Learn how time matters when it comes to filing a lawsuit.
When you have been hurt in an accident, probably the last thing on your mind is rules of the legal system. It probably doesn’t matter to you that courts in this state require you to file a lawsuit in a certain number of days. After all, your focus is just on getting better — as it should be.
But the time limit to file a lawsuit is an important part of recovering for your injuries, as it impacts whether or not you will get the compensation you deserve for your losses. If you want to file a lawsuit, this time limit is called the statute of limitations. Once this time period expires, you will not be allowed to file a lawsuit against the person who caused your accident — which means that even if another person did something wrong and cost you thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars worth of damages, you probably will not be able to collect a single dime from them if you failed to file your lawsuit in time.
The statute of limitations can be different for each state, and for each kind of case. It also can be different based on who you are suing. For example, in most states, if the person or entity that hurt you is the government, there is a whole different procedure for filing a claim — and a much shorter time frame to do it. That is why it is so important to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
In both California and Arizona, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years. This means that you have two years from the date you discovered the injury to file a lawsuit against the person that caused it. In most cases, this is very straightforward. For example, if you were injured in a car accident on May 1, 2017, you will have until May 1, 2019 to file a lawsuit against the person who caused it. But in other cases, it may be more complicated because you may not have discovered the injury right away. For example, take the recent cases involving Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder that many women used as a feminine hygiene product. As it turns out, using the product in this manner can cause cancer, which was not discovered until many decades after the women began using it. The statute of limitations did not begin to run until after the women discovered that their cancer was caused by the use of the powder — not when they first used the baby powder or even when they were first diagnosed with cancer.
Because the time period for filing a personal injury claim is relatively short, it is important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you become injured in an accident. Your lawyer can make sure that your claim is filed in a timely manner and that you do not miss the statute of limitations, so that you can focus on your health and getting better.
If you have been injured in any type of accident, the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker can help you recover for your losses. Contact our office today at 800-333-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free initial consultation. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you!