Having been involved in an accident, the thing you’ll probably be most concerned about is your recovery. From there, you might then move on to settling your medical bills and seeking compensation from the at-fault parties. Depending on the injuries you sustained, this could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. But did you know that waiting too long before filing your claim could very well end up denying you the compensation?
Time is of the Essence
Under a legal concept known as the ‘statue of limitations’, all injury claims resulting from accidents need to be filed within a specified time limit. The logic behind the existence of this principle is that, after a certain duration of time, evidence crucial to both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s cases will have been destroyed. As such, justice would no longer be served if a lawsuit was filed after the expiry of this period. Since each state has its own statue of limitations, the specific limit will vary depending on the type of civil action and jurisdiction in question. All in all, the most important thing to note here is that once a statue of limitations expires, a claimant loses their right to file a lawsuit and, as a result, their right to seek compensation.
More often than not, insurance adjusters try to speed up the settlement process in an attempt to persuade the claimant to settle for less. And if there latter doesn’t appoint a lawyer to handle the process, they’ll often end up accepting less than what they’re actually entitled to. The best way to avoid being shortchanged when pursuing your personal injury claim is to entrust the matter to a good attorney.
There’s also the fact that injury claims tend to involve complicated legal processes that are best handled by experienced professionals. With a lawyer by your side, you’ll no longer have to worry about the appropriate timing of your lawsuit. More importantly, they’ll ensure that the full extent of your injuries is revealed by the time you file your claim. This will minimize the likelihood of receiving an unfair settlement or having to deal with issues related to the accident long after you’ve been compensated.
Safeguarding Your Interests
Understanding the statue of limitations that applies to particular injury claims is crucial in figuring out how much time you have to file yours. And no matter how solid you think your case is, you could lose your right to be compensated if you fail to act in a timely manner. Fortunately, reaching out to an experienced attorney can help you make the most of the time you have.
Your lawyer will review all the details to determine the deadline for filing your claim, besides acting promptly to preserve the applicable statue of limitations. They’ll also help you understand your legal options and rights as well. Ultimately, you should keep in mind that while it’s possible to withdraw a lawsuit at a later time, you cannot file one if the statue of limitations has run. So rather than take risks by going it alone, get in touch with a good lawyer as soon as you can.