When you are injured in an accident for which someone else is at fault, you should file a personal injury claim to start the compensation process. While most people know this, very few know there is a deadline for filing a personal injury claim. This time limit is referred to as a statute of limitation and varies from one state to another and depending on your case.
This does not refer to the time limit for contacting a personal injury attorney at a firm like William R. Rawlings & Associates in Draper to start your claim proceedings. Instead, the statute of limitations is calculated from the time of your injury. In most states, this limit is usually two years or six for medical malpractice cases. The statute of limitations is thankfully not set in stone, and there are times when it might not be applied to your case. Here are some exceptions to the statute of limitations.
The Discoverability Rule
You will not have any personal injury claim to file until you realize the negligent act caused some form of harm for which you should be compensated. This is because some effects might not be immediately evident. Some factory workers might not, for instance, be aware that their exposure to asbestos has caused various health issues until later when they manifest. The discoverability exception allows you to file your claim within two years of discovering the effect of a negligent claim.
If you are incapacitated after an accident, then the statute of limitations will be suspended until you have recovered. Incapacitation in a personal injury case means you are incapable of transacting any business, caring for your property or understanding the gravity of your accident. In most cases, this exception applies to cases where the plaintiff is comatose or suffers memory loss.
A statute of limitations will not apply for a personal injury case involving children until they turn 18. Generally, a child has until he/she turns twenty for him/her to file a personal injury lawsuit irrespective of his/her age when injured. This guarantees that the child fully understands the impact of the accident and what he/she is owed.
Some accidents involve multiple defendants at fault. If yours has multiple defendants, you are required to sue one of them within the time limit in your state’s statute of limitations. You are however allowed to sue a second defendant after the time limit has passed if it is determined that the defendants are liable together.
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases is designed to protect defendants and facilitate resolution of the claims within a reasonable timeframe. It also protects you from the loss of evidence crucial to getting your compensation and proves your efforts to pursue what you are rightly owed diligently. The above list of exception to the statute is however in no way exhaustive. Many individual cases might cause the court to set aside the statute in your case. The best way to know if your claim is not time-barred is to get an attorney to review its specifics.