Most people understand that the statute of limitations can make it impossible to file a personal injury claim if they've waited too long. What many people don't know, however, it that there are a few exceptions to the statue of limitations, and if your claim falls into one of those categories, you may have extra time added on to the usual one to six years that most states set. Read on to learn more about these situations that could give you an extended chance to get compensated for a harm done.
Discovery of Harm
In some situations, the full extent of any harm done is not known until later, sometimes years later. Exposure to toxic substances and repetitive stress injuries are good examples of injuries that may not become apparent until later, after most statutes of limitations have expired. Since certain injuries take longer to manifest, the law makes an exception for those types of injuries. One well-known example of this type of injury is the harm done by the toxic substance asbestos. The lung-related diseases caused by exposure to asbestos may take years and years to become apparent, but you still have time to file a personal injury case if you do so soon after you learn of the disease.
The key concept to understand, however, is the word "discovery." The time that you discovered your injury, or when you should have discovered the injury, is considered the date at which the statute of limitations clock begins to tick. The time at which you should have known that you were suffering from a covered disorder corresponds to the time at which a reasonable person would have sought medical care for that disorder and would have been thus informed of the disease and its likely connection to the initial exposure. In other words, the exception doesn't mean you have an unlimited amount of time to file a claim, just more time to discover the harm and then file the claim.
Incapacitated and Minors
For those who are incapacitated, the statue of limitations clock pauses while the person recovers completely. Legally speaking, the term "incapacitated" covers everything from being in a coma to being addicted to drugs. Once a medical professional has declared you of sound mind, the statute of limitations period begins.
Minors are exempted from the statute of limitations until they reach the age of majority, which can vary by state. Parents or legal guardians may file on behalf of minors at any time during the "tolling" of the statute, but failure to do so does not eliminate the ability to file suit once the child reaches majority.
Contact a personal injury lawyer from a law office like Schlicter & Schonack LLP to see if there's still have time to file suit for harm done to you or a loved one.Share
30 August 2016
When I started my first small business, I had no idea how much I really didn’t know. I was fully prepared to deal with customers, sell product and even handle complaints and returns. What I wasn’t aware of was that there is so much more to it. I was lacking the legal expertise to protect the company and myself. I wanted others to benefit from my experience, mistakes and lessons learned, so I started this blog. From employment law to the legal business contracts you’ll have to sign when you form partnerships, business law is complex. I hope that the information here will help you to be better prepared when you start your business so that you’ll know when you need to call an attorney and when you can handle things yourself.