Here’s a great article from ER Trial Lawyers, a team of Los Angeles personal injury attorneys. The specific deadline for filing a personal injury claim regarding your motorcycle accident depends on where you live. The deadline to file is called statute of limitations. The statute of limitations may range from one to six years depending on the state. Most states are like California. In California, you have two years from the date of your motorcycle accident to file a personal injury claim.
After the statute of limitations run out, you are barred from filing a personal injury claim. This means any lawsuit filed will be automatic dismissed. It is not based on the merit of the case. You may have a legal reason to file the claim such as the other person was negligent when they caused your motorcycle accident. It is dismissed because you ran out of time.
It is important to note that the time to file your motorcycle accident claim starts the day you were injured. For example, you were injured August 29, 2015 in a motorcycle accident. You had until August 29, 2017 to file your motorcycle claim. Depending on your state you could have had less or more time. After that August date, you can no longer file.
Exception to Every Rule
There are exceptions to the statute of limitations rule. One exception is called the “discovery rule.” The discovery will extend the statute of limitations if you discovered your motorcycle injury after you were barred from filing a claim. For instance, the motorcycle accident happened on August 29, 2017. Your doctor did not discover your motorcycle injury until December 19, 2017. You now have until December 19, 2018 to file your personal injury lawsuit.
Other ways to extend the statute of limitations in your motorcycle accident really depend on the person you are suing. The wrongful party is called the defendant. For instance, if the defendant was a minor at the time of your motorcycle accident, your statute of limitations starts the day they turn 18 years old.
The statute of limitations can stop when the defendant:
• Goes to prison
• Moves out of the state for a period of time
• Is declared insane
The statute of limitations begins again after the defendant returns to the state, leaves prison or is declared sane. It is important to keep tract of the statute of limitations during this time to prevent it running out on you. For instance, a defendant leaves the state a year after the statute of limitations starts. They return six months later. The statute of limitations restarts. You then have a year from the date of their return to the state to file your claim.
Be Aware the Defendant May Try to Play Games with Your Statute of Limitations
The defendant, whether they are an insurance company or someone who directly harmed you, may try to get out of paying you. One tactic is to delay you from filing your claim. For instance, they may tell you they want to settle your claim. You do not file a lawsuit. They continuously offer your less than fair settlements. Their hope is to keep you focused on negotiations so you won’t notice time ticking down in your statute of limitations claim. If they are successful, you will be barred from filing and they will not stop trying to settle the case.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Regarding Your Motorcycle Accident
Because of your motorcycle accident, you sustained injuries. These injuries allow you to sue for damages like medical bills and lost wages. This means the defendant is financially responsible for your accident.
The best thing to do after your motorcycle accident is focus on your recovery. At the same time, contact a personal injury attorney about your motorcycle accident claim. Typically, what an attorney does is immediately protects your legal rights to sue. They file a personal injury lawsuit.
This takes away delay tactics used to prevent you from filing a claim in county court. You can still negotiate a settlement. Your attorney will prepare for trial and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. If a settlement can be reached, you do not have to go to court. If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will prove your case in court.