A car accident can have long-lasting physical, mental and financial impacts. You might face mounting medical bills, emotional stress and a long road to recovery.
If the accident was the result of another driver’s negligence, you may be considering a lawsuit. If you choose this path, you must file your suit before the statute of limitations has passed.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for car accident injury lawsuits varies by state. In South Carolina, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit, while in Georgia, you only have two years.
Why would I wait that long?
Many people do not pursue legal action immediately after a car accident because they are under considerable stress and preoccupied with their physical recovery. Others underestimate the extent of their injuries; it can take months before the long-term effects of a car accident injury become apparent.
What happens if I wait too long?
Generally, you will not be able to obtain compensation if you file a lawsuit outside of the statute of limitations.
Even within the statute of limitations, waiting too long can affect your chances of success. Some evidence, such as surveillance tapes, may disappear if not obtained in a timely manner, and eyewitness testimonies may become less reliable after too much time has passed.
How can I prepare?
Although you have time to decide whether you want to file a lawsuit, you should begin gathering evidence as soon as possible. Seeking immediate medical attention is not only important to your safety, but it can also help your case by creating an official record of your injuries.
If you are considering a car accident lawsuit, it is important to be aware of the statute of limitations.