Have you been in an accident and are thinking about filing a claim for compensation? In such a case, you may be wondering how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit.
The statute of limitations is the time limit within which you must take legal action, and it varies depending on multiple factors, including where you live, the type of injury you have suffered, and who is liable for the incident. Missing this critical deadline typically results in your being unable to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. Speaking to an experienced attorney as soon as possible following an accident is the best way to ensure that you stay within all appropriate filing timelines and maximize your potential award.
The time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit ranges from one to six years, depending on the state of residency. In California, for example, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit, whereas in New York, you have three years. In Florida, you have four years to bring a claim for injuries in most instances.
In general, the statute of limitations begins to run from the date of the injury or the date you discovered, or should have discovered, the injury. For example, if you were in a car accident and broke your arm, the statute of limitations would begin on the date of the accident. However, if you did not discover an internal injury until several months later, the statute of limitations would begin from the date you became aware of your condition. This is known as the discovery rule.
It is important to remember that the statute of limitations has some exceptions that can result in your having a much shorter timeframe or an extended one. In addition to the discovery rule mentioned above, there are other situations in which the statute of limitations might be “tolled” or delayed. For example, when you suffer a personal injury as a minor, the statute of limitations is extended to seven years.
Conversely, you may have as little as two years to file a claim, under circumstances including:
Speaking with a personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure your rights are protected and that your case is filed within the appropriate timeframe.
Ultimately, when it comes to personal injury cases, it is critical to be aware of your state’s statute of limitations. If you wait too long to file a lawsuit, you may lose your opportunity to take action and recover compensation. Reach out to the team at Norden Leacox Accident & Injury Law for a free consultation to review your legal options.