Nothing can be more crucial than your health and safety. After going through a car accident, getting the treatment you need for a quick recovery is essential. But people must remember the importance of timely filing a claim or lawsuit.
After getting into a car accident, it is beneficial to see a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will help you understand the statute of limitations linked to filing a car accident lawsuit. Let us learn more about this.
Statute of Limitations
Statute of limitations are the laws defining the time limits of filing or bringing the lawsuit. Different lawsuits have different time limits. Usually, one has a time limit of one to six years for filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Personal injury and car accident claims mostly have the same time limit, but there are some differences. Different states have different time limits. For instance, in some states, time limits are shorter for a car accident depending upon the level of the incident or if someone has died in that accident, etc.
Mostly, time limits are shocking for the people who could not file the lawsuit on time. It may happen due to all the stress and shock after experiencing an accident. Very few people can think of filing a claim right after an accident. There are two major justifications for the statute of limitations by the law.
The first one is it compels the victim party to file a lawsuit while there is still a high chance of collecting fresh evidence. It is ideal to file a claim as early as possible for it to be successful. The second major justification is the statute of limitations allows the potential defendant/negligent party to move on without a constant threat of a lawsuit hanging on their heads for a lifetime.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Filing Lawsuits
There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations, and they are as follows:
1. Wrongful Death
There is definitely a difference between wrongful death and personal injury cases, but they are closely connected or similar. Different states treat them differently, and sometimes their statute of limitations is also different.
For instance, some state’s four-year statute of limitations remains only of two years when it comes to wrongful death claims. It counts from the day of the death.
2. Negligence of A Government Body
If the negligent party is connected to the government, the victim or injured person will only have three years to file a lawsuit. Sometimes a car accident is caused by a government driver, or there could be some negligence involved from the government’s side in causing the accident. And victims usually will only have three years to file a lawsuit in cases like these.
3. Injured Minors
It is normal that minors are not allowed to file a lawsuit; they can’t do that. It is up to their parents to file a case for them. But if parents can’t file the claim for some reason or financial situation, then the minor can file a lawsuit once he turns 18.
But it will be a lot better if the minor’s age is close to the age of maturity at the time of the accident. That way, it will be easier to collect any required physical evidence.
4. Unusual Circumstances
There could be some unusual but possible circumstances. For instance, a capable man could go into a long period of coma after getting into an accident. And if he has no family member or close relative to file a lawsuit for him.
Then he would definitely try to file a case after waking up from that coma. And there is a high chance that the time limit to file a claim had passed while he was in a state of coma. But there is a high possibility that the court might accept his case because his situation is very understandable.
Time Limit of Insurance Companies
Some states set time limits for insurance companies. For instance, in some states, there is a time limit of only 30 days to file a claim after getting injured in an accident. You can see the difference in time limits between a personal injury case and an insurance claim. It is crucial to act swiftly in this regard.
Filing A Claim After the Time Limit
Insurance companies can refuse to accept a claim if an injured victim cannot follow the time limitations. If an injured person does not file a car accident claim on time, the court will not proceed with the case. There are several consequences in these situations:
- Victims do not recover or apply for compensation to protect dependents or minors and their future.
- Not receiving full and deserved settlement/compensation to recover all the medical bills, injuries, and sufferings.
- Families can lose their homes when they are unable to apply for a claim within the time limit since they will try to pay all their expenses out of their pocket.
- Parties at fault can walk away freely without facing any consequences and will remain ignorant.
It is very important to have some knowledge about the statute of limitations if you want to file a claim. We will suggest you get in touch with a legal professional to get in-depth knowledge of your lawsuit.