When you’re injured in a car accident, filing a lawsuit is probably not the first thing on your mind. Car accidents can be emotionally traumatic as well as physically damaging, and you’ll likely devote much of your time to your recovery. However, the inevitable medical and mental health bills are a sobering reminder that car accidents are expensive as well as painful. Even if you have great insurance, you shouldn’t be left to suffer the consequences alone. That’s why it’s important to file a personal injury claim as soon as possible.
How Late is Too Late?
Ohio’s civil courts have a strict personal injury statute of limitations—that is, the amount of time you have to file a claim against a person. Ohio Revised Code section 2305.10 gives a plaintiff two years from the date of the accident to file suit—that is, file the complaint and other required documents with the court.
If you miss the filing deadline, the court can and will likely refuse to hear the case. You won’t be able to recover damages from the person or people who caused the accident, which can leave you with significant medical bills, lost wages and other damages, and no way to recover them.
Don’t wait until the last minute to contact an attorney, either. There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to find someone who is available to help before the statute of limitations runs out. Call an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you are able, or enlist a loved one to help.
Are There Any Exceptions?
Not every case is cut and dried, however—sometimes it’s not possible to file suit right away. For example, minors and people with legal disabilities that deem them to be of unsound mind are considered unable to file suit. In that case, the statute of limitations clock doesn’t start ticking until the legal disability is no longer an issue. A minor’s statute of limitations time period begins when they turn 18. If a legal disability is involved, the statute of limitations period starts when they’re deemed competent or sane.
If the person who caused the accident disappears or leaves the state, this can also delay the statute of limitations clock until they return or can be located. This isn’t a guarantee, so talk to your lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
Call My Office for Help with Your Personal Injury claim
I have years of experience representing injury victims in Ohio in a wide range of personal injury cases. I know that, for many injury victims, it can seem difficult to know if you really have a valid claim or whether your case is worth enough money to file a lawsuit. When you get in touch with a personal injury lawyer, you can learn more about the merits of your case. I can assess your case and can help you to determine the options you have for seeking financial compensation. If another person or party is responsible for your injuries, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Do not hesitate to get in touch with me at 877.944.4373 so that I can evaluate your case as soon as possible.