People who have been in a car accident with injuries should be aware of the statute of limitations for their state. The statute of limitations means that any lawsuit arising from an accident or injury must be filed within a certain period, or you will no longer be able to file a lawsuit and receive compensation.
Each state in the US has statutes of limitations for various types of legal cases. They require any personal injury lawsuit to be filed in the appropriate court within the designated period. The time limit varies widely by state. For example, in Kentucky and Tennessee, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is one year. In Maine and North Dakota, the statute of limitations is six years.
However, in some states, the type of personal injury case may affect the statute of limitations. For example, some defamation cases and those that involve people under 18 could have a longer time limit. On the other hand, medical malpractice statutes of limitations can be shorter in some states.
Usually, the statute of limitations in a personal injury lawsuit for injuries to a minor will not start to run until they have reached 18. For instance, if you are hurt in a car accident when you turn 17, you would have three years to file your claim, if the statute of limitations is two years.
It also is important to bear the ‘discovery of harm’ rule in mind. The time period does not usually start to run until the person knew they had been injured. This is known as discovery of harm.
For example, you may have suffered an accident injury in a car accident that did not become apparent until months after the accident. Theoretically, the statute of limitations clock would not start until you discovered the injury.