How Long Can Someone Sue You After A Car Accident?
A car accident can happen in an instant, but its impacts can often be quite long-lasting. As a result, many car accident victims wonder if they should file a car accident claim to see the compensation they need and deserve – and how long they have to do so. On the other hand, the at-fault party involved in an accident may anticipate a lawsuit – and wonder how long the injured party has to initiate that lawsuit if they decide to do so.
These are important questions to ask. After all, waiting too long to file a claim means that an injured party may miss out on the opportunity to assert his or her legal rights altogether. Particularly for those who need ongoing medical treatment and are unable to work, the financial cushion that a successful legal claim can provide can be tremendously helpful. For that reason, understanding the legal rules that apply to car accident claims is important.
WHAT IS A “STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS”?
“Statue of Limitations” is really just a technical, legal way of saying “time limit,” or “deadline”. It sets the maximum amount of time that the parties involved in an accident have to file a legal claim. Every state has a statute of limitations within which an individual who has been injured in a car accident must file a lawsuit if they wish to do so. The exact time limit can vary from state to state. In some states, it can be as long as six years, while in other states, only a year or two. Typically, the clock on the statute of limitations begins running on the date the accident occurs.
After the statute of limitations expires, a party usually forfeits the right to bring a claim at all. For this reason, it is essential to consult with an attorney as soon as possible following an accident to determine the best path forward. A good attorney will be able to explain the law and help the parties involved make an educated decision as to how to proceed.
OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER
Beyond making sure you file a claim within the appropriate statute of limitations, there are other reasons an injured party may decide to bring a claim as soon as possible. A couple of these factors include:
- Gathering and organizing evidence: In most legal matters, time is of the essence when it comes to gathering and preserving evidence. The more time that goes by, the more likely it is that important documents may be lost or misplaced, the memories of witnesses may fade, and other valuable evidence is simply harder to find. Car accident claims are no different. Acting quickly following an accident allows maximum opportunity to gather and organize the evidence needed to present the strongest possible case.
- You may be unaware of the extent of your injuries: Sometimes, those involved in an accident assume they haven’t really been injured, because there are no obvious, severe symptoms of note. However, it is always important to thoroughly consider available legal options. A car accident can be a sudden and shocking experience. Sometimes, injuries don’t present themselves right away – there may be internal damage that is not immediately apparent. For this reason, it is essential for all involved parties to seek a thorough medical evaluation, even when the accident seemed fairly minor. It is possible that certain injuries that will worsen over time or will need more extensive medical treatment than the injured party initially anticipates.
If you have been injured in an accident, you should reach out to the knowledgeable and experienced legal team at Roden Law immediately for a free consultation so that we can let you know how we may be able to help.
RODEN LAW – YOUR CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
At Roden Law, we understand car accident law. Our talented legal team is committed to fighting for success for every client. You deserve nothing less. We will fight for you, so you can focus on recovering from your accident and moving forward toward a brighter chapter ahead. If you’re ready to get started, we would be honored to learn your story and let you know how we might be able to help. Call us today. We look forward to speaking with you soon.