One of the biggest misconceptions about personal injury claims is that you can file a claim whenever you want, especially if they have proof of negligence. However, this an incorrect belief, as nearly all personal injury cases have a statute of limitations. This statute of limitations prevents a person from filing a personal injury lawsuit after a certain length of time. If you fail to file in that time, you lose the right to compensation for the damage incurred.
While personal injury claims may have a statute of limitations of 2 years in a state, medical malpractice or wrongful death claims may have a different (shorter) statute of limitations. Furthermore, if the responsible party for the injury is a city or municipality you may have even less time.
Another thing to keep in mind is that in most cases the statute of limitation is enacted after the date of discovery. An example would be finding out on a particular date you developed cancer due to use of a product you used 5 years prior. In this case, the statute of limitations would begin from the time you learned the cause of your cancer.
Due to the varying rules regarding filing a personal injury claim your best bet is to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately after becoming injured or learning the cause of an illness. They will be able to guide you through the process and advise you on how long you have to file a claim before the statute of limitations is up.
If you need help determining whether you have a suitable case for a personal injury lawsuit, we encourage you to contact us and talk to one of our personal injury attorneys.