An accident happens. You didn’t cause the accident. In fact, someone else did. However, you are the one who gets injured. Years later, you might remember your accident and suddenly decide to file a personal injury lawsuit. Years later, you might discover some new information about your accident that makes filing a personal injury lawsuit a good idea even though it wasn’t back then when the accident occurred. Years later, you might finally have time to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, if you wait too long, then it might be too late.
It is in your best interest to file a personal injury lawsuit soon after your injury occurs. If you don’t, you won’t be able to sue the person responsible for your injuries, making you responsible for the entire cost of your injury, be it medical bills or lost wages.
Filing any lawsuit, including a personal injury lawsuit, must be done within a certain period of time, although the amount of time you are given to file a lawsuit does depend on the type of lawsuit you are filing and the state you are living. This period of time is governed and set by the Statute of Limitations. Although it might be hard to believe, each state has their own Statute of Limitations. Thankfully, you don’t have to memorize or learn different Statute of Limitations since they are very similar.
If you get into an accident and it’s not your fault, here are the first things you should do:
- Get medical attention
- Get legal advice
Although receiving medical attention might be a slow process, receiving legal advice is not. You can receive legal advice through two relatively speedy processes: a free case evaluation or a free consultation. The initial legal advice you receive should include the Statute of Limitations that applies to you.
Now, lets break down the Statute of Limitations for the following states: Texas, New York, California, Washington, and Florida.
Texas’ Statute of Limitations can be found in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.001.
Texas gives you two years to file a personal injury lawsuit.
New York’s Statute of Limitations can be found in the New York Civil Practice Laws and Rules § 201.
New York gives you three years to file a personal injury lawsuit.
California’s Statute of Limitations can be found in the California Code of Civil Procedure § 312.
California gives you two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. Product liability is also included under this category.
Washington’s Statute of Limitations can be found in the Revised Code of Washington § 4.16.005.
Washington gives you three years to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations can be found in Florida Statutes (Annotated) § 95.011.
Florida gives you four years to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Many Statute of Limitations have a special rule for minors. Usually, the Statute of Limitations starts to run after their 18th birthday.
Was your state left out? Go here to get the Statute of Limitations for your state.
W.T. Johnson is a personal injury lawyer who practices in Dallas, Texas. The Law Offices of W.T. Johnson have specialized in personal injury law for over 25 years.
Photo Credit: Missouri News Horizon (CC BY 2.0)
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