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May 29, 2021

What Is the Time Limit for Filing Personal Injury Lawsuits?

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As a personal injury lawyer can explain, after being injured, you will likely have serious medical bills that you have to take care of. You probably didn’t plan for this injury, so you might not have the funds required to get your bills paid. The good news is there’s possibly a chance that you can file a lawsuit and gain compensation from the individual who caused your injury. It’s going to take time, and you do have to file the suit before time is up, but how do you know how much time you have?

The Statute of Limitations by State

In every state, personal injury lawsuits are governed by the statute of limitations. This means there is a time limit you have for filing your lawsuit. Each state sets their own statute of limitations, so it’s important that you know what it is in your state. Most sit in the range of two to three years, but there are some outliers at either end with one year or even six years.

If you confuse two states, you could give up your right to compensation. For example, in Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury is four years. This would give you a serious amount of time to put your case together before filing the lawsuit. If you live just north of Florida in Georgia, you wouldn’t have that same amount of time because the statute of limitations is just two years. If you confused the two and you were a resident of Georgia, it’s possible you would miss the deadline and miss out on compensation.

Exceptions to the Rule

In some cases, there are exceptions to the rule of the statute of limitations. These would be considered on a case by case basis, so you should never assume that you would have an extension of the time limit based on these examples:

  • Discovery – There’s a chance that you haven’t discovered your injury yet. For example, you might have had a surgery and the surgeon left an instrument in your body, but you didn’t realize it until years later when you started having complications.
  • Competence – It’s possible you were incompetent at the time of your injury and unable to understand and process what happened. For example, your injury might have included a blow to the head so you were in a coma for a period of time. 

Contact a Lawyer

Getting a lawsuit filed on time is essential to the possibility of compensation. If you were injured, contact a personal injury lawyer today to get started with your lawsuit.

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