Time Flies: Making Sure You File Your Injury Claim Before Its Too Late

by melaniedfleury on September 1, 2013

Time Flies: Making Sure You File Your Injury Claim Before It’s Too Late

Being involved in any type of accident can be a very disheartening experience. Luckily, innocent victims who suffer injuries often have the right to file a claim against a negligent individual who caused the accident. It’s important to note, however, that these victims can not just sit around and bide their time before filing a claim or seeking legal action. Bottar Leone Attorneys, a New York based law firm, state that the time you have to file can be as quickly as one month depending on the type of injury.

Just like in the criminal justice system, there are statutes of limitations when it comes to filing a claim, and individuals who miss these deadlines will often be out of luck.

What are Statutes of Limitations?

Statute of limitation laws actually set a time limit on how long a person has to file a claim after they’ve suffered an injury due to an accident. If a claim isn’t filed by the time this deadline has passed, an individual loses their right to file one. While these laws may seem pointless, they are meant to protect defending parties from facing unfair burdens at trial. A person who is accused of causing an accident, for instance, may have lost evidence showing he wasn’t at fault if the plaintiff waits five years to file a claim.

Statute of limitation laws may seem like an unfair burden on accident victims, but luckily, there are some legal protections against this. If an action causes an injury, for instance, but that injury doesn’t become apparent for some time, statute of limitation laws often “start the clock” at the point an individual realizes they’ve been injured. This is why people who worked with asbestos were able to bring claims forth decades after the fact.

Do Statutes of Limitations Vary?

It’s important to note that statute of limitation laws are not universal. A person injured in New York, for instance, may have longer to file a claim than an individual in Kentucky. It should also be noted that these statutes can even vary within a state. In New York, for example, a person filing a claim for medical malpractice will have 30 months to do so. For other personal injury claims in the state, however, this deadline extends to three years.

Avoid Missing the Deadline

Luckily, an injured person can avoid reaching the statute of limitations in various ways. Seeking medical treatment, for instance, even when no injury is obvious, can ensure that a person recognizes any seemingly minor issues that can lead to serious injuries down the line.

Additionally, hiring a personal injury lawyer can help as well. These legal professionals will know the statute of limitations laws in their specific state. On top of that, they can ensure that the negligent party or their insurance provider doesn’t stall in an effort to allow the time limit to expire. While having an attorney is important during any legal matter, it’s almost essential in personal injury cases.

The American legal system is set up in such a way that it protects individuals who are injured due to the neglectful actions of others. These rights apply to all individuals within the country, but unfortunately, the rights are not absolute in every way. It’s a simple fact that allowing too much time to pass can negatively affect an individual’s ability to defend themselves. Luckily, quickly filing a claim and having one’s attorney handle it can ensure that fair compensation isn’t missed out on.

The legal system can be very difficult to understand, as it is for writer Melanie Fleury. She has found when there is a reason to consult an attorney, keeping careful track of your injuries, noting important dates and times and getting prompt medical care are all important steps to making your case. Her research also found that Bottar Leone Attorneys know what the time limits are for filing cases and work aggressively for clients to get the compensation they are entitled to.

Melanie Fleury is a freelance writer, blogger, mother of 4 and animal rescuer.

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