Too Late To Compensate: Statutes Of Limitations On Personal Injury Cases
Suffering a personal injury is no laughing matter. No matter how severe the incident was, you do not want to be responsible for the heap of medical bills that is coming your way. Unfortunately, many individuals wait until the statute of limitations is up before they realize that they are severely injured or actually have a case. Your time is limited, and you need to know the statute of limitations in your state.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
Each state will have its own laws regarding what kind of legal action you can take in the event of a personal injury case. The statute of limitations prevents you from taking legal action after a specific amount of time following the inciting incident. Just as you cannot be charged today for speeding five years ago, you cannot sue somebody for an incident that took place very long ago. For some states, this is between two to six years. On the other hand, some states have limits of just one year and others have no statute of limitations at all.
When Does the Clock Start Ticking?
Generally, the date on which you were injured is the starting line for the statute of limitations. This is not always the day on which the injury was discovered. For instance, you might go in for a medical procedure only to find that you are in more pain about a year after you leave. You see a new doctor and find out that the other one did something to harm you. Waiting too long to sue could put you past the deadline.
Some states have 2-year limits on personal injury cases. These states include California, West Virginia, and Minnesota. On the other hand, states like New Hampshire have 3-year limits. Unfortunately, states like Kentucky and Louisiana only allow one year between injury and the lawsuit. Of course, you should also check to see if your state has special laws surrounding the discovery of the injury. The states with the longest statute of limitations (6 years) include North Dakota and Maine.
Any injury deserves a checkup by a qualified doctor. If you do find that you want to sue somebody who caused a personal injury, speak to your lawyer, one like The Reed Noble Law Firm PLLC, to determine your rights. You have power in these situations, but you have to act as soon as you know that there is a problem.