How Long Do I Have To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one have been injured and believe that you might have a personal injury claim, you’ll need to pay attention to the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a state law that sets strict time limits on filing a personal injury lawsuit in court, based on the type of crime involved.

Each state has specific deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. In a personal injury case, the statute of limitations usually begins running on the day that the you were injured.

The statute of limitations is a very strict deadline, and if you don’t file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim until after the statute of limitation expires, your lawsuit will almost certainly be dismissed. There are a few exceptions that a statute of limitations could be extended, but they are used in very limited circumstances and shouldn’t be counted applying in your case.

 

In Louisiana, the statute of limitations is set for the following types of claims:

Contract (oral or in writing) 10 years LA Civil Code Article 3499
False Imprisonment 2 years LA Civil Code Article 3493.10
Assault and Battery 2 years LA Civil Code Article 3493.10
Fraud or Theft 1 year LA Civil Code Article 3492
Libel or Slander 1 year LA Civil Code Article 3492
Medical or Legal Malpractice 1 year LA Civil Code Article 3492
Personal Injury 1 year LA Civil Code Article 3492
Product Liability 1 year LA Civil Code Article 3492
Property Damage 1 year LA Civil Code Article 3492
Trespassing 1 year LA Civil Code Article 3492
Wrongful Death 1 year LA Civil Code Article 3492

 

Why Do Statute of Limitations Exist?

State legislators determine the time limits for various civil claims and crimes. These limits are representative of the public interest and function to serve both the public’s safety as well as the individuals facing charges within the state’s criminal justice system. Statutes of limitations function to ensure convictions are timely, and that those convictions only occur when the evidence does not depreciate over time.

A statute of limitation requires a criminal to remain in the same state where the crime was committed, and that he or she remain publicly visible, or gainfully employed, so that law enforcement has the ability to pursue a public investigation at any time. This helps to ensure a fair and speedy trial is afforded to the defendant, while giving the plaintiff enough time to collect the necessary evidence to prove their claim.

How Do I File A Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If you are planning to file a personal injury lawsuit against an individual or another entity that is not the government or a government agency, then there is no set time limit in which you have to notify that person of your intention to file a lawsuit. However, this does not mean that you should take your time with this important matter. By acting quickly and efficiently, you will probably increase your chances of resolving your claim faster and more successfully than if you choose to delay.

It is good to keep in mind that even though you notify people of your intent to file a lawsuit, this does not mean that you must file a lawsuit thereafter. By giving notice, you only preserve your rights to do so, while preventing the other parties from defending against a lawsuit in arguing that you waited too long to inform them of your injuries. By notifying the other parties, you are simply ensuring that you will be able to proceed with negotiations regarding settlement and arbitration at your own pace, without feeling rushed or missing the statute of limitations deadline.

What If I Am Filing A Claim Against The Government?

Unlike filing a claim against an individual or a company, if you do need to file a claim against the government or a government agency or employee, you will have a limited amount of time in which you must file a personal injury claim. Depending upon your type of case, this time period usually ranges between 30 days and one year, which can often be shorter under these circumstances than if the lawsuit was filed against an individual or a company. If you do not abide by these timelines, you may unfortunately lose your right to recover any sort of compensation for your injuries or property damage.

Get Help From An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

No one-size-fits-all answer exists. Injuries cost money, including medical bills and time away from work, which is why it makes sense to have an attorney help you with your claim. If you are not quite sure if you need professional legal help after an injury, you should still consult an experienced personal injury lawyer at Gordon & Gordon about your claim at no cost. Then, if you decide you have a claim you want to pursue, you can take that next step with confidence.