Every state has a law that governs the amount of time someone has to consider a civil lawsuit for personal injury and other situations. This law is called the statute of limitations, and it varies by state. The federal government also has deadlines for these types of cases, but it is generally governed by the state.

In most states, the statute of limitations will be the same for personal injury and property damage, though it does differ in some states. For example, in Arizona, the statute of limitations is two years for both personal injury and property damage. If you sustained injuries and property damage during the same event, you would have the same amount of time to bring a case against the responsible party. In Nevada, however, the statute of limitations for personal injury is also two years, but for property damage, it is three years.

Pay Attention to the Deadline

Regardless of what the statute of limitations is for your state, it’s essential that you pay attention to it. If you don’t file your case before the statute of limitations runs out, you could lose your right to compensation. In most situations, the statute begins ticking on the day your injury occurred or on the day you realized you were injured.

Be sure you haven’t confused the statute of limitations in your state with the statute in a neighboring state. For example, if you live in Kentucky, you only have one year to file a lawsuit for personal injury. If you don’t pay attention and confuse the statute with that of Missouri, which is five years, you could forfeit the chance to obtain compensation.

Don’t Be Confused by Insurance Claims

Insurance claims are different from lawsuits. The statute of limitations in your state applies to lawsuits, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to wait until your insurance claims process has been completed. If you are in a situation in which you can file an insurance claim, you’ll want to get on it right away so if it breaks down, you will have plenty of time to file that lawsuit.

Learn About Exceptions

There are special circumstances that can be considered exceptions to the statute of limitations, as the lawyers at Cohen & Cohen explain. A judge would typically decide whether your case applies, but some common exceptions are when the injured is a minor, the defendant leaves the state and the injured becomes mentally incapacitated.

Contact a Lawyer

After being injured, you only have a certain period of time for which you can file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Contact a personal injury lawyer today to learn more.