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Article: How Soon Must I File A Personal Injury Lawsuit Before I Forever Lose The Right To Do So?, Car Accident

How Soon Must I File A Personal Injury Lawsuit Before I Forever Lose The Right To Do So?

Everyday thousands of people in the United States are hurt in accidents due to the negligence of someone else. These accidents can leave victims with injuries that range from moderate to life-altering. While not every accident will lead to a personal injury lawsuit, those that are difficult to resolve or involved serious injuries may. The following is an overview of how long you have to file your claim before losing the right to seek compensation for your accident related expenses and injuries. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, it may be helpful to speak with a personal injury attorney to discuss your options.

Accidents

Personal injury law covers a variety of different accident types and is designed to help those who are hurt obtain a monetary settlement for their medical bills, lost wages and injuries. The most common types of accidents that lead to the filing of personal injury cases in the United States are:

  • Car Accidents
  • Accidents Involving Commercial Vehicles
  • Birth Injuries
  • Motorcycle Crashes
  • Bicycle Accidents
  • Slip And Falls
  • Dog Bites
  • Cruise Ship Accidents

How Long Do I Have To File My Claim?

How long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit after an accident depends on the state in which you live. Each state sets forth their own statute of limitations that dictate the length of time accident victims have to file their case in court. It is important to adhere to the statute of limitations in your state, as failing to do so may result in the inability to file your case.

Statute Of Limitations In Each State

The following is an overview of the current statute of limitations in each state in the United States:

  • 1 Year

Kentucky
Louisiana
Tennessee

  • 2 Years

Alabama
Arizona
Alaska
Colorado
California
Delaware
Hawaii
Idaho
Georgia
Indiana
Illinois
Iowa
Nevada
Kansas
New Jersey
Oklahoma
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Virginia
Texas
West Virginia

  • 3 Years

Washington
Wisconsin
Vermont
South Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
New York
New Mexico
North Carolina
New Hampshire
Montana
Mississippi
Maryland
Massachusetts
Connecticut
Arkansas
Vermont
DC

  • 4 Years

Wyoming
Utah
Nebraska

  • 5 Years

Missouri

  • 6 Years

Maine
Minnesota
North Dakota

  • 10 Years

Oregon

Exceptions

While the above statutes of limitations are current for the above states, there may be exceptions made in certain instances. If you were injured due to the negligence of a government employee or entity, you typically have just 6 months or less to file your claim. For this reason, it is best to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney to avoid losing the right to file your case in court.

Do You Need A Lawyer To File Your Case?

While you may negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company on your own, statistics have shown that these companies typically offer lower settlements to accident victims that do not have legal representation. Some things a lawyer can do to help you include:

  • Hire Accident Investigators
  • Request Copies Of Your Police And Medical Reports
  • Speak With Your Doctors Regarding Your Prognosis
  • Negotiate With The Insurance Company
  • File Your Case
  • Attend Court Hearings
  • Represent You During A Trial

There is no guarantee with any accident case, but having a lawyer to look out for your best interests is a good way to maximize the chances of obtaining a fair settlement for your injuries.

Being hurt in any type of accident can be the source of a great deal of stress, but there is help available. When it comes to personal injury cases, time is of the essence and it is important to know exactly how long you have to seek compensation for your injuries and medical expenses. While obtaining a financial settlement cannot erase the pain you have endured, it can give you important resources to move ahead in your recovery and your life.

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