How Long Do I Have To File A Personal Injury Case?
When you suffer an injury through no fault of your own, the first thing on your mind might not be filing a lawsuit against whoever is responsible for your injuries.
You may be in pain and trying to pool your energies not only to recover your health, but to feel well enough to return to work. However, at some point, you may realise that your financial situation is suffering just as much as you are and that the medical bills just keep accumulating. An alarm goes on in your head: you do need to file a claim. Are you too late?
Timing Your Personal Injury Case
It is always a good idea to start the process as soon as possible. This means that if you are still under medical treatment, there is no reason for you to wait to file. However, you do not want to accept a settlement until you can confirm the scope and nature of your injuries and damages.
What is the statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims?
The clock for personal injury claims starts to run as soon as you are injured. If you allow the time the statute marks, you will lose the right to file a claim. Depending on the state where you live, this time window may run between 2 and 4 years. Talk to a personal injury lawyer to confirm the time period for your state.
There are certain situations in which this timeline can be extended, and these are:
- When the person filing is incapacitated and unable to file
- When there is a minor involved
- When there is fraud
- When the injury is not discovered until some time after the accident
If your situation falls within any of the above, you should get legal representation as soon as possible since you will be required to present additional proof and documentation in order to be allowed to get an extension for the time to file.
What is Maximum Medical Improvement, and what role does it play in your personal injury claim?
Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) simply refers to the point of your treatment after which there will be no further improvement. This is when you will be as healthy as can be expected considering your injuries.
It is important for your lawyer and your healthcare providers to agree that you have reached a point of MMI in order to put a value on the damages you will be seeking. Or, if you are still not at the point of reaching your maximum improvement, they may come up with an amount large enough to cover your ongoing medical expenses and whatever else you might need in the future that will affect your finances.
It is vital to have a clear picture of your damages, both current ones and those expected in the future, before your case is resolved. You do not want to accept a settlement only to realise shortly thereafter that the amount will not cover your financial needs.
You can get more information on how to calculate the damages that you will be seeking by consulting with legal experts. Don’t make a quick decision that may end up affecting your rights and your future.