Understanding How Much Time You Have To File a Lawsuit

Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are injured as a result of the actions of someone else, you have the right to receive compensation. You can be paid for your medical bills, pain and suffering, other purchases related to the injury, lost wages, and more. In most cases, you need to file a lawsuit against the responsible party in order to receive the compensation you are owed. If you find yourself in this situation, you probably have a lot of questions, include how long you have to file the lawsuit.

The Statute of Limitations

The term that refers to how long you have to file a lawsuit is statute of limitations. If the statute of limitation is one year, then you may file a lawsuit for the first year after the accident occurs. After that, you can still file a lawsuit, but it will almost certainly be thrown out. For personal injury cases, the statute of limitation is almost always either two or three years. A few states have a different length, which are listed here:

  • Kentucky – One year
  • Louisiana – One year
  • Tennessee – One year
  • Wyoming – One year
  • Florida – Four years
  • Nebraska – Four years
  • Utah – Four years
  • Missouri – Five years
  • Maine – Six years
  • North Dakota – Six years

As you can see, the very shortest statute of limitations is one year, which means even with the shortest amount of time, you still have plenty of time to speak with a lawyer and come to a decision on whether it is worth it to file a lawsuit. You also have time to recover from your injury before filing.

Exceptions

In some situations, you are allowed to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitation has expired. It is never a good idea to rely on an exception. If you can, you should file before the time limit expires. The discovery rule states that the statute of limitations does not begin until the injury or responsible party is discovered. So if you are in an accident but do not realize you are injured until six months later, the statute of limitations begins six months after the accident. The same is true if you are unable to get in contact with the at-fault party for six months. This means that you are never unable to file due to not having enough information. A lawyer can provide you with more information, so your first step should be to find and speak with a lawyer who specializes in personal injury.

Source: Personal Injury Lawyer Miami, FL, Needle & Ellenberg, P.A.

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