In most cases, victims have two years to file a personal injury claim. If you don’t file the final necessary documents within that time frame, your case is considered closed and no money will be awarded. Many injury claims are not settled for at least six months after the incident, but that doesn’t mean you can’t file an action in court.
You can win substantial damage awards if you decide to bring a lawsuit against the liable party. There are several things to consider before filing a personal injury case, including the time it could take before your case is paid and what is owed toward future medical expenses.
In most cases, the statute of limitations on your case is two years from the time of your accident. However, these deadlines change between states. Furthermore, they might also differ inside a state based on several factors, including the type of case and who is the defendant.
When Should I File an Injury Claim?
A personal injury lawsuit can be filed within two years of the incident. There are exceptions to this rule, including if you seek damages for injuries received at work. Consult a personal injury lawyer to learn more about the exceptions. If you want to maximize your recovery, make sure to get things moving within two years of the incident on a personal injury claim.
Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
You don’t have to file a lawsuit when taking legal action for your injuries. If you intend to sue someone for an injury you received, you could also settle out of court unless. Your lawyer can represent your best interest during the negotiations. When both parties agree to a settlement, the case is considered closed.
Some things can happen after your settlement is reached that can affect how much compensation you receive if the case makes it to court. Consult your lawyer to learn more. In most cases, personal injury settlements are confidential, and both parties involved in the settlement agreement are not to speak about it publicly.
Can I Get an Extension on the Statute of Limitations?
Depending on the specifics of your case, you may qualify for an extension on the statute of limitations. You will have to provide the court with evidence that there was a valid reason for the delay in filing your claim.
To better understand extensions to the statute of limitations, consider the following concepts:
- Common-law discovery rule: This applies to federal-question cases unless otherwise specified by Congress. Thus, the period of limitations starts when the plaintiff discovered the injury suffered rather than the date when the injury happened.
- Statutory discovery rule: The statute links the deadline to the discovery of the violation of the law rather than the date when the said violation occurred.
- Equitable tolling: A victim discovered the injury, but is unable to establish the cause of the injury nor identify the at-fault party.
- Equitable estoppel: The deadline may be extended, if after the plaintiff discovered the injury, the defendant tries to conceal any evidence or takes other actions to impede legal proceedings.
You should also be able to show your efforts to find out about your rights, along with any other exceptional circumstances. You would not be able to get more than one extension under these circumstances.
Maximum Medical Improvement and Settlement
Your settlement amount will be based on your injuries and how much the injuries affect you daily. The maximum medical improvement, or MMI, is the point at which your injuries have healed to the maximum amount possible.
It can take an extended period for an injury to heal and to reach MMI, but you also have a legal responsibility to get better as quickly as possible. Personal injury lawyers can help you understand your settlement options.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, it is crucial to ensure that you are filing the lawsuit within the statute of limitations. Working with an attorney will increase your chances of filing the correct documentation within the set deadline.