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Time Limits On Lawsuits

Whether it’s a car accident, workplace injury, or some other tragedy, bad things happen to good people every day, leaving them hurting, out of work and struggling to pay the bills. Quite often, the victims of these unfortunate events may have a valid legal claim against the person or company that caused their injury, and the financial reward of a successful lawsuit would make all the difference in their struggle to overcome physical, emotional, and financial setbacks.

What many people do not know, however, is that the right to bring a lawsuit is not a right that lasts forever. In fact, the federal judicial system as well as every individual state has a set of laws called “Statutes of Limitations” (SOL). These laws place limits on the length of time that can pass between an incident and when a person files a lawsuit. If they wait too long, the court is likely to dismiss their case almost immediately simply because they have violated the SOL.

The reason for these limits is that over time people’s memories fade, witnesses move on and evidence is lost or disappears. Consequently, the ability to prove your side of a case dwindles. Courts are supposed to administer justice — and it becomes harder to do so as more time passes. Think of it this way: if our system did not have statutes of limitations, you might get sued for a car accident you were involved in 30 years ago. Would you be able to remember the details, locate witnesses, or produce evidence?

The other important thing to note is that different types of claims carry different Statues of Limitations, and the SOL of a particular claim may also vary from state to state. That’s why it’s important for you to contact an attorney and have them evaluate your potential case as soon as possible after an incident.

In fact, we recommend you contact an attorney immediately after an event so that they have the opportunity to investigate the scene and gather facts and evidence before the person or company at fault has an opportunity to obscure or destroy potential evidence. The insurance company and/or attorneys of the other party will likely be doing the same, and it is important that you also have someone protecting your best interests and that of your case.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you’ve been injured, contact the attorneys at Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones so we can help you navigate these trying times.

For additional information, please call us at 254-633-2813 (Waco area) or call 409-753-0000 (Beaumont area).