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Time Frame for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Posted on March 5th, 2020 by Oddo & Babat, P.C.

If you have been injured in an accident, you may wonder when is the right time to file a lawsuit. It can be a tricky question to answer. You should definitely act sooner rather than later because if you wait too long, you may not be able to file your suit at all. However, if you file immediately, you may not have the evidence that you need to adequately present your case.

There is no magic number that expresses the exact perfect time to file your lawsuit. However, here are some factors that can come into play and help you make the determination.

Statute of Limitations

You only have a certain amount of time after your accident to file a lawsuit. This is called the statute of limitations, and if you do not act before it expires, you no longer have the right to sue in regards to the accident. The statute of limitations on personal injury suits varies by state. It may be as short as one year or as long as six years.

Occasionally, the court will make exceptions and extend the statute of limitations if circumstances warrant. For example, if the defendant has moved out of state or if the accident rendered you incapacitated and therefore unable to take legal action. However, there is no guarantee that the statutory period will be extended, so it is best to act before the statute of limitations expires if at all possible.

Adequate Evidence

However, before you file a lawsuit, it is best to first gather the necessary evidence that you need to support your claim. This will indicate whether your case is valid and whether you have a good chance at a favorable outcome. The evidence that you need often includes your medical records and doctors’ bills. Therefore, it is a good idea to receive at least some treatment for your injuries before you file a personal injury claim.

Maximum Medical Improvement

When the doctor determines that you are as healthy as you are going to get after your accident, it means you have reached maximum medical improvement. MMI does not necessarily mean that you have returned to your pre-injury condition. Rather, it means that no further medical treatment will help you improve any further.

Maximum medical improvement is an important milestone in your personal injury case because it allows you to assess the ongoing financial impact your injuries will have and allows you to place a value on your damages. However, you may not reach MMI before your statute of limitations runs out, so it is entirely appropriate to file your lawsuit beforehand.

A personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL can evaluate your case and determine the opportune moment to file a suit. Contact a law office to arrange a consultation.

Thanks to Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into personal injury claims and the time frame for filing a suit.

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