How Long After An Accident Can I Sue?

Whenever you experience an accident, your life will be impacted in many ways. Whether it’s a car accident, slip and fall, or other type of accident, you’ll suffer varying degrees of medical injuries and pain and suffering. In addition, you’ll probably be off from work an extended period of time, as well as have ever-increasing medical expenses. Because of this, it’s in your best interests to work with an accident lawyer who has experience handling your specific type of case. However, if you are planning to file a lawsuit, remember that all states have statutes of limitations regarding how long you’ll have after an accident to sue for damages.

How Soon Should I Sue?
While technically you can file a lawsuit the same day your accident occurs, it’s best to wait until you’ve hired an attorney and had an initial consultation, where you can discuss your accident claim in greater detail. By doing so, you give your attorney a better opportunity to gather evidence, speak with witnesses, and plan a strategy before taking the case to court. In most states, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident, so always keep this in mind.

Special Circumstances
Even though two years is the standard for most states, there are situations where the statute of limitations may be shorter. For example, some states choose to give accident victims only one year to file their lawsuit, no matter the circumstances. And if you were involved in an accident that included a government employee, you may only have a range of 60 days to six months. Because of these varying standards, it’s always best to contact an accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident, since they will need as much time as possible to prepare your case.

Insurance Company Negotiations
If you and your attorney are involved in negotiations with insurance companies, it’s usually best to use as much time as possible. In these situations, once the insurance company realizes you and your attorney are not backing down as the deadline approaches, they will likely offer a reasonable settlement, rather than let the case go to trial.

Schedule Your Consultation
Once you decide to pursue an accident claim, schedule a consultation with a skilled accident lawyer as quickly as possible. Once you do, you’ll be one step closer to gaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries.