When Should I Speak with a Lawyer after an Accident?0
How much time do you have to speak with a lawyer after you are injured an accident? Not as much time as you think. You may think that you have plenty of time to speak with a lawyer after your accident because the statute of limitations is a number of years. But that’s deceivingly not true.
The problem is that many people are familiar with the statute of limitations so they often wait thinking there’s still time and then find that it’s either too late or lawyers don’t want the case even if there still time.
Read further to find out why it’s important to speak with a personal injury lawyer immediately after your accident.
- 1 What is the statute of limitations?
- 2 Can you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired?
- 3 How long is the statute of limitations for personal injury and accidents?
- 4 Why can’t I wait until just before the statute of limitations expires?
- 5 How long can I wait before calling an accident lawyer?
What is the statute of limitations?
The statute of limitations is the time within which a lawsuit must be filed.
Can you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired?
No. However, the question is when did the time start to run. You may think it began to run at the time of your accident but that may or may not be true. For instance, if the person injured is a minor than the time will begin to run when the injured person reaches the age of majority. In medical malpractice, it’s very complicated to determine when the time begins to run and it’s different in different states.
How long is the statute of limitations for personal injury and accidents?
The statute of limitations is different in different states. The statute of limitations is as short as one year in three states and six years in three other states but in most states the statute of limitations is two or three years.
Your lawyer may decide that a government entity needs to be sued. The statute of limitations against government entities is usually very short.
Why can’t I wait until just before the statute of limitations expires?
There are many problems that can occur if you wait to speak with a lawyer. Besides the statute of limitations, there are many shorter time limits to file various claims for benefits.
Some time limits are as short as days, not years
You may have some time limits as short as 30 days to file a claim. For instance, to get your medical bills paid and receive lost wages when you’re injured in a car accident in New York, you must file a no-fault claim within 30 days. An uninsured or underinsured claim may have to be filed within 90 days.
You may not be able to find an accident lawyer willing to take your case
You may have ruined your case
In the months that go by, you may have already ruined your case. There are a lot of ways that you can ruin your case from doing or saying things you should not have to not doing things you should have.
It may be too late to sue some defendants
If you call a lawyer months before the statute of limitations will run on your accident case, you may find that lawyers are not willing to take your case because they are worried about committing malpractice if they don’t sue a defendant that needed to be sued.
It may be difficult to determine all of the people, companies or government entities responsible that need to be sued. Often, a lawsuit is started and after depositions it’s determined that there is another person or company who needs to be sued. The problem is that it can take 6-24 months before depositions are conducted.
How long can I wait before calling an accident lawyer?
There is no way anyone can tell you how long you can wait but you should call a personal injury lawyer immediately after you are injured in an accident or as soon as you possibly can. There is no reason not to because personal injury lawyers give a free consultation and you have no obligation to hire the lawyer.
If you’re not sure whether you should call a personal injury lawyer either because your injury isn’t that serious or because you’re not the type of person to file a lawsuit, you should call immediately anyway.
If you don’t think your injury is serious enough, you might be wrong. Your injury may be worth a lot more than you think and your injury might get a lot worse as time goes by.
If you’re not the type of person that likes to file lawsuits, you should know that most personal injury clients are just like you. You might think that you’ll deal with your injury but you should know that injuries get much worse over time and by the time you’re in your 60s or 70s, previously minor injuries start getting serious. The majority of the money that you get with your lawsuit is not for your injury today but is for what will happen to you in the future.
Call one of the personal injury lawyers in the Million Dollar Trial Lawyers directory.
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