Ultimately, your lawyer can give you a better picture of how long your case will take. Cases with complex facts and multiple witnesses often take longer because the defense has to contest more points.
If you’ve been in a car accident there are plenty of things to do. It can be overwhelming to get medical attention, go back to work and have your car repaired or replaced – all while doing normal, daily chores. Many people put the legal issues aside in their case, but it’s absolutely important to bring them up sooner or later as each state has a limit on how long you can sue for a car accident.
This period, which is regulated by the state’s “limitation period”, varies from state to state. Most states set your time limit at two to three years from the date of the accident, but some states have short one-year limitation periods or longer four-year limitation periods.
Another important point is whether you can even sue about your accident. In many states, your legal capacity is limited and you can only make one insurance claim for certain types of automobile accidents. It is important to know the laws of your state and to discuss your case with a lawyer in your state to make sure you meet all deadlines and protect your right to sue – if that right is available.
What is the statute of limitations for auto accidents in my state?
As mentioned earlier, most states set the statute of limitations for auto accident claims at two to three years. For example, the statute of limitations for auto accident lawsuits in Pennsylvania is two years, so drivers need to take their case to court relatively quickly. The internet is an excellent resource for determining the statute of limitations in your state. Many law firms have articles on their websites about how long the statute of limitations is, and most states post their laws online. When you look at your state’s code to find out how long the statute of limitations applies to automobile accidents, it is usually listed in a section devoted to “Court Rules” or “Civil Procedure Rules”.
Even if you have a long statute of limitations in your case, you should work with an attorney quickly and talk to them about filing your case as early as possible. Although the state may give you several years to file your case, important things still need to be done right away, such as: B. Evidence gathering, medical treatment and damage assessment. If you wait too long, evidence can be discarded, witnesses can forget what happened, damage can be repaired without photos, and injuries can get better without proper medical documentation. This limits what evidence is available to you when you take your case to court.
Graphic depicting lawyer holding smartphone, various legal symbols in the air in front of the lawyer. Graphic by Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay.com.
Find out if your state allows lawsuits for car accidents
It might seem strange to ask a question, but many states have to wonder if you can even file a car accident. If you can’t take your case to court, you may have even faster filing deadlines to claim damages from the insurance companies.
Many states are working on a “culpable” auto insurance system. In these states, car accident victims file claims against the driver who caused the accident. These claims can usually be either an insurance claim or a lawsuit. While the time it takes to settle an insurance claim for a car accident can in many cases be less than the time it takes to go to court, there may be additional damage that you can get at the court hearing, making this option for yours Case is possibly better.
Other states apply the insurance rules through no fault of their own. In these states, each driver has their own insurance that covers their own injuries in the event of an accident, regardless of who caused the accident. These states usually have rules blocking lawsuits, forcing drivers to rely on their insurance instead of burdening the judicial system with lawsuits for minor car accidents. Usually, however, there are limits to these rules, which are set either as “monetary thresholds” or as “verbal thresholds”.
Cash thresholds allow you to sue if your injuries reach a certain amount of money in damages. These limits are sometimes referred to as “Personal Injury Protection” or PIP limits. This helps victims of expensive cases to sue even in error-free conditions. A “verbal threshold” uses a definition of injury such as “permanent” or “severe” that gives a victim the right to sue instead of being forced to take out insurance.
Some states, like Pennsylvania, use a system with no flaws. In this system, drivers can choose between flawless coverage (which is usually cheaper due to its limitations) or flawless coverage that protects their right to sue. In Pennsylvania, these are known as the Limited Tort or Full Tort guidelines. Other states use ancillary coverage that allows you to add first party errors or PIP to your error policy.
Talk to an attorney about the specific rules of your insurance policy in your state to see if your right to sue is protected.
How long does a car accident last?
Remember that the statute of limitations in your case is just the deadline for filing your infringement case. This means that you have as much time as the law allows to get your foot in the door and file your lawsuit against the culpable driver. However, the resolution of the case usually takes longer than after the filing date. Lawsuits could last weeks or months depending on a number of factors, B. How crowded the court’s schedule is and how long the filing and response deadlines are for each motion filed in your case.
Ultimately, your lawyer can give you a better picture of how long your case will take. Cases with complex facts and multiple witnesses often take longer because the defense has to contest more points. Most legal proceedings, however, only last a few days – if the case is not resolved before the legal process.