How Long Do I Have to File My Personal Injury Case?
Call (800) 863-5312 in the Time Period Immediately After an Accident to Speak with Zinda Law Group Personal Injury Lawyers for Free
A personal injury can leave victims and their loved ones with significant financial burdens, emotional trauma, and uncertainty about what to do next. No matter what type of personal injury you’ve suffered, our attorneys are ready to help you. We can start by answering your questions about the time period after an accident that you have to get a lawyer and file a lawsuit.
At Zinda Law Group, we have experience representing accident victims, helping them seek the compensation they may deserve, and filing their claims in a timely manner. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free attorney consultation with personal injury lawyers.
Time Limits in a Personal Injury Case
After a personal injury case, you may feel overwhelmed about what to do next. Victims may wonder, “How long after I get hurt do I have to take action?” At the same time, they may be overwhelmed, dealing with insurance companies, hospital bills, and taking time off from work to heal. However, it is important to be aware of the time period after an accident to get a lawyer, how much time you have to file a lawsuit to pursue your case.
Statute of Limitations
Each state has its own time limits, or statutes of limitations, on how much time you have to file a lawsuit after a personal injury accident. These time limits will vary among states, but typically range from one to six years. The statute of limitations may also depend on the type of personal injury claim.
In some states, these deadlines can be extended if victims are unaware that they were injured or that the defendant’s actions caused the injury. For example, if you were exposed to asbestos at your worksite over the course of fifteen years of work, and don’t find out until after all these years of work that as a result of this exposure, you have developed lung cancer, then the statute of limitations may be extended. Determining how much time you have to file after an accident can be complicated, and a Zinda Law Group personal injury attorney may be able to help you.
Hiring a Lawyer
After an accident, victims often wonder, “How long do I have to get a personal injury lawyer?” The earlier you contact a personal injury lawyer, the more they may be able to assist you through the personal injury lawsuit process. Steps they may take to help you include:
- Ensure you receive proper medical treatment
- Investigate the accident
- Interview witnesses
- Collect crash or incident reports
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Reach a settlement
- File a lawsuit
- Go to trial
Zinda Law Group attorneys understand that an injury can leave victims with many questions about their case and the next steps to take. We want to be here to answer your questions, provide updates on your case, and ensure that you receive the compensation you may deserve.
What to Do After a Personal Injury
Although each personal injury is unique, there are steps that you should take in every accident circumstance to ensure you receive the medical care you need and preserve evidence that strengthens your claim. The time period after an accident is crucial. These steps include:
1. Seek Medical Attention
In some personal injury cases with serious injuries, you may receive medical treatment at the scene of a car accident, your workplace, or the location where you were injured. In other cases, you may not receive treatment at the scene of the accident; however, you should still visit your doctor as soon as possible to determine if you need medical treatment.
After you leave the hospital or doctor’s office, be sure to watch for any additional signs or symptoms that occur in the days following the accident. You shouldn’t ignore any signs or symptoms because you can experience the effects of an accident several days after it happens.
2. Report the Accident
After an accident, you should report it to the appropriate authority. For example, in a car accident, you should call the police and file a report. If you suffer from a workplace injury, you should notify your supervisor. A documented report of the accident may help strengthen your claim and contain important information about what occurred.
3. Document Your Damage
You may have been too injured or shaken to take photos of the damage at the scene of an accident. As soon as possible, be sure to take photos of the damage. This could include injuries you sustained in the accident, damage to a vehicle, or a defective product, among other damage that a personal injury can cause.
4. Keep Track of Your Expenses
It’s important that you keep track of all receipts and paperwork related to your accident. In order to seek the compensation you may deserve, it will be important to demonstrate how the personal injury financially impacted you. This could include:
- Hospital and doctor bills
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractor bills
- Documented time taken off from work due to any injuries
- Receipts for the repair or replacement of damaged property
5. Speak with an Attorney
Our personal injury lawyers are here to help walk you through every step of the process of filing your personal injury claim. This may include ensuring you receive proper medical treatment, investigating the accident, interviewing witnesses, collecting crash reports, negotiating with the insurance company, filing a lawsuit, and going to trial if necessary.
At Zinda Law, we may be able to help you determine the damages you are entitled to, then afterwards, help you pursue them. The amount of compensation you are eligible for will depend on the extent of your injuries, the amount of your medical bills, how much pain and suffering you may have suffered, the extent of your lost wages (if any), and damage to your vehicle, among other things.
Compensation You May Be Able to Seek in a Personal Injury Case
The compensation you may be able to seek in a personal injury case will depend on the extent of your injuries and damages. However, in general, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages in a personal injury case.
Economic damages include the tangible financial damages that can be assigned a number. Typical economic damages may include:
- Medical bills
- Pharmacy bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost income (present and future)
- Loss of earning capacity
Although non-economic damages may be harder to calculate, they can oftentimes have more value than economic damages. These damages could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium of a spouse
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional distress
In cases where a defendant is seriously reckless or malicious and those actions resulted in the punitive damages may be awarded in some circumstances. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and discourage similar behavior in the future.
Why is There a Time Limit to File a Lawsuit?
After you get hurt, you have to take action by the time period outlined in the statute of limitations in your state. This is partially because if a case is filed later, evidence may be stale and witnesses may be harder to track down. In general, the law assumes that plaintiffs who have a valid case will pursue it in a timely manner.
Do I Need to Wait to File a Claim If I Am Still Receiving Medical Treatment?
If you’re still receiving treatment related to your injuries, you do not need to wait to file a claim because the statute of limitations begins to run out after you are injured. Especially in cases that are serious and require months or years of ongoing medical treatment, the time to file your claim may expire before you are finished receiving medical care. It is best to speak with a Zinda Law personal injury attorney who may be able to help you timely file your claim.
Should I File a Lawsuit?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to whether you should file a lawsuit. Each case should be evaluated on the specific facts. However, if you or a loved one were injured and suffered from significant injuries because of another party’s negligence, a personal injury lawsuit may be able to help you recover medical expenses and ease the financial burden that an injury can cause.
Some people may believe that filing a lawsuit automatically means a long court process that is more trouble than it’s worth. However, in many cases, our attorneys negotiate and come to a settlement with the other party without having to go to court. If you are unsure of whether you want a file a lawsuit, it is best to speak with an attorney to explore your options and the statue of limitations in your states. Our attorneys offer free consultations to discuss the next steps in your case.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
At Zinda Law Group, our personal injury attorneys have helped many victims get the compensation they deserved after suffering an injury. We are here to answer any questions you have about your case and how much time you have after an accident to file your case. Because we want to help our clients seek maximum compensation, we ensure that the cases we accept are filed in a timely manner.
We believe a victim should never have to worry about being able to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
If you have been injured in an accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 today to receive your free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.