Answer: Immediately after an accident and preferably within 10 days of the accident.
Most people seem to know that the statute of limitations allows three years to file a lawsuit but that’s not always correct and there are other much shorter time deadlines.
- 1 What Is the Statute of Limitations?
- 2 Short Time Deadlines to File A Lawsuit
- 3 Legal Work That Must Be Done before the Statute of Limitations
- 4 Discussions with the Insurance Company
- 5 Will the Insurance Company Fairly Settle Your Claim?
- 6 30 Day and 90 Day Deadlines!
- 7 How Can You Protect Your Rights after an Accident?
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is the time within which a lawsuit must be filed.
Short Time Deadlines to File A Lawsuit
Accidents which involve a government entity usually have a statute of limitations that is one year and 90 days from the date of accident. There are many lawsuits in which a government entity must be sued and you would never have known if a government entity had to be sued.
Legal Work That Must Be Done before the Statute of Limitations
Another problem with waiting because you have time before the statute of limitations ends is that a lot of investigation and work must be done before filing a lawsuit and that can take as much as 6-18 months. Most lawyers will not take your case if you call the lawyer within 6 months of the statute of limitations.
Discussions with the Insurance Company
If you have any discussions with the insurance company during the time that you are deciding whether you want to hire a lawyer or not, you will damage your case and at the least reduce the amount your case can be settled for.
Will the Insurance Company Fairly Settle Your Claim?
Many clients have called an attorney a year or two after an accident because the insurance company led them to believe that they will fairly settle the claim. After delaying the case for a year or two and never offering a reasonable settlement, the claimant will give up and call an attorney.
In some situations, the insurance company will offer a settlement that sounds good but is actually 10-20 times less than the injuries worth. We have spoken with people who settled their claim for $40,000 thinking it was a lot of money when the injury was actually worth over $1 million.
Read about Colossus, one of the tactics that insurance companies use to convince you not to call a lawyer.
You certainly won’t know what your injury is really worth and you may even have injuries that you’re not aware of or injuries you don’t realize are serious. We have had many clients who didn’t realize that they had other very valuable injuries, often worth much more than the injuries they complained about.
30 Day and 90 Day Deadlines!
Besides the statute of limitations, there are many short deadlines to file claims for various benefits such as payment for medical bills and lost wages or filing a notice of claim against a government entity. These short time deadlines range from 30 days to 90 days.
How Can You Protect Your Rights after an Accident?
If you want to protect your rights, call an accident lawyer immediately for a free consultation.
Even if you think you’re not injured enough for an attorney to take your case, call us right now for a free consultation with no obligation. If after speaking with us you want to hire us, we’ll protect your rights immediately!