Is it Too Late to File a Lawsuit?
While your immediate concerns after an auto accident have to deal with people and property — Are you and your loved ones safe? How much damage did your car sustain? — there are other decisions you must be prepared to make quickly. One of those is choosing whether you wish to pursue legal action against the party or parties who caused you harm.
Every state has its own statute of limitations for how long you have after an accident to file a lawsuit. In Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee, you have just one year from the date of your accident to seek compensation. In Maine and North Dakota, you have up to six years! New York falls in the middle of this spectrum — the state’s statute of limitations allows you to file a suit up to three years after you have been in an auto accident.
Exceptions to the statute of limitations
Courts rarely allow individuals to file lawsuits after a statute of limitations has passed. However, exceptions are permissible in special cases, and it’s important you understand your options. For example, you may still be able to seek damages for injuries sustained by a minor child even after three years have passed due to the state’s tolling rule.
If you or someone you love was injured in an automobile accident and a period of time has passed, speak to a qualified lawyer to explore your legal options. An auto accident attorney can work with you to determine whether you are able still eligible to file a lawsuit. If the statute of limitations is rapidly approaching, the lawyer can also help you file accurate paperwork before your deadline passes.