How Long After My Car Accident Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?Last updated on: September 30, 2022
The moment you obtained your driver’s license is a time that you will never forget. You’re probably able to picture now; how happy you felt pulling away from the DMV, finally in the driver’s seat, steering wheel clenched tightly, and your eyes glued to the road. For many people, the elation of passing your driver’s test is met by the stark realization that driving is all risk all the time.
New drivers often aren’t aware of the complicated structure of legality surrounding an accident. More unlikely is that they’ll use those laws to their advantage by seeking just compensation for damages. We might think our insurance agency has our best interest at heart, but just as we once thought driving was all fun and games, we learn that if you want to get something done, you’ll have to do it yourself.
After a car accident, many questions are left unanswered. One of the most common questions people have after a car accident is, ‘how long do I have to file a lawsuit?’ The answer in most states is that you have up to two years following the date of the accident.
How Long You Have To File A Car Accident Lawsuit
The time limit to file a claim after an accident depends on which state the accident occured in. However, as a nationwide plaintiff injury firm, we have attorneys who can help determine how much time you have to file your claim.
The following list details the statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits in the five states in which we have law offices:
- Florida: The maximum amount of time a car accident victim in the sunshine state has to file a lawsuit is four years.
- New Mexico: Car accident victims in New Mexico have up to three years to file a lawsuit seeking compensation. Additionally, If bodily harm has occurred as a result of an accident you have three years to seek compensation.
- Colorado: Car accident victims in the Rocky Mountains state have up to three years from the date of the accident to seek compensation through a lawsuit.
- Texas: Car accident victims in the Lone Star state have up to two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
- Arizona: The maximum amount of time a car accident victim has to file a lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident.
If a car accident victim fails to file their lawsuit within the prescribed amount of time, they risk losing their ability to get compensation altogether. For this reason, it’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations period for the state in which the accident occurred. To learn more about the statute of limitations period in your state, contact the car accident lawyers from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations In Car Accidents?
The statute of limitations is the maximum amount of time a party has to commence legal action after an accident. States enact these statutes to limit the amount of time a claimant has to seek compensation for their injuries. From a policy standpoint, the statute aims to ensure that evidence remains credible and that people’s memory of the incident is fresh.
As mentioned, the statute of limitations in your case will depend on the state in which the accident occurred. Regarding car accidents specifically, the statute of limitations is generally between 2 to 4 years depending on the state. However, there are contributing factors that could affect the amount of time you have to bring your claim.
Which Factors Could Affect The Statute Of Limitations In Car Accidents?
The suspension of the statute of limitations is known as ‘tolling.’ When the statute of limitations tolls, the clock stops running on the time limit you have to bring your claim. When the statute of limitations has been legally suspended, you may be able to bring your claim even if you’ve waited a substantial amount of time.
Many factors can lead to an extension of the statute of limitations time frame. Although the factors influencing that statute of limitations is also state dependent, the following describes the most common reasons for the limitations period to be suspended.
- The End Date of the Limitations Period: If the statute of limitations ends on a day that is either a weekend or holiday, the time you must bring a claim will be extended to the following business day.
- The Accident Involved Public Property: In most cases, accidents involve damage to private property. However, if you were to be rear-ended by a city bus, for example, this extenuating circumstance can alter the timeframe of the statutes and limitations.
- The Discovery Rule: If you were unaware of the fact that your car was hit and found out at a later date, the limitations period is often extended. In these types of cases, the limitations period starts the day you become aware of the damage/injury, not the day the accident occurs.
- Accident Involving a Minor: Accident victims who are minors need their legal claims to be brought on their behalf. If a minor is involved in the accident, it could result in an extension of the limitations period.
A legal professional can analyze a case and determine what factors may influence the limitations period. You might be feeling like it’s too late to bring a claim, but it is important to remember that much is unknown after a car accident. To discuss the facts of your case with a personal injury lawyer for free call (800) 863-5312.
Need Help? Contact Zinda Law Group Today
Car accident claims involve tedious paperwork, deadline compliance, and administrative hassle. However, concern over the amount of work it takes to file a claim should not be your primary focus following a car accident injury. After a car accident, you should be focused on rest and recovery, leave the rest to an attorney.
To learn more about your legal options after a car accident, call the car accident lawyers from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312. A member of our team will be there to discuss your claim for free. Additionally, we offer a ‘No Win, No Fee’ guarantee which means that you won’t pay anything unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your case.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.