Impact of the Statute of Limitations on a Lakewood Auto Crash Case
When filing a case for damages, claimants should keep in mind that there is a deadline to file a claim for auto crashes in Lakewood. If a claim is not filed before the deadline, a victim’s chances of obtaining the damages they are entitled to may drastically increase.
To learn more about the impact of the statute of limitations, be sure to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney today.
Applying the Statute of Limitations to a Minor or Someone with Disability
The statute of limitations differs for a minor or someone with disability. It may be in certain circumstances that a minor does not have to bring their claim until they have reached the age of majority, which is age 18. Their statute of limitations may be suspended for a longer period of time, because minors or incapacitated people may not have the wherewithal to know that they have a statute of limitations. There is a law for minors and incompetent or incapacitated people, which is not the case for adults without incapacity.
Trials Extending Past the Statute of Limitations
If the trial goes beyond the statute of limitations, as long as the lawsuit is filed in the competent jurisdiction and all the appropriate defendants are named, the statute of limitations is tolled or suspended. That means that the trial could go on after the three-year anniversary date of the statute of limitations if the appropriate steps are taken.
Impact on Recoverable Damages
This could impact any damages the injured party may receive. It is a judgment call on the part of the injured party-client and the attorney in determining whether they would receive a higher settlement or a higher jury award. Attorneys utilize various tools at their disposal to make an educated estimate as to whether an appropriate offer is being made to settle the case in contrast with proceeding to litigation.
In litigation, the attorney and their injured party-client would have to factor in litigation costs, which could be expensive and which would have to come out of the settlement. The issue could be extremely complicated. Only an attorney who has had a great deal of experience with auto accidents could counsel an injured party-client appropriately to help with the determination as to whether the claim should be settled or litigation should be pursued.
Exceptions of Bypassing the Statute of Limitations
Special allowances are made for a trial that extend beyond the statute of limitations. The important point is that a complaint needs to be made prior to the three-year statute of limitations if the attorney is unable to settle the claim. If a valid complaint is made naming the appropriate party prior to the three-year statute of limitations, the statute of limitations is suspended and parties are allowed to proceed through litigation. It may be that the parties settle the case pending litigation, but as long as a complaint has been filed, the three-year deadline is lifted until and including the court date when litigation proceeds.
Importance of Retaining Legal Assistance
It is important that someone retain the services of an experienced Lakewood car accident counsel when dealing with the statute of limitations, because clients do not want to lose the ability to pursue their claim and they generally do not know what to do until the statute of limitations is reached.
Statements of the claimant to insurance company representatives are another concern, and an injured party inexperienced with how insurance claims function would almost certainly diminish the value of their claim in one way or another. They may even possibly lose the ability to proceed with their claim unless they obtain an experienced attorney who has experience with obtaining medical treatments. Assisting clients with recorded statements, monitoring medical treatment, and the cost-benefit of settling versus going to litigation are just a few of those that an experienced attorney could assist an injured party with during the pendency of their claim.