If you file a personal injury claim, you can’t directly assume that you’ll get the compensation due to you. There is a legal process you have to follow if you want justice just to be served. First of all, you need to hire a trusted legal adviser. Be sure to choose someone who is knowledgeable of your state’s personal injury laws. For instance, if the incident happened in Norfolk, Virginia, it’s best that you get a Norfolk personal injury lawyer as your partner in settling the case.
Once you have retained an attorney, you can safely discuss your case. You should probably know that there are limitations to a personal injury claim – which your lawyer will make you aware of. These limitations are set so that no one can abuse the law. You need to be fully aware of them, so you’ll know whether or not you have a chance of winning your case.
Statute of Limitations
The Statute of Limitations provides the timetable within which a legal action can be taken as a breach of the law. According to this act, the general limitation period for a personal injury case is three years after the date of knowledge. However, this may vary depending on which state you’re in. If you file a case after the limitation period specified by the law, the court can no longer take any action on your case.
The time limit can be extended or altered depending on a case. Thus, Statute of Limitations also outlines the personal injury cases that fall outside their usual limitation period.
Exceptions to the Time Limit
Usually, the time limit runs at the day you realize that you got an injury due to somebody else’s negligence or the earliest time you decided to take action. However, if you are not yet in the legal age or you don’t have a sound mind during the action’s accrual, your time limit will not yet run. Concealment and fraud are also reasonable excuses for not filing a personal injury case right away.
Date of Knowledge
The court needs to consider whether or not you have an actual or constructive knowledge of the case. By knowledge, it means anything that connects you to the discovery of the case. You may have known the case because you’ve noticed sudden changes in your health after a medical treatment plan. Or perhaps, your legal advisor has told you that the company is liable for your slip injury. Time will start running once you have a constructive date of knowledge. This will be recorded in the court.
Time Periods for Different Personal Injury Cases
There may be specific time periods for different types of personal injury cases. Cases that involve the following falls outside the Statute of Limitations’ time limitation:
- Accidents on the plane or abroad
- Criminal injuries compensation
- Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) claims
- Claims under Fatal Accidents Act 1976
- Claims under Human Rights Act 1998
While it’s easy to understand the Statute of Limitations, the exceptions to the rule may confuse you. If you are unsure if you can still file a personal injury claim, you can seek legal advice from your attorney.