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What Time Limits Govern Personal Injury Claims?

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Claim?

Personal injury claims are governed by statutes of limitation. The statute of limitations, the period of time in which you must bring a claim, vary from state to state and from one type of injury case to another. As a general rule most personal injury claims must be brought within two years of the date of injury. This means a legal complaint must be filed in a court of competent jurisdiction before the times expires. If the time expires the injury case is forever lost.

Most personal injury claims arise from a car crash, some other form of vehicular accident or a trip and fall. There are lots of other forms of personal injury claims. Claims arising from a defective product, a building that collapses, and medical malpractice are all personal injury claims. The statute of limitations is different for different kinds of injury cases and are different from state to state.

What is the Common Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims?

The majority of personal injury claims arising from everyday instances, such as a car crash or a trip and fall, generally are governed a by two years statute of limitations in the majority of states. There are some states which do possess statutes which are shorter and some which are longer. The law of each state must be consulted to determine the statute of limitations which applies to a specific personal injury case.

Time Limitations Applying to Personal Injury Claims Brought Against Government

There are special rules applying to injuries arising from government claims. These rules do not exist in all states. In the states where they exist they require a person who brings claim against government - whether city, county or state - must take certain actions in a specific period of time. As an example, someone struck by a fire truck in California must bring a claim against the city or county within six months. When the claim is denied, which usually happens, the person with the personal injury claim must file a complaint in state court within six months of the date the claim is denied. If no action is taken on the claim by the governmental entity, it is neither denied are accepted, the law considers the claim is denied. The person with a personal injury claim must bring a complaint in state court just as if the claim were denied.

Not all states possess special time limits for government claims. Some states find they are unconstitutional because special time limits that apply only to government claims are considered to be preferential to government claims. They are considered as denying people who possess a personal injury claim against a government entity the same rights they possess bringing claim against anyone else. They are also considered as preferential to government entities because they give them more protection than exists for everyone else.

When bringing a personal injury claim against the Federal government there are procedures and timelines which are specific. Failure to follow them can result in loss of the claim. Many people don’t think of themselves as someone who would bring a claim against the Federal government. Yet, the Federal government, just like many other organizations uses cars and trucks and can harm somebody. If the Federal government, or one of the various departments or agencies, produces an injury which gives rise to a personal injury claim the claim must be brought within two years from the date the incident took place. The person bringing a claim must submit an administrative claim to the Federal Agency or Department thought to be responsible for the injury.

Medical Malpractice Claims and Time Limits

Medical malpractice claims can be problematic. Many states possess very specific time limits and procedures which must be used when a medical malpractice claim is brought. As an example, some states require someone who wishes to bring a personal injury claim based on medical malpractice must give notice to the medical provider within one year. The requirement to give notice in one year applies if the person actually knew they suffered injury as a result of a possible medical malpractice act, or if a reasonable person in their same situation would have thought they suffered injury due to medical malpractice.

In addition to time limits that are set by law there also time limits for some claims which arise from personal injury claims which are set by insurance policies. Many people who suffer a personal injury in a car crash also possess a claim for medical payments under the policy insuring the automobile in which they were riding. This is the topic of another article contained on this website. The majority of these medical payments claims can only be brought if the bills were incurred within one year of the car crash. The period of time does vary and it is best to examine the policy providing medical payments coverage.

As can be seen there are various time limits which apply to personal injury claims. When considering bringing a claim it is always best to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer. David Allen & Associates provides representation for personal injury and wrongful death. It possesses over 43 years of experience. It collected over $500,000,000 – one half billion – for its clients. The founder of the firm, David Allen, supervised a claims unit for a major casualty insurance company before he went to law school. As a result, the firm possesses not only 40 plus years of experience representing injured people but also experience in the actual administration of insurance policies. The insurance policies many times determine the amount which will be paid or is available to someone who brings a personal injury claim. Knowledge of their application can make the difference between obtaining payment and going without payment. Talk to the Right People.

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