When you are involved in a car accident, your first concern should be your health. However, the moment you have your accident, the clock starts on your ability to collect compensation for the injuries and damages that you suffered. If you are not familiar with the role that the statute of limitations plays in your case, here is what you need to know.
Why Are the Statute of Limitations Important?
The statute of limitations limits how long you have to file a claim or lawsuit for an accident in which you were involved. If you do not file within that time period, you could lose out on your chance to receive compensation from the other driver. Regardless of how much evidence you have, you could be left paying for the damages yourself if you wait too long.
The statute of limitations differs in each state, so it is important you take action as soon as you can. In states such as Alabama and Kansas, the statute of limitation is two years. The longest time allowed is six years in the states of Maine and North Dakota.
Are There Exceptions to the Rule?
Some states do allow exceptions to the statute of limitations rule. The exception centers around whether or not you were aware of the injury and if you knew who was responsible. For instance, if you were injured in the accident, but your injuries did not become evident until after the statute of limitations had passed, you can possibly still take legal action.
You could also possibly take action if you were unaware of who the other driver is. For instance, if you were involved in a hit and run accident and did not discover the identity of the other driver until the deadline passed, you could seek compensation.
Can You Extend the Time Limit?
Whether or not you have options for extending the time limit depends on the laws in your state. For instance, in some states, if you send notice to the other driver or his or her insurance company stating that you plan to pursue damages, you can potentially extend your time limit.
The best way to avoid facing a time crunch when it comes to receiving compensation for your injuries and damages in a car accident is to talk to personal injury lawyers as soon as you can. The attorney can help you to protect your right to take action even if you are still physically recovering from the accident.