Most people know that personal injury cases must abide by the statute of limitations. However, what many don't know is that exceptions exist and one of them could apply to your case. To find out why it might not be too late to take action with your vehicle accident case, read on.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
This law stops people from filing lawsuits if a certain amount of time has passed. The time begins when the accident occurs. Since some states have unique statutes, consult the rule that covers the state in which your vehicle accident happened. Those that take too long to take action will miss their chance to be paid for accident damages.
The best way to avoid exceeding the statute of limitations is to speak to a personal injury lawyer about your case right away. The lawyer will ensure you don't wait too long. However, if you fit into one of the categories below, the statute is tolled. That means it's suspended temporarily. However, the clock begins to tick at a certain point as well.
The Discovery of Harm
This is one of the most common ways victims can still get legal recompense even if the case is old. The discovery of harm refers to the moment in time when you realize that you have an injury. While most car accident injuries are immediately evident, not all of them are. You might, for example, have a brain injury that is undiagnosed for weeks. Many accidents produce injuries that take a while to make themselves known.
Once you find out about the injury, however, the statute of limitations begins to tick down. You may have bought several weeks or even months with the discovery of harm exception, but speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as you learn of the injury. You may have more of a challenge gathering evidence when the accident occurred in the past, so don't wait a moment longer than necessary.
Minor Aged Victims
When a minor is injured, their parents may take action as soon as possible. However, if they don't, the child may do so when they come of age. Minors cannot take legal action on their own, so the statute of limitations is extended for them.
It's not uncommon for accident victims to be incapacitated for several months after a serious injury. They are considered incapacitated if they are unable to take action on a personal injury case and that suspends the statute of limitations.
Don't assume it's too late for you to be paid after an accident. Speak to a personal injury lawyer to find out more.