Why Is There a Statute of Limitations?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Understanding the Statute of Limitations Before You File a Claim

After suffering an injury due to another person’s negligence, you may be considering a personal injury lawsuit. Many people want to give filing a claim a lot of thought, but you probably don’t want to wait too long to file.

The statute of limitations restricts the amount of time that you have to file a civil lawsuit. Every state has a different statute to follow, so plaintiffs need to check with a personal injury lawyer in advance to make sure that they meet the deadline.

To figure out how long you have to file a claim, here is what you need to know about the statute of limitations.

Why Is There a Statute of Limitations?

The law has a statute of limitations because, over time, a personal injury case can become more difficult to prove. Memories are less reliable as time goes on and you may lose evidence. A statute of limitations also protects the defendant from facing a lawsuit years later.

If you do not file your claim before the statute of limitations ends, then you could lose the legal right to bring a lawsuit at all. In some states, you have as little as one year to file a lawsuit and in another, you have as many as six. In general, the majority of states allow you between two and three years.

Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?

Some states may provide you with an exception to the typical statute of limitations. Generally, the clock begins ticking as soon as the incident takes place. However, if you were to discover an injury later or found out that someone was responsible years following the accident, some states will allow the clock to begin once you become aware of the injury or negligence.

Also, those who suffer injuries as a minor may be able to file a lawsuit when they turn 18, regardless of how much time passes. The number of years a minor has to file doesn’t begin until he or she is of legal age.If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should file a claim as soon as possible. While some people think that they have to wait until they know the extent of their medical bills, you should meet with a lawyer soon after the incident. The sooner you consult with a personal injury lawyer, the more likely you are to file your claim before the statute of limitations expires.