How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit?

How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit?

Filing a Lawsuit for an Auto Accident

After an auto accident or other incident that results in serious injuries, you may be wondering if you have a shot at filing a claim. If another person acted negligently and caused your injuries, then there is a high likelihood that you are owed compensation.

A lot of people don’t file a lawsuit right away. Many wait to find out if the injuries are bad enough or if they have any chance of winning a settlement. In reality, you should never wait to begin your claim and here is why.

The Clock Is Already Ticking

For example, if you were in an auto accident, then the clock begins to tick as soon as you are in the accident. You do indeed have a deadline that you have to file a lawsuit by. In fact, once you start the claims filing process, you will have many deadlines. It helps to have a lawyer keep you on top of your deadlines and ensure that the statute of limitations does not run out on you before you file your claim.

There are some exceptions to starting the clock on your deadline. If you do not discover your injuries or illness right away, you may be able to file a lawsuit and the countdown to the statute of limitations begins on the date of the injury discovery. If you find out someone was negligent long after you suffered the injury, then the start date may begin upon that discovery as well. The rules regarding exceptions can be complicated, which is why it may be beneficial to talk to an auto accident lawyer from a firm like John K. Zaid & Associates, as soon as you make a discovery. 

Every State Has Different Rules

You should talk to a lawyer as quickly as possible. Every state has its own regulations regarding personal injury lawsuits. If you want to file a civil claim, in Maine, for instance, you have six years from the date of the injury to file. However, if you live in Louisiana, you only have one year. Many states allow you to file within two to three years, but you must talk with a lawyer to ensure that you don’t wait too long. A statute of limitations applies to most civil cases. If you suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, then you will want to ensure that you are fairly compensated and before any possible deadlines void your possible claim.