While you may already know this, you might nevertheless postpone speaking with an attorney

If you have been injured in a car accident, on-the-job accident, or any other such incident, strongly consider reviewing your case with an attorney as soon as possible. You might be eligible to recover compensation.

While you may already know this, you might nevertheless postpone speaking with an attorney. Don’t make this mistake. Depending on the specific nature of your case, there is a chance you will forfeit your right to secure compensation if you fail to take legal action by a certain deadline established by the statute of limitations. Even if you have an otherwise strong case, if you miss that filing deadline, you may be legally barred from seeking compensation.

What is the Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations varies from one type of case to another. In regards to personal injury cases, the statute of limitations defines how much time a plaintiff has to take legal action against a defendant.

For example, in Massachusetts, someone who was injured because another party was negligent usually has three years from the date of the incident, or the time they became aware of their injury, to file a claim or lawsuit. That said, the timing can become complex when an injury is not immediately apparent.

Perhaps someone is the victim of medical malpractice. Depending on the nature of the illness or injury they sustain, they might not immediately realize they have been harmed as a result of a healthcare provider’s carelessness. For instance, if a doctor were to negligently prescribe a medication that interacts poorly with another medication a patient is already taking, it’s possible they would not notice the effects right away. Although rare, there are potential circumstances when the side effects of a medication are not immediately noticeable.

That doesn’t mean a patient is not eligible to recover compensation if they became aware of the negative side effects resulting from two medications interacting after a period of time. Even if you believe that the statute of limitations has “run out” and you thus no longer have legal justification to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other such losses, you should still meet with a personal injury attorney to review the details of your case. Depending on when you learned of your illness or injuries, you might still be able to secure compensation, despite valid concerns about the statute of limitations expiring.

Depending on when you learned of your illness or injuries, you might still be able to secure compensation even if you have valid concerns about the statute of limitations expiring

What is the Purpose of the Statute of Limitations?

Although the deadline set by the statute of limitations varies from one case to another and from one state to another, in general, the purpose of the statute of limitations is fairly consistent. Setting a deadline by which someone must file a lawsuit or claim establishes a timeline that ensures these matters are dealt with promptly, when evidence and availability of witnesses is most accessible for all parties. This can therefore be beneficial for victims of negligence.

Additionally, it’s important that evidence in these cases be fairly well preserved when it is brought forth. Those who will evaluate the evidence and determine whether it does or does not support a case need solid evidence. On top of that, the ability of attorneys to collect this type of evidence will be limited if a fairly long amount of time has passed between when an act of negligence occurred and when a victim files a claim or lawsuit.

These are just a few reasons the statute of limitations requires plaintiffs in personal injury cases to file their lawsuits by clear deadlines. While the statute of limitations does play an important role in the legal system, a missed deadline may mean that a victim will not recover the compensation they may have a genuine right to collect.

That doesn’t need to happen. Do you believe you may be eligible to recover compensation because you were harmed as a result of someone else’s negligence? If so, schedule a free consultation with Swartz & Swartz by calling our offices at (617) 742-1900 or contacting us online. Even if you believe you may have missed the deadline established by the statute of limitations, an experienced attorney may still be able to help. Because the initial consultation is free of charge, there is no reason not to discuss your options with a professional.

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James Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.



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