Overcoming The Statute Of Limitations After An Injury
Every state has its own version of the statute of limitations. If you have been injured by another person or a business, you must pay close attention to these statutes to avoid running out of time. No matter how badly you were harmed, waiting too long to file a lawsuit against the other party will have you going nowhere fast. Read on for what to know about these time limits and how to overcome them.
Why Have Time Limits on Filing?
The statutes are laws that place restrictions on how long a potential victim can take to file suit. The plaintiff, or the victim, may find that waiting too long results in a loss of important evidence like witness statements. Similarly, the defendant may be better situated to fight against the lawsuit when the evidence is fresh. Also, the defendant doesn't have to worry that someone will file suit against them once the statute expires.
Important Facts About the Statute of Limitations
States vary on how long victims have before it's too late to file suit. You should note the time limits for the state in which the accident or harm occurred – that might not necessarily be your state of residence. The type of case matters too. Within personal injury law, you might have suits about defamation, dog bites, car accidents, and more. Be sure to pay attention when checking the statute of limitations for the correct type of case.
Exceptions to the Rules
There can be exceptions that allow victims more time to act:
- Incapacity – Those who are unable to make legal decisions may not need to take action within the time limits. Incapacity can mean the alleged victim is suffering from either mental or physical issues rendering them in a state of suspension, legally speaking. Once they regain consciousness, the clock begins ticking.
- Discovery of Harm – You might not be aware that harm is being done until later. For example, you might be slowly losing the ability to breathe due to exposure to harmful substances like coal dust, cleaning solutions, asbestos, and more. The discovery of harm is the date when you get a medical diagnosis of the issue and that is when the clock begins to tick.
- Too Young – Finally, minors cannot, on their own, file personal injury suits. While the parents of a child harmed in some way do have the legal right to act, the child may also act once they come of age.
Even if you are concerned that you've already waited too long to file a lawsuit, look into personal injury law services to ensure that you don't lose your opportunity to be compensated with money damages.