for filing your claim.