How Long You Can Wait Before Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit

Car Accident Lawyer

When you’re in a car accident, you may be inclined to want to physically recover before you worry about the legalities of recovering compensation. While this could be less stressful and give you time to relax following a traumatic event, you may want to reconsider. The sooner you can get a lawyer on the case, the better, as your lawyer can work with you through everything during this time. There’s also the statute of limitations to take into consideration, so be sure you pay attention to the amount of time you have before you need to file your lawsuit.

The Statute of Limitations in Your State

Each state has a statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits, but it can vary. In one, you may only have a year, while in another you could have up to six years. Most hover around two to four, but you should speak with your attorney to learn how long you have. If you fail to file the lawsuit within the allotted amount of time, it’s very possible the judge will deny your claim and you will not be able to receive compensation.

What to Do if You Miss the Deadline

Not everyone understands that there is a deadline, and those who do sometimes just aren’t able to get everything together in time. If you find yourself in either of those situations, or any other where you have passed the statute of limitations, there are some exceptions that may apply to you. For example:

  • If you were in a coma for a certain period of time after your car accident, you wouldn’t have been able to comprehend you were injured in an accident. Instead of beginning at the time of your accident, the statute of limitations wouldn’t begin until you woke up and a doctor was able to help you understand what happened.
  • If you were a minor at the time of your accident and your parents decided not to file a lawsuit, you may be able to do so yourself as soon as you turn 18. In many cases, even if you were 10 or 12 years old when you were injured in an accident, the statute of limitations won’t begin to tick until you turn 18. 
  • If your injuries weren’t discovered until a later date, the statute may not begin until the day you discovered them.

Getting Started with a Lawyer

If you were in a car accident, getting a lawyer’s help can be a big benefit when you are ready to file a lawsuit. Be sure you contact a car accident lawyer, like a car accident lawyer in Woodland Hills, CA, today to get started as soon as possible.

Thanks to the law offices of Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into the statute of limitations for injuries sustained in a car accident.