How Long After an Accident Can You Sue for Personal Injury?

By John DiBartolo on November 13, 2023

When you have sustained injuries in an accident that someone else caused through their negligent actions, you may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. You may be wondering how long after an accident can you sue for personal injury. With that in mind, you should not wait too long to speak with a personal injury attorney.

In Massachusetts, you only have a limited time to take action and sue for personal injury. In most cases, you will have three years to get your paperwork filed and begin the legal process (there are other deadlines that could occur within 2 years for cases against municipalities or even 30 days in certain slip and fall cases). Filing your claim and perhaps starting a  personal injury lawsuit promptly after an accident is imperative if you want to have a better chance of success in recovering compensation.

Man Holding His Ncck In Pain After A Car Accident

Importance of Timely Filing

After a personal injury accident, most people incur high medical bills for hospital stays, surgery, prescriptions, visiting specialists, prescriptions, and physical therapy. Due to these injuries, they may be unable to work in the short or long term, losing the income they need to support their household.

In your circumstances, you are likely to experience those financial losses as well. You may also endure emotional tolls and permanent changes in your life from these injuries. Filing your personal injury lawsuit promptly helps you recover compensation for your damages.

Waiting too long may mean that you miss the filing deadline and be forever barred from recovery. Delays may also make it easier for the defendant’s attorney to claim that your injuries are not as serious as you claim, or that they occurred after the accident.

Read more about: How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?

Understanding the Statute of Limitations

Massachusetts has a statute of limitations for personal injury, which is the time limit to file a personal injury claim. You can either settle the case or file a lawsuit, but you must do it before the deadline.

In Massachusetts, you have three years from the date you were injured to meet the personal injury lawsuit deadline. It may seem like plenty of time, but bear in mind it will also take time to gather all the evidence and investigate the accident. As the injured party, you will need to prove the other party was negligent and liable for the injuries and damages you have incurred.

Exceptions to the Rule

In certain cases, there are exceptions to this deadline for personal injury lawsuits. Injuries by the MBTA shorten the statute of limitations to two years. If your accident was caused by a hit and run driver, you must file your personal injury case within six months of discovering the identity of the responsible party.

Personal injury lawsuits that involve a minor under the age of 18 also have exceptions. Since there are other exceptions for personal injury lawsuits, it is advised that you consult a personal injury attorney immediately after treating your injuries to ensure you do not miss the deadline.

Read more about: What Does Litigation Mean in a Personal Injury Case?

Steps to Take Immediately After an Accident

After an accident, you must make sure you get immediate medical attention for your injuries. You should keep track of all medical records and follow the advice you are given by the doctors and specialists.

Collecting evidence is also vital as it will provide clues about how the accident and your injuries occurred. Photos, videos, and witness testimony can prove that the other party was responsible for these events.

You will also want to speak with a personal injury lawyer soon after you have received your medical treatment. When your injuries are severe, it is strongly advised because an attorney will get to work gathering evidence and preparing a strong case on your behalf.

Consequences of Missing the Deadline

Unfortunately, if you miss the deadline that applies to your personal injury case, you will likely have no legal recourse for pursuing damages. You will be stuck with medical bills and future medical expenses while enduring pain caused by a careless person’s actions.

Work with a personal injury attorney to get your lawsuit moving forward and gain valuable legal insight. By allowing an attorney to represent you, you can focus on healing and trying to get back to normal.

Consult with a Legal Professional When Filing a Personal Injury Claim

Filing a personal injury claim in a timely manner ensures that you can negotiate a fair settlement or take your case to trial. Consulting a legal professional is the best course of action to understand your legal rights and the time limits that may impact your personal injury claim. You can schedule a free initial consultation with the Law Offices of John P. DiBartolo, Jr. to discuss your case.

Do you have questions or want to share your experience from a personal injury lawsuit? Add them to the comments section below.

Category: Personal Injury