Filing Deadlines For Personal Injury Lawsuits

While all states and provinces allow the injured victim of an accident to file a personal injury claim, each of them provides the potential claimant with a different timetable. Smart victims consult with a lawyer, regarding the timeline for the legal jurisdiction in which their claim should be filed.

Every timeline has a deadline

That deadline is the final day when the court will accept a personal injury claim, regarding a particular incident. The timeline starts on the day when the victim discovers his or her injury. That is usually the day of the accidental occurrence. So, every timeline has a starting point and an endpoint. The span of time between those 2 points defines the statute of limitations. Not all states and provinces have the same statute of limitations. In some it could be as short as 1 year; in others it might be as long as 6 years.

Many states have a discovery rule.

That rule allows for an extension of the stated deadline. Victims can request such an extension when the evidence supports a specific claim. Those victims requesting an extension must claim that they did not know about their injury and they did not know that the defendant’s actions had caused that injury.

Sometimes, an accident victim learns about the existence of an injury at a time that exceeds the statute of limitations. When a victim’s discovery of an injury takes place after the court-imposed deadline has passed, that same victim or their Personal Injury Lawyer St. Catharines can request an extension.

Other possible reasons for an extension:

If a plaintiff learns that the defendant has left the state, then that fact could be presented to the court, along with a request for an extension. Courts normally extend the statute of limitations in those cases where the responsible party (defendant) has left the state.

The plaintiff’s status could also create a situation in which the court might be asked to extend the statute of limitations. For instance, it could be that an accident victim was a minor when he or she was injured. In that case, the court would rule that the statute of limitations could not start until after the plaintiff’s 18th birthday.

Extensions to the timeline for filing a personal injury claim also get requested by the adults that care for certain other plaintiffs. For instance, if a plaintiff were disabled or mentally ill, then the legal guardian of that same plaintiff would have the right to approach the court about extending the statute of limitations. The guardian would need to explain when the disabling condition could be corrected, or measures proposed for legal representation of the mentally ill adult (plaintiff). Then that action might lead to an extended timeline.

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