Can I Still File a Claim for My Car Accident?
Following a car accident in which you were injured, there’s a lot on your plate. You have to deal with your injuries first of all, and then you have property damage and other issues to worry about. The last thing you want to do is deal with the individual who caused your accident, but to receive compensation, that’s exactly what you have to do. Can you put it off? As a car accident lawyer from a firm like Rispoli & Borneo can explain: Not forever. In fact, there is a statute of limitations in every state that you must abide by.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Injuries?
Each state has a different statute of limitations for car accident injuries, so it’s important that you speak with your lawyer to understand what yours is. If you assume it’s the same as a neighboring state, you could be in trouble. For example, in North Dakota, the statute of limitations is six years for car accident injuries. Next door in South Dakota, it’s only three years, so you wouldn’t want to assume you have the same amount of time as your North Dakota neighbors. Some states have a limitation as low as one year and others sit at four or five years.
Are There Any Exceptions?
Exceptions vary by state, though there are some that are typical in most states. If you have gone beyond the statute of limitations in your state, it’s possible you qualify for an exception based on one of the following factors:
- The defendant is not currently in state – If the defendant leaves the state, you won’t have anyone to file the claim against. Typically, a court will give you some leniency while waiting for the defendant to return to the state.
- Someone is under age – Whether you or the defendant are under age, you can’t file a lawsuit. Once the defendant turns 18, you can file against him or her and the statute would typically begin at that point. If you were a minor at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations would also be postponed until you reach the age of 18.
- You are mentally incapacitated – If your injury results in being mentally incapacitated in some way, the statute of limitations might not begin until you are found to be competent again.
Contacting Your Lawyer
Regardless of the situation surrounding your accident and the statute of limitations, it’s generally helpful to get a lawyer involved. Contact your car accident lawyer to learn more.