The statute of limitations delineates the period within which you must file a lawsuit if you are seeking damages. You are barred from making an injury claim after the statute of limitations expire. Most injury victims know about the statute of limitations and become interested in how long they have to file their suits.
However, the exact period isn't the only thing to be concerned about when it comes to statutes of limitations. Get answers to these four questions for a thorough understanding of your injuries' statutes of limitations:
When Does the Counting Start?
You may have two years to file your claim, but when do you start counting this period? This is important because you may be time barred if you start counting at the wrong time. The general rule is that you should start counting from the day of your injury, but there are exceptions.
For some cases, such as medical malpractice, the counting starts from the day you discovered your injury, or when you should have reasonably discovered you were injured. For example, if a surgeon's negligence causes you harm on the operating table, and you only know about it half a year later during your annual checkup, which is the time to start counting your statute of limitations.
Can It Be Suspended/Tolled?
If events occur that prevent you from pursuing your claim, and the events are out of your control, then the statute of limitations may be suspended until things normalize. For example, if the defendant is temporarily insane, then you may pause your statute of limitations and continue counting after he or she recovers. Confer with your lawyer on the issues your state's courts consider when tolling statute of limitations for your injury.
Can You Get the Court to Waive It?
Tolling statute of limitations isn't the only way you can instigate a case after the original period expires. In rare cases, the court may waive the statute of limitations to allow you continue with the case. In many cases, you may only succeed with the waiver if the opposing party agrees to it. For example, if you want to sue a person because the statute of limitations period is running out, you may negotiate with him or her so that he or she waives the period and you settle the matter out of court. You may include a clause allowing you to sue the opposing party if he or she doesn't respect the agreement even after the original statute of limitations expires.
To learn more, contact a law firm like Weathers Law Firm, LLC.