How Long After My Accident Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?

How Long After My Accident Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?

After you sustain injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful acts, you have only a certain amount of time to sue that person for personal injury. The precise amount of time you have depends on the statutes of limitations the state has in effect and which one applies to the type of lawsuit you intend to file.

Statutes of limitations vary from state to state. You will therefore need to check the ones in effect in the state where your accident occurred because you will need to file your lawsuit there, even if you are not a resident of that state. You will also need to be represented by a personal injury attorney licensed to practice in that state.

Different SOLs for Different Types of Suits

Many states have different statutes of limitations depending on which type of personal injury suit you intend to file. For instance, your time limit for filing a suit based on injuries you suffered in a motor vehicle accident may well be different than your time limit for filing a suit based on injuries you suffered as a result of medical malpractice.

Generally, statutes of limitations range from one year to three years, but again, you need to file within the one specifically applicable to you and your lawsuit. If you miss this crucial deadline, any suit you attempt to file subsequently likely will be dismissed once the defendant’s attorney points out to the judge that you missed your SOL deadline. This will leave you in the unenviable position of having to pay all your medical and other expenses yourself since you will have no possible way of collecting damages from the person who caused your accident.

Getting Legal Help as Soon as Possible

If you cringe at the idea of having to deal with the hassles inherent in lawsuits and statutes of limitations on top of having to deal with the consequences of your injuries themselves, this is perfectly understandable. It’s also, however, the exact reason why you need to seek the advice, counsel and representation of an experienced personal injury lawyer, such as from Johnston Martineau, LLP, as soon as possible after your accident.

Not only will he or she surely know which of the state’s statutes of limitations applies to your situation, but he or she can also relieve your worry about payment of your medical bills, review of police accident reports, collection of statements by people who witnessed your accident and all the other details unfortunately associated with personal injuries and the lawsuits that ensue. Don’t wait to get legal help, call a law office today to schedule an initial consultation.