How long does one have to initiate an auto accident lawsuit?


If you have been involved in a car accident, you have a limited period of time in which you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Your San Diego personal injury attorney will be able to tell you more about any applicable statutes of limitations as well as how to go about filing your case. Having quality legal counsel could be the difference between millions of dollars in compensation and losing out entirely because you didn’t file on time.

New York Allows Three Years for Most Case To Be Filed

In the state of New York, you usually have three years from the date that the accident occurred. You may get more time if you can prove that you didn’t know that your injuries were caused by the crash. As a general rule, you should file your lawsuit as soon as possible to increase the odds of receiving a favorable outcome.

Do I Have to Pursue a Lawsuit After It’s Filed?

No, you do not have to actually go to court after you have filed a lawsuit. In fact, many cases are settled on or just before a scheduled trial date. It is possible that the judge in your case will ask or require that you engage in settlement talks with the other parties involved before going to trial. During this time, it is important that you negotiate in good faith to avoid drawing the ire of the judge.

What Happens if the Case Takes Longer Than Three Years to Resolve?

Under state law, it doesn’t matter when your lawsuit is settled or resolved. All that matters if that you file your case within that period of time. A San Diego personal injury attorney may move to pursue a lawsuit as soon as your consultation is over and you have decided to hire that attorney.

How Long Should I Engage In Settlement Talks For?

Ideally, you will resolve the case through a negotiated settlement. This is preferable because the terms are usually kept quiet, which means that you don’t have to tell your friends or family members that you now have millions of dollars in the bank.

You also don’t have to worry about the media or other parties finding out terms of the settlement and making a story out of it against your will. Settlements are also preferable because the payout may be higher than what a jury would award, and you receive your money in less time.

As a general rule, you should negotiate as long as the other side is doing so in good faith. Even if no agreement is reached right away, it may only be a matter of days or weeks before one occurs. Compared to the months or years that a trial may take, attempting to settle is worth your time and energy.

What If I Was a Minor When the Accident Took Place?

If you were a minor when the accident took place, you generally have until age 21 to take action. This is generally true regardless of what age you were when you got hurt. This rule is in place because minors cannot take legal action on their own, and their parents or guardians may not believe that pursuing a case is worthwhile.

What Happens If I File After the Statute of Limitations Runs Out?

In most cases, you cannot file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires. However, it may be possible to collect damages if your injury was caused by a manufacturer defect or some other issue that you weren’t aware of when you were hurt. For example, if the car that you were driving had faulty brakes, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against that car company or the company that made the brakes no matter how much time has passed.

It is important that you file your personal injury lawsuit as soon as you know that you were hurt in an accident. This ensures that you don’t lose out on the compensation that you may be entitled to just because of time issues. Your attorney may be able to file a suit on your behalf if you are too hurt to do so yourself.

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