When do I have to file a lawsuit for a personal injury case?
Personal injury lawsuits must be filed on time or you risk being locked out of the legal process. Generally speaking, you have two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. This number can change depending on the type of claim, or whom the claim is filed against.
For instance, a person who was overserved at a bar hits your car and injures you. There is a potential “dram shop” action, which has a one hundred twenty (120) day notice period, and a one year statute of limitations. This means that you must provide proper notice of a potential lawsuit within four (4) months. Failing to do so will prevent the filing of a lawsuit.
So what does that mean for your potential lawsuit?
My advice? Talk to someone.
Personal injury attorneys generally offer a free consultation. They can lay out the timeline specific to your case so that you are armed with the knowledge to make an informed decision. It takes time for an attorney to ensure proper notice, identify and locate the correct defendants, and build a case. An attorney is left in a tough spot if you wait until the twenty-third month to do something.
What if the defendant has passed away? What if you don’t have the police report and therefore can’t identify the defendant? Now what?
Talking to someone well before your filing deadline allows the proper investigation to occur and protects your interests.