Personal Injury and the Statute of Limitations

When you’re involved in a personal injury case, you probably want to get it over with as soon as possible. Perhaps you’re wondering how much time you or the other party has to file a lawsuit? In addition to filing time, you will have to go through other legal proceedings, possibly court, that will eventually end in a settlement. How much time do you have for a personal injury lawsuit? Check it out!

What Is the Statute of Limitations?
There is a certain amount of time allotted to individuals for which they can file a lawsuit after becoming injured. That time frame is called the statute of limitations. It varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, as well as between types of lawsuits. If you don’t file your lawsuit within the allotted amount of time, you could forfeit your right to compensation.

What Is the Statute for Personal Injury Cases?
The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits varies from state to state, and you should be aware of the time allotted in your state so you don’t end up without a settlement at all. For example, in the state of Arizona, you have a two year statute, but in New Mexico, you would have four years. North Carolina has a three year statute of limitations, but just over the border in Virginia, there’s a five year statute.

Are There Any Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
In most cases, the statute of limitations begins when the injury occurs. There are a few situations in which the statute of limitations would not apply normally. For example, if the injured individual ended up in a coma and remained that way for six months, he or she would be given an additional six months upon waking up and realizing an injury had occurred.

Another exception would include a later discovery of the injury. If someone was in an accident and the physician didn’t catch a particular injury because you hadn’t begun to feel the pain, only to realize a year later that some pain you’d been feeling had come from the accident, the statute would begin at that year mark of discovery. This is sometimes a tricky situation in which the lawyer would have to help you prove the injury was in fact a result of the previous injury.

Don’t Do It Alone
When you are injured, you should never try to navigate the legal system on your own. Whether you feel you have a case or just want some initial advice, contact a personal injury lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer Trenton, NJ, today to have the help of a professional.

Thank you to Davis & Brusca, LLC for their insight into personal injury law.