When injured in a car accident, you might feel rushed or that you need to file a lawsuit quickly, but that may be a mistake. Filing too soon after an accident may mean going into settlement negotiations without all the facts at your disposal. You may not know the full extent of your injuries or the actual cost of recovery for several months. While you may have an urge to seek closure, hold off until you know more. You have time.
The Two-Year Statute
In most personal injury claims, which a car accident falls under, you have a minimum of two years from the date of the accident to file. However, some states allow more time and others less. It is best to contact a local personal injury attorney to discuss the statute of limitations.
While it is true that in most cases you can wait until you understand your injuries and the accident that caused them, if you were injured on public transportation, you might not have this luxury. Most states and federal regulations require that any pending suit be filed within months rather than years against a governmental body. You may only have up to 4 months to file your claim.
If the injuries sustained were to a minor, then they have more time. A juvenile has until they turn twenty in most states because the timeline does not start ticking until they turn 18. While there may be some flexibility in how long an individual has after they turn 18, most states give some leeway.
Some people cannot file a lawsuit because they are incapacitated. The accident may have put them into a coma or other state. When this type of injury occurs, some jurisdictions will either allow a family member to file on the individual’s behalf or wait for the person to be alert and capable of deciding. Your attorney will know how to proceed in these circumstances.
Car accidents are never any fun and may leave you with serious injuries. If you sustain injuries during a wreck, do not rush to sue. You most likely have a minimum of two years to make that decision. Since many injuries do not present until several weeks after the initial crash, it is better to wait until you are entirely aware of your injuries.