When you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, there are many different factors to consider. However, one that could seriously affect your case is the time limitations that may be placed on it. These restrictions, which are known as the statute of limitations, are typically present in every state. Before you move ahead with your lawsuit, you may want to be aware of a few facts about these rules so you can file in a timely manner.
1. State Laws Vary
Not all states allow you the same amount of time when it comes to filing a lawsuit. While some permit you only one year from the date of the accident, others, such as Maine, may give you up to six years to file. However, you may want to consider filing as soon as you can, as waiting may damage your credibility. An attorney in your state can help you understand local statute laws.
2. Exceptions for Later Harm
While some states only allow 365 days for you to file a personal injury lawsuit, the circumstances may affect this statute. Medical injuries often fall under this category; for example, if you had surgery and there was an error that causes you pain and suffering a year or more later, you may still be able to file a lawsuit. You might need medical reports and proof of delayed injury, so consider making copies of these documents for your attorney.
3. Injury Circumstances
You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit past the statute of limitations depending on the circumstances of the incident. These cases might include circumstances surrounding injuries sustained by minors and medical malpractice incidents. Older minors, including teens, may wait until they turn eighteen to file their own lawsuit. You may want to consult your attorney for advice about such a case.
4. Workplace Injuries
If you were injured at work, it is important that you learn about the statute of limitations right away because they may differ from other types of personal injury. When you are injured, it is wise to tell your manager right away and ask for worker’s compensation papers so you can fill them out as soon as possible. If your work injuries were severe and you could not file right away, you may be granted an extension.
Understanding the statute of limitations in your state can be confusing, but taking steps to do so may help you gain the compensation you seek. Contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Memphis, TN from Patterson Bray, today by phone or the internet for more information.