If you suffered injuries in a car accident caused by another driver, you should understand the basic laws that govern your case, so you can protect your legal rights. These include the types of compensation you are entitled to, what you need to prove the other driver’s negligence, and how your own partial fault in causing the wreck could impact your case. Another crucial law to know is the statute of limitations.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Civil Lawsuit After a Car Crash
The statute of limitations is the deadline you have to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver. In Rhode Island, the rules are:
- A personal injury lawsuit must be filed within three years of the date of the accident.
- If a victim died as a result of the wreck, a wrongful death action must be filed within three years of the person’s death.
Failing to comply with the statute of limitations deadline can have harsh consequences for your claim. You will be most likely barred from pursuing your lawsuit, and your complaint would be dismissed by the judge.
Don’t Wait to Retain an Experienced Rhode Island Car Crash Attorney
Even though you have three years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit, it would be a mistake to wait before contacting an experienced car accident attorney. Ideally, you should retain an attorney as soon as possible after your collision. This will allow him to obtain evidence that may be lost if you wait too long, including third-party witness statements and surveillance video that may have recorded your crash. In addition, he can handle all your communications with the insurance adjuster and help you avoid common mistakes that victims often make when they delay hiring a lawyer.