Understanding the Statute of Limitations
Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured by someone else’s actions, your best bet for receiving compensation is to file a personal injury case. However, there is a limitation on how long you have to file a lawsuit. This is called the statute of limitations. It applies to any kind of lawsuit, including personal injury cases. If you plan to file a lawsuit, it is important for you to know what your statute of limitations is. One of your first steps should be to talk with your attorney about it.
How Long Do You Have?
The statute of limitations varies based on the type of lawsuit and the state in which it is filed. For personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is either two years or three years in 39 of the states. For the remaining 11 states, the statute of limitations is one, four, five, or six years. This means you are guaranteed to have plenty of time to recover from your injury before you file.
Remember, the statute of limitations starts to count down from the time of the injury. This means that all the time you spend recovering is already in the statute of limitations period. Likewise, it limits how long you have to file a lawsuit. It is fine if the suit itself extends beyond the end of the statute of limitations. That said, it is not a good idea to wait to the last minute to file. For one, it takes time to file officially and you may find you do not have enough time if you delay. Secondly, lawsuits have a better chance of being successful if they are begun sooner after the incident.
The Discovery Rule
There are very few exceptions to the statute of limitations. You should not rely on some exception and instead plan on filing in time. That being said, the discovery rule is an exception. This rule states that the statute of limitations does not begin until the injury or responsible party is discovered. This only applies in the rare instance that the injury is not immediately evident, or the identity of the responsible person remains unknown for a period of time. As you would expect, these are rare occurrences, but they do happen from time to time. If you find yourself in either of these situations, rest assured that you are not on the clock until the discovery is made. Your personal injury lawyer in Trenton, NJ will be able to give you more detailed information.
Thanks to Davis & Brusca for their insight into personal injury claims and the statute of limitations.