Know How Long You Have To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you were the victim of another’s actions that resulted in you being injured, you may have a case to file a personal injury lawsuit. Of course, your first priority should be to receive the medical treatment you need. This raises the question of how long one has to file a lawsuit for many people. It turns out that the specific amount of time one has to file a lawsuit depends on a few factors. You should speak with a personal injury attorney to learn more. Your time limit to file is called the statute of limitations, and it is vital that you have a good understanding of it.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is essentially just another name for your time limit to file a lawsuit. It is the time limit you have to file the lawsuit, but not for it to be resolved. It does take time to file, of course, so you should not wait until the last few days of the statute of limitations to file. It is also much better to file early, because the events are fresh and witnesses will be easier to find.

The length of the statute of limitations depends on the state and the type of lawsuit. For most states, personal injury cases have a statute of limitations of two or three years. These are the exceptions:

  • 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

If you live in a state that is not listed above, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case for you is either two or three years.

If the Statute of Limitations Is Expired

If you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations is expired, it will almost certainly be unsuccessful. The judge will throw the case out nearly every time. There are a few minor exceptions to this fact. If the injury or responsible party is only discovered at a later time, the statute of limitations does not begin until that discovery is made. It may sound like an unusual exception, but it is fairly common not to realize you are injured at first, or for the responsible party to remain unknown for a time. It is always in your best interest to hire a personal injury lawyer in Deer Park, TX, rather than trying to represent yourself in a court case.

Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into personal injury claims and how long you have to submit a lawsuit.