Understanding the
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injuries Cases

Understanding your statute of limitations is critical.

If you suffer from an injury due to the negligent actions of another person or corporation, you will have the opportunity to take legal action by filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, it is important to note that there will be a period of time in place that will prevent you from filing your case after several years have passed. Therefore, you should always contact an attorney as soon as possible after you are injured to discuss your legal rights. Additionally, a personal injury lawyer can let you know exactly how long you have to move forward.

What is the Statute of Limitations?

Each state has the ability to create its own statute of limitations for a wide variety of cases; you could have anywhere from one to six years to file a lawsuit. For example, if you are injured by a drunk driver in Chicago, Illinois, you will have only two years to take legal action. In this case, retaining a car accident lawyer in Chicago Illinois would be advised.

However, even if the incident occurred two years ago, you may still have the opportunity to file a lawsuit due to the state's Modified Discovery Rule. Many states have some form of the Discovery Rule in place, and the version that Illinois utilizes states that the injured party can file a lawsuit for up to two years after they discover that their injury was caused by another person or corporation. However, this law may not be evenly applied by all judges, so it is best to carefully discuss your options with a lawyer if you are close to the two-year mark.

Personal Injury Cases and Car Accidents

Many people assume that their car and health insurance will take care of everything if they are seriously injured in an accident. Sadly, this is not typically the case, and it is possible to end up owing thousands of dollars for medical bills. Dealing with the pain and suffering that accompanies a serious injury is bad enough, and when you add on medical expenses, the entire situation becomes much worse.

Therefore, the law provides you with the option to take action against the responsible party so that you can recover at least some of your medical expenses. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations is not impacted by factors such as how long you are in the hospital. In other words, if you end up hospitalized for several months, you will have a much shorter time frame to file a lawsuit after you are released.

The Importance of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer

Although anyone can file a lawsuit, it is imperative to have an experienced attorney at your side to help you navigate through all of the applicable statutes and other legal restrictions that will have an impact on your case. Additionally, utilizing a local car accident attorney from the area where the incident occurred can help give you an advantage in court. After all, a local lawyer will have a firm understanding of how the city's judges tend to rule in similar cases, and this will enable them to tailor your lawsuit appropriately.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to take legal action after a car accident is up to the injured party. However, if you are not financially able to pay for all of the medical expenses that the accident caused you to incur, then it definitely makes the most sense to work with an attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible individual.

Lisa Coleman shares the importance of understanding a state's statute of limitations when involved in an auto accident.



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