Filing a claim in time is crucial to protecting your rights after a car collision. Most types of personal injury claims have a deadline in which a plaintiff must file, known as the statute of limitations. If you approach a knowledgeable automobile crash attorney in time, you may avoid the ramifications that come with attempting to file a late claim. The sooner you speak to a lawyer about the Montgomery County car accident statute of limitations, the less likely it will be that your case is dismissed.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
Certain time periods, called the statutes of limitations, are set by the state legislature as to when civil claims may be filed. Different states have different timelines, so it is essential that someone injured seeks a lawyer’s help as soon as possible as to not miss the deadline.
A diligent attorney who understands the time limits that apply to the claimant’s case could navigate through the laws to make sure the plaintiff files in a timely manner. These laws are designed to prevent claims filed many years after an accident where evidence may no longer exist.
What Happens if the Deadline is Missed?
If the plaintiff does not file their claim in time, they lose the right to file completely for that case. If the plaintiff tries to file their claim anyway, it will be subject to a quick dismissal by the trial judge. At times, there are legitimate disputes about when the Montgomery County time limit began to run or when it passed for a vehicle collision. In these cases, a motion hearing may be required to determine whether the case was timely filed. Ultimately, if the court decides the claim was filed late, it will be dismissed.
When to File an Automobile Accident Claim
Motor vehicle crash claims, like most forms of personal injury lawsuits, are subject to a two year filing deadline as codified by 42 Pennsylvania Code § 5524. This two-year period applies to many kinds of claims, including car collisions, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and more.
This time frame typically begins on the date of the incident. If more than two years passed since the date of the crash, the claimant will lose the right to file for compensation. A Montgomery County plaintiff also should not wait to approach a car wreck attorney close to the filing deadline, as cases take time to prepare. Insufficient remaining time may mean the loss of the claim.
Exceptions to the Time Limits in Montgomery County
Certain exceptions may exist to “toll” the Montgomery County statute of limitations for automobile crash claims. This means that the two-year period will not start right away, but at a later time as the result of certain exceptions. These exceptions are rarely applied, but may include:
- Vehicle accidents involving children
- Mentally incapacitated plaintiffs
- Date of death occurs after car crash date
- A defendant purposely avoids service of the claim
While these exceptions exist, they are not commonly applied. That is why it is important to contact an attorney who knows the nuances of these claims as soon as possible.
Contact an Attorney about the Montgomery County Car Accident Statute of Limitations Now
The sooner you speak with a qualified lawyer, the more likely your case may be properly filed. It is imperative you do not wait, as the statute of limitations could rob you of your compensation if you delay.
To avoid issues with the Montgomery County car accident statute of limitations, our office is here to help. Contact us today to learn more.