Brain Injury Law
Brain Injury: Statute of Limitations
There are many different types of injuries that a person may sustain in a car accident, including a concussion, brain bleeding or bruising. This can result in emotional and mental problems for the rest of their life. Others may sustain a hypoxic brain injury, which occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen.
While an injured victim may be entitled to compensation for injuries, a statute of limitations will apply. Car accident head injury cases that are filed after a state's statute of limitations may be barred by the court.
Statute of Limitations and Tolling Statutes
A statute of limitations is the period of time by which the law dictates a case must be filed. Each state has its own statute of limitations for personal injury case. Some states, including California, allow legal action to be taken for up to two years after an accident.
Note that there may be situations in which the statute of limitations may be tolled, or paused. Tolling simply means that the clock stops for the purposes of filing a motion or claim after a car accident or after any other accident.
In New York, there are many reasons why the statute of limitations may be tolled. For instance, a person who is mentally unfit to file a claim may have the statute of limitations tolled until he or she is mentally capable of filing a lawsuit. A person who is a minor at the time a claim arises generally has three years after reaching the age of majority or being emancipated to file a lawsuit.
In the state of Virginia, if a person is incapacitated, the statute of limitations will be tolled or suspended. This may be helpful to an injured victim as he or she could be in a coma for several months or years after an accident. It may also be possible that an injured victim will have trouble speaking or communicating after sustaining a head injury. This may make it difficult for that person to pursue legal action in a timely manner.
Statute of Repose
A statute of repose is similar to a statute of limitations in that it may shield a liable party from paying damages in a car accident case. For instance, in the state of Florida, vehicle manufacturers are not liable for damages if it has been 12 years or longer since a car or truck was delivered to its first buyer or lessee.
Florida law also holds manufacturers harmless if a product has surpassed its useful life. In the state of Illinois, the period of repose may extend beyond 12 years if the product came with a warranty or other guarantee that it would work properly for a longer period of time. This may apply in accidents where someone contends that poor brakes or other defective components within his or her vehicle caused the crash to happen.
Notice Claims When Suing Government/Quasi-Judicial Groups
If a personal injury claim is being made against a state or local government agency, it is generally necessary to file a notice of claim. In the state of New York, such a claim must be filed within 90 days of the event that caused the injury. In Florida, an individual has three years to file a claim against the state, but a lawsuit must not be filed until a 180-day investigation period is over.
People who have been injured in a car accident may wish to speak to an attorney about preserving their rights. An injury lawyer may be able to tell a person more about how statutes of limitation and repose work as well as how a disability or being incapacitated could impact those rights. It is possible for a car accident brain injury case to be resolved either in court or through a negotiated settlement.