How To Deal With The Statute Of Limitations On An Injury Claim

Someone planning to file a personal injury claim likely faces a legal limit on how long they can wait to submit their paperwork. The statute of limitations is a law that dictates a period that can elapse after an accident occurs before the claimant no longer has the right to seek compensation. Here are four things you'll need to deal with in terms of the statutory limit.

Obtain Counsel

Especially if you think you're coming up on the limit, it's wise to hire a personal injury lawyer. They can help you figure out how long you have to file and assemble your demand package. Once you've filed your demands in time with the defendant or their insurer, you've satisfied the statutory time requirement.

Learn if There Is a Limit

Most personal injury claims are subject to limits between two and three years. The clock starts on these cases from the time an incident happens.

However, some cases aren't so constrained. For example, cases involving repetitive injuries, chemical exposures, radiation, or biological agents don't start the clock until the claimant finds out they've been harmed. Some states also have much longer or no limits for cases involving sexual abuse.

There are also a handful of scenarios where the limit may be sooner. Normally, these involve government agencies or their designees. Some states allow as little as 6 months for people filing claims against agencies.

Pick a Defendant

It's also important to choose a defendant. This is sometimes a fairly simple decision, particularly if you know who did what and who is allegedly liable.

However, it can get complicated. If there are questions about who is liable for the maintenance of commercial property because of a landlord-tenant agreement, you can get caught in a game of "Not It!" A personal injury attorney will need to study the liability arrangements between the two potential defendants to determine who to file a claim against.

Document and Document More

While the clock is ticking on the statute of limitations, it's still necessary to assemble everything for the demand package. If you need to undergo a medical examination to determine how extensive your injuries are, this is the time to visit a doctor and get it done. Similarly, a personal injury lawyer can interview witnesses, speak with experts, and collect police reports during this time. They also can try to obtain maintenance logs, hiring records, videos, and other evidence that might build a case.

For more information, contact a local personal injury lawyer.