The Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases
Most people never expect to be in a position where they can file a personal injury lawsuit. This means most people do not have a good understanding of the legal terms that are involved in this process. If you are in this situation, you may have heard the term statute of limitations. What does this refer to? It is very important for you to understand what the statute of limitations is and how it works, so read this guide to learn everything you need to know.
The Statute of Limitations
Essentially, the statute of limitations is the time limit you have to file your lawsuit. The statute of limitations begins counting down at the time the injury took place, and if you do not file your lawsuit before it expires, the case will simply be thrown out.
Remember, this is your time limit to file. The lawsuit does not need to conclude before the statute of limitations expires. However, it does take a few days or weeks to officially file a lawsuit, which means you should not wait until the very last minute to file. The only exception to the statute of limitations is called the discovery rule. It states that the statute of limitations does not begin counting down until the injury or identity of the responsible person is discovered. This only applies if you do not realize you are injured initially or you are injured by a stranger who you are unable to get information about initially.
How Long Is the Statute of Limitations?
Now that you know what the statute of limitations is, you are probably wondering how long it is. The exact length depends on both the type of lawsuit you have and the state you live in. For personal injury suits, the statute of limitations is almost always two or three years. These are the only states with a statute of limitations that is not two or three years:
- Kentucky – One year
- Louisiana – One year
- Tennessee – One year
- Wyoming – One year
- Florida – Four years
- Nebraska – Four years
- Utah – Four years
- Missouri – Five years
- Maine – Six years
- North Dakota – Six years
The statute of limitations gives you a chance to recover from your injury before having to focus on legal matters. But the time will be up sooner than you realize, so do not wait too long. The first step you should take when you are ready to pursue legal action is to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Melbourne, FL.
Thanks to the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood for their insight into personal injury claims and the statute of limitations.