One of the main reasons to consult with a personal injury lawyer early in the claims process is to ensure you'll stay ahead of the statute of limitations. A statutory limit exists in every state regarding how long you have to officially start a claim. If you fail to file the claim in time, the insurance company or the defendant has the right to reject it without further review. Likewise, they can ask a judge to dismiss any lawsuit you might bring on the same basis.
It is critical to understand what the statute of limitations is and how it might affect your case. Let's look at three notable issues involving statutory limits.
Most states' statutes of limitations require filers to submit their claims officially to the defense or their insurer within a few years of an accident. There are some exceptions, though. Many states have longer limits for certain types of chemical or radiological exposure claims, and this is also the case in some states with repetitive stress claims. Abuse cases also frequently have no limits or very long ones. Some states also have shortened statutory limits when state agencies or employees are the defendants.
Regardless of whether you think one limit or another might apply to your case, it's wise to ask a personal injury lawyer who's licensed to practice in your state. They can review your proposed claim and tell you whether they believe it fits into one timeframe or another.
The statute of limitations has no influence on how much compensation you might receive. As long as you file your claim in time, you have every right to seek all the compensation you believe you deserve.
Efficient Use of the Period
Most injury cases aren't perfectly clear the first day after an accident. For example, someone might have significant swelling in the affected part of their body. This can prevent doctors from getting a good view of fractures and other forms of damage when they do X-rays and similar scans. Consequently, it could take months before your body recovers enough for a doctor to get a full picture of what's going on.
Similarly, a personal injury lawyer will want to know that a client is going to get all the money possible to cover long-term care expenses. Until you've been through rehab and seen how your body is performing, it may be difficult to nail down exact numbers for these costs. You and your attorney must make efficient use of the time, though, to file before the statutory limit hits.
For more information, contact a local personal injury lawyer.