Personal Injury: What The Statute Of Limitations Means To You

6 November 2014
 Categories: , Blog

Are you the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit? If you have sustained an injury due to the negligence of another party, it may be necessary to understand the statute of limitations. This is especially true if you are filing your complaint a long time after the incident occurred. This article will give you an idea of how the statute of limitations works.

Time Limits

The statute of limitations is a time limit imposed by the law that dictates how much time a plaintiff has to sue another party. The length of time given is different depending on the nature of the case and the state you are in.

If you are considering filing a complaint against the entity you believe is responsible for your injuries, you need to understand what your state's laws say about the statute of limitations.

Keep in mind that if the statute of limitations has expired in your state, you may still be able to sue the other party. If the entity that caused your injuries resides in another state, you might be able to file the claim in their state.

When Does It Start?

It's usually pretty easy to figure out when the clock starts ticking on your statute of limitations. It usually starts when the injury actually occurs.

There are situations where you may not know you were injured until later. If this is the case, then the time limit starts on the day you discover the injury.

Here's an example. If you work for a chemical manufacturer and if you work with a chemical that causes a health issue that does not manifest until months later, then the time limit starts on the day you realize your symptoms were caused by the chemicals you were exposed to.

Extending The Statute

In some cases, it may be possible to extend the statute of limitations. However, this is very rare. One way it can be extended is if the defendant left the state. When the defendant leaves the state, the clock freezes.

This means that if the party who caused your injury leaves your state for a three year period and then returns, the statute is extended by three years. This can be pretty difficult to prove in most cases. Another way the statute could be extended is if the plaintiff is physically or mentally disabled or a minor.

In any case, it is best to file your complaint as promptly as possible if you have been injured due to the negligence of another. Contact a personal injury attorney, such as from Salerno Terrence Law Office, for more information.