How Does the Statute of Limitations Work in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Auto Accident Lawsuit

You were involved in a car crash, and afterward, you are living in the agony of trying to figure out whose fault was it, will you get your compensation, how fast your injuries will heal. If you were injured, you would have to file an auto accident lawsuit. The smartest way to do it is to hire a car accident attorney in the Boston area; they will ease the process and will help you with everything.

Keep in mind that lawsuits have a filling deadline; this will be set by the statute of limitations (it is different in each state).

Let’s explain what the function of the statute of limitations is.

What You Need to Know About the Statute of Limitations

The state law that puts the deadline on your right to file an auto accident lawsuit and let the court consider any civil case is basically what statute of limitation is. Every state has such laws, and all have different deadlines for various legal claims.

The statute of limitations that applies to a lawsuit for car accident injuries is a cover deadline. It is used for almost all personal injury lawsuits. Under this statute of limitations, you can file lawsuits for various injuries like dog bites, slip, and fall accidents, accidents caused by carelessness by another party.

Statute of Limitations Across the States for an Auto Accident Lawsuit

Every state has different rules when it comes to applying a lawsuit for a car accident.

If you are filing a lawsuit for an injury after you were involved in a car accident, here’s what you will get:

  • Massachusetts: 3 years 
  • Ohio: 2 years
  • New Jersey: 6 years
  • Missouri: 5 years
  • Pennsylvania: 2 years
  • Texas: 2 years
  • Florida: 4 years
  • California: 2 years
  • New York: 3 years

Lawsuits and Insurance Claims

What you need to know in such cases is how lawsuits work with insurance claims. The statute of limitations only applies to the filing of an auto accident lawsuit. When it comes to the insurance claim process, it is smart to start it before the deadline becomes an issue.

After the car accident, make sure you have settled your insurance claim. Or at least try to do this before the statute of limitations deadline is close.

The statute of limitations works only for your ability to file a lawsuit against the driver who caused the car accident. The law does not forbid you to consult with the insurance company once the deadline is over. The practical reason for not doing this is the simple fact that insurance adjusters are very much aware of the statute of limitations. If you wait till the last moment to file the lawsuit, the insurance adjusters will have the upper hand; they will know that your deadline for filing a lawsuit is over, so they won’t bother to pay the compensation.

Make sure to file the lawsuit within the time range, instead of waiting until the very last day. If you wait for so long to file the lawsuit, you will look suspicious – why would someone who got injured in an accident did not take all measures on time? The insurance company might see you as a suspicious person who only wants money.

How to Extend the Deadline for an Auto Accident Lawsuit

Being limited with time can cause you anxiety and stress, so we are sure you want to know how you can extend the deadline.

One way to do it is if the defendant left the state after causing the injury. In almost all states, the statute of limitations stops running during any time that the potential defendant is outside the state.

If the statute of limitations in your state is four years, let’s say, and the defendant was not in the state for three years after the accident occurred, the statute of limitations in your case will be extended for three more years. But, although this is possible, it can be hard to prove. Car accident lawyers are not fond of this method, therefore, you should not rely on it.

Make sure you discuss this option with your lawyer before picking it as the best one for extending the deadline.

Another way that can help you in the deadline is if the plaintiff is an underage person (younger than eighteen years of age), mentally ill, insane, or disabled. In most states (if not every state), extensions of the statute of limitations in such situations will be allowed.

Call now and let our Boston personal injury law firm help you with your case.

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