2 Misconceptions About the Personal Injury Lawsuit Statute of Limitations You Need to Learn the Truth Behind

18 May 2017
 Categories: Law, Articles

While you may never expect to become injured due to someone else's negligence, it is important to be prepared for if/when that time comes. The odds that you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit one day may be much higher than you think—the majority of civil court cases in the United States are personal injury cases. Most people drive automobiles on a regular basis and almost everyone walks, so auto accident and slip and fall cases are two of the most common personal injury lawsuits today.

There are many misconceptions about what to do after suffering an injury that another person caused, especially when it comes to the personal injury statute of limitations. Read on to learn about two of these misconceptions and the truth behind them. 

Misconception #1: There Is No Need to Hurry to File a Case as Long as You Begin it Before the Statute of Limitations Is Up

The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits vary from state to state, and while Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee requires that personal injury lawsuits begin within one year of an injury, North Dakota and Maine allow those injured a full six years to pursue lawsuits against those who injured them. 

If you live in a state with a personal injury statute of limitations that is rather long, then you may be tempted to wait until you completely recover from your injury to begin pursuing a personal injury case. However, realize that it is best to contact a personal injury lawyer ASAP after your injury. 

Why is it important to act quick? While you may know that you were injured and expect no problem proving it in court, you will have to work hand-in-hand with your attorney to collect evidence that your injury was caused by the other party. Evidence is much easier to collect directly after an accident, such as witness statements, photo documentation, and even statements from your medical providers. 

Don't worry if you feel you are too ill to collect evidence, because your lawyer will help you do it without you having to disobey doctor's orders. 

Misconception #2: Your Case Is Hopeless if the Statute of Limitations Is Up

If you were injured years ago and, glancing at your state's personal injury statute of limitations, realizing that you "missed your chance" to pursue your personal injury case in court, then the good news is that you actually may not have missed that chance at all. Similar to how personal injury statute of limitations vary from state to state, the specific circumstances that qualify for an exemption from the statute of limitations also vary by state. 

Almost all states offer an exemption from their personal injury statute of limitations called a "discovery rule." This means that the time clock on the statute of limitations doesn't start ticking until you either realize you were injured when, before, you hadn't realized you were or you realize that someone else caused the injury that you already know you suffered.  

In addition, most states also hold the statute of limitations time clock still until the person injured reaches the age of 18 and if you were injured at any age and the person who caused your injury leaves the state, the time clock is often paused while the other party is out of state. 

Everyone needs to understand the federal personal injury laws and the personal injury laws of their state, so they know what to do if they ever suffer an injury due to the negligence or intentional actions of another person. If you have looked into these laws and learned about your state's personal injury statute of limitations, then make sure you don't believe these two common misconceptions about these limitations. 

To learn more, contact companies like Knafo Law Offices.