How Long Do You Have to Sue for Personal Injury?

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Determine How Long You Have to Sue

When you suffer a severe personal injury, it is a traumatic, devastating experience that can impact the rest of your life.  After an accident, you have to deal with not only physical and emotional pain, but the financial losses from medical, hospital, and rehabilitative bills, the loss of income from being unable to work, and the possibility of property damage resulting from the accident.  If your injury was due to someone else’s negligence or fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses through a personal injury lawsuit, but if you wait too long to sue, you may be forever barred from doing so as the courts are likely to refuse to hear your case.

Personal injury lawsuits are brought to get compensation for mental and physical injuries caused by someone else’s negligence.  A successful personal injury lawsuit can alleviate your financial problems and allow you to concentrate on getting well.  However, time limits are an important consideration when bringing a lawsuit.

Filing deadlines, called statutes of limitations, for personal injury lawsuits are imposed by states for specific reasons. One is to prevent people from worrying about being sued every day for indefinite periods. Another reason is to make sure cases are heard quickly enough so that people’s memories and recollections of a particular event are still accurate and evidence can be found.

Massachusetts statutes (Mass. General Laws Ch. 260 § 2A) generally allow three years to bring an action. However, there are additional complexities for auto accidents, and other requirements as well.  There are also questions as to when the clock for the statute of limitations starts ticking away. For example, if you did not discover your injury immediately, the clock may begin running on the day you learned you were injured, rather than on the date of the accident.

Because the laws are so complicated and making mistakes can cause your case to be dismissed, it’s a good idea to consult with a personal injury lawyer who can make sure your case is filed correctly and within the proper time frame.

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