Personal Injury

How Long Will I Have to File an Injury Claim?

Between 300k and 500k personal injury lawsuits are filed annually in the US. If you have suffered an injury due to another person’s negligence or intentional actions, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit to claw back some of your cost. However, personal injury laws set strict time limits on when claims can be filed after the injury occurs. Here is what you need to know about these filing deadlines. 

Statutes of Limitations of Personal Injury Claims

Every state has statutes of limitations that require injury victims to file their lawsuits by a specific deadline. These time limits range from 1 to 6 years, depending on the type of claim and the state. The “clock” normally starts ticking on the date the injury occurred. 

For example, Kentucky’s statute of limitations set specific timeframes for individuals to initiate legal proceedings. You typically have one year to file a personal injury lawsuit in Kentucky. Talking to your personal injury attorney about the details is essential, so you know what time frames to expect.

For instance, many states give plaintiffs two years to sue for injuries in slip-and-fall accidents and up to 3 years for product liability claims. If you miss the filing deadline set by your state’s statute of limitations, the defendant can seek dismissal of your case. So, it’s essential to take swift legal action.

Notifying the Defendant About Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

Before you can even file a lawsuit over an injury, most states require you to notify the defendant of your intent to make a personal injury claim. This puts the defendant on notice that you believe they are liable for your damages. Notification requirements vary among states but are often shorter than statutes of limitations.

Exceptions to Notice and Filing Deadlines for Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

In some injury cases, exceptions may allow you extra time to send a notice or file your personal injury lawsuit in court after the standard deadline has expired. For instance:

  • Minors who suffer injuries typically get 1 or 2 years after turning 18 to file claims related to their injury. 
  • If the victim is mentally incapacitated, the clock stops until they gain competency.
  • Discovery rule exceptions pause the clock if you did not immediately discover harm or its cause.
  • Defendants intentionally concealing injuries from victims can also delay filing deadlines.
  • If a defendant hides to avoid the lawsuit, the clock stops until they can be located.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can assess whether any exceptions might provide more time for your particular claim.

Strict statutes of limitations and notice requirements prevent injury victims from waiting too long before taking legal action. While a year or two may seem sufficient, complex cases necessitate starting the claims process promptly. 

Consulting with a qualified personal injury attorney shortly after any significant injury is the best way to understand your rights and determine if and when a personal injury lawsuit is warranted based on your state’s laws and the specifics of your situation. With legal guidance, you can make informed decisions about preserving your ability to recover damages down the road.

Shafiq Ch

Shafiq Ch is SEO service provider and writer at NCVLE (New Citizens Viability Law Enforcement). He discusses SEO, guest posts, backlinks, and on-page content issues. He is helping lawyers to rank their sites on the top pages of SERPs.

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