The length of time you have to file a lawsuit after a car accident varies according to your state. Each state has its own law—known as the statute of limitations—that defines the filing deadline for personal injury lawsuits. Some, like Louisiana, offer as little as a single year.
The circumstances of your accident might alter the timeline, and your state may have additional deadlines that affect your case. A personal injury lawyer from our firm can help you determine how long you have to file a lawsuit after a car accident based on the evidence available. It is crucial to comply with your state’s filing deadline, as failing to do so could disqualify you from recovering compensation.
The sooner you get our law firm involved in your car accident lawsuit, the more time your lawyer will have to ensure compliance with the state’s deadline, locate and interview witnesses, and conduct an independent investigation. Your lawyer can also explain your range of options for financial recovery.
A Car Accident Report Can Help Establish Your Filing Deadline
Insurance Information Institute (IIII) guidelines recommend filing a car accident report immediately after a collision. Some states require this if injuries or a certain amount of property damage occurred.
This report should contain a wealth of information about the accident, including the date it occurred. Knowing this can help you and your lawyer determine the date you would need to file a lawsuit by.
Your car accident report might also help prove your right to financial compensation by indicating the accident’s causes and contributing factors. Overall, the car accident report could tell your lawyer the following information:
- Driver, insurer, and witness contact information
- Accident date, time, weather, and location details
- Damage and points of impact on each involved vehicle
- Any driver behavior that contributed to the collision
Your legal team may also use this report to establish the extent of your injuries at the scene of the collision. Along with your medical records, this can connect your injuries to the accident.
Car Accident Lawsuits Against Government Entities Often Have Shorter Timelines
The parties involved in your collision can impact the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. Specifically, cases brought against government entities tend to have much shorter timelines.
They may also have additional steps and more than one deadline along the way. For example, cases against a government agency in Louisiana require victims to submit a citation within 90 days of filing, per RS §13:5107.
Your Lawsuit May Not Have to Go to Court
A personal injury lawyer from our firm might be able to help you avoid going to court after a car accident by negotiating a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance. This starts by assigning a value to your lawsuit. That value is then used to drive settlement negotiations and to ensure your case is not undervalued or underpaid.
During settlement talks, you and your lawyer might consider several offers before finding one that is acceptable. Your lawyer may use evidence from your case to prove your right to a certain amount of damages. If necessary, they may use the potential for a lawsuit as leverage to fight for the compensation you deserve.
If the statute of limitations is close to expiring, your attorney may file a lawsuit anyway. Doing so protects your ability to seek compensation in court if you cannot reach a settlement agreement.
Damages You May Recover in a Car Accident Lawsuit
On your own, it might be challenging to prove another driver’s negligence and your right to financial compensation. It might be even more challenging to prove the amount of compensation you qualify for based on your damages. A personal injury lawyer from our firm can help establish your potential right to recovery of:
- Medical bills for current and future health care
- Financial losses from all income streams
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Physical disfigurement or impairment
- Damaged or destroyed property costs
Start compiling your medical bills, check stubs, and other evidence related to your accident in a folder. This information can assist your legal team when building a case that demonstrates your total financial expenses and losses.
Start Fighting for Compensation Today
It is never too soon to start gathering evidence that could support your right to compensation. Do not wait to contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers and find out how long you have to file a lawsuit after a car accident. Time could already be running out in your case.
Our team is ready to take your call now and review your case for free. Call (337) 777-7777 to learn more about the personal injury process and your ability to seek financial compensation for your injuries and related expenses.