How The Statute Of Limitations Works In Car Accident Cases

If you were injured in a car accident, you only have a limited amount of time to file your claim. This is known as the statute of limitations. Here's what you should know.

Time Limit to File a Lawsuit

The statute of limitations imposes a time limit within which a car accident lawsuit must be filed. This time limit varies depending on the jurisdiction and the specific type of claim. It is important to understand and adhere to this deadline to protect your legal rights.

Failing to file a lawsuit within the specified time frame can result in your case being dismissed by the court. Therefore, it is vital to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident to determine the applicable statute of limitations and ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner.

Deadline Determination

The determination of the statute of limitations deadline depends on various factors. Generally, it starts from the date of the car accident itself. However, in certain cases, the clock may begin from the date the injuries or damages were discovered or should have been reasonably discovered.

This is particularly relevant for cases where injuries or damages are not immediately apparent, such as internal injuries or latent medical conditions arising from the accident. Consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you accurately determine the deadline for filing your lawsuit based on the specific circumstances of your case.

Exceptions and Tolling

While the statute of limitations establishes a fixed deadline, there can be exceptions or tolling factors that affect the timeframe. Certain circumstances may pause or extend the statute of limitations, providing additional time to file a lawsuit.

For example, if the injured party is a minor at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations may be tolled, meaning the clock doesn't start ticking until they reach the age of majority. Similarly, if the injured party has a legal disability that prevents them from pursuing a claim, the statute of limitations may be delayed until the disability is resolved. 

Additionally, certain actions by the defendant, such as leaving the jurisdiction or fraudulently concealing information, may also impact the statute of limitations. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer is important to determine if any exceptions or tolling factors apply to your case, as they can significantly impact your legal rights and options for seeking compensation.

For more information, contact a company like Farrar Hennesy & Tanner LLC.