Statute of limitations is the time frame (dictated by a state legislature) in which you can file your complaint in court. In other words, it’s the length of time where you can win compensation for your injury. If you wait longer than the period of time provided in the statute of limitation, there is a high possibility that there will be no recovery.
The length of your statute of limitations will depend upon your type of injury. The most common statute of limitations for personal injury is 2 years.
Usually, a person will seek medical attention within seven days of an accident. Therefore, the statute of limitations is most commonly calculated from the date the accident occurred. However, if the injury is not discovered until later, the statute starts running when a person discovers the injury. This is the reason insurance companies ask consumers to sign a form waiving any future claims at the time of the accident.
Client X was involved in a bus accident. She did not seem injured at the time of the accident and, therefore, didn’t file any claim.
Some time later, Client X started experiencing sharp pain in her lower back. At first, she assumed that the pain was caused by her work duties. She went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a dislocated spine disk. The dislocated disk was caused by a spasm in her lower back muscles, which was a result of a sudden heavy impact (aka the bus accident); more commonly known a “whiplash” injury. In the case of “whiplash”, a person will not feel any pain at the time of the accident and may not feel pain for a prolonged period of time thereafter.
Client X had to undergo a complicated surgery and a prolonged period of recovery. Only after she was completely recovered did she submit a claim to her insurance company. The insurance company rejected her claim using the rationale that it was submitted outside of the statute of limitations.
An adjuster from the insurance company had incorrectly calculated the period of time starting from the date of injury and not from the date when our client discovered the injury. Client X then hired us to advocate for her right to compensation.
Based on the doctor’s notes and medical records, our firm was able to convince the court that Client X’s case was legally within the statute of limitations and had been incorrectly calculated by the insurance company. As a result, the court ordered just compensation for Client X that took her prolonged recovery time as well any medical bills and records she had incurred into consideration.
If you think your personal injury case is not being handled correctly, know your rights and call an experienced personal injury attorney today.