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Those who are injured in an accident derived from negligence are owed the opportunity to recover compensation. This can be accomplished through a mutual settlement or through a lawsuit. However, plaintiffs are not given an unlimited amount of time to consider this. There is a statute of limitations in effect after a Cicero car accident that all injured parties must be acutely aware of. A dedicated car crash attorney could help keep them abreast of the deadline as well as any exceptions that might apply to their case.

Defining the Statute of Limitations

When a person is injured in a car accident, they have a limited amount of time to bring a claim against the faulty party. If a plaintiff does not decide to settle beforehand, they must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident. Failure to do so will result in a complete bar to recovery. Some statutes of limitations are shorter than two years; for example, the timeline for filing against municipalities can be as short as one year. Due to these exceptions, it is recommended a person speaks with a local lawyer to understand the statute of limitations after their auto collision.

How is the Statute of Limitations Calculated?

The statute of limitations begins running on the day of the accident. It does not matter when the injured person’s first medical treatment was, or when they realized they were injured. In most cases, the date of the accident can be proved in a police report.

If the accident occurred around midnight, the responding officers must be absolutely positive about whether the accident occurred before or after midnight. That will affect when the statute of limitations will expire.

Alternate Limitations for Minors or Those with Disabilities

If a minor or someone with severe disabilities is involved in an accident, the statute of limitations can be extended beyond what the law typically would require. A minor has until they turn 20 years old in order to file a lawsuit or settle their claim that arose from a childhood incident.

Likewise, someone under a legal cognitive disability can also have the statute of limitations extended after a local car accident. However, it is not advisable to assume either of these conditions without first speaking to a knowledgeable lawyer.

What Happens if the Trial Lasts Beyond the Deadline?

The statute of limitations governs only when a case must be settled or a lawsuit must be filed. As long as one of those two conditions is met, the statute of limitations is satisfied. Once a trial commences, the statute of limitations no longer has any bearing. In fact, cases can drag on for years after the statute of limitations expires.

A statute of limitations is a hard deadline. If the plaintiff does not file a lawsuit or settle their case before the deadline, they will be barred from all recovery. If they file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, the defendant will be able to easily dismiss the claim.

Learn About the Statutes of Limitations in Car Accidents from a Cicero Attorney

The statute of limitations is a strict deadline, with few exceptions. A personal injury attorney could protect a plaintiff’s interests and ensure that they comply with any applicable statute of limitations after their car accident in Cicero. A layperson should not make assumptions regarding the deadline because one mistake could bar them from ever recovering damages. Call now to discuss the specifics of your case and determine when your deadline to file suit will be.