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Don't Be In The Dark About Our Legal System

Hello, I'm Karla Mitchell. Going through a legal case can be very expensive and challenging. I won't go into details, but I recently underwent my own legal battle that lasted several years. It is finally over and I successfully received a settlement, but I had to spend so much time studying law in order to play my role in my own court case. While I found a great attorney at one point, I felt completely lost initially and I don't want anyone else to experience the same thing. So I decided to create this blog for those who would like to know more about law.


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Don't Be In The Dark About Our Legal System

Getting More Time: 3 Ways To Extend The Statute Of Limitations On Personal Injury Cases

by Andrew Martin

Even if you have a sound and strong case with sufficient evidence, your case can still be thrown out of court if you failed to comply with your state's statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a specific deadline established for filing lawsuits, and varies by state. In Alabama, the statute of limitations for injuries is 2 years whereas the statute of limitations for the same type of case in Maine is 6 years. This means you must file a lawsuit within the deadline starting from the date the accident happened. If the clock is running out of time, here are 3 ways you can get an extension.

Leave the State Where the Injury Was Committed

The statute of limitations will stop running in most states if you leave the state the injury was committed in. For example, if the statute of limitations in your state for a personal injury claim is 2 years, but you left the state a year after the injury was committed and did not return for another 3 years, you would still have a year left to file a claim based on the statute of limitations. This is because you were only in the state the injury was committed for one year out of the allotted two.

Proving you left the state where the injury was committed in can be difficult. You'll need legal assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney to request for an extension. Don't count on this method without getting legal advice first.

Make a Claim for the 'Discovery Rule'

At times, you may not be aware that an injury has happened or of the harm. This is where the 'discovery rule' comes into play. The discovery rule is able to extend the statute of limitations if you can prove you did not have any knowledge you were injured or were not aware of the cause of the harm.

If you are relying on the discovery rule, your personal injury attorney must be able to specify the exact time and date of which you were notified of the cause of the harm or of the injury. For example, many of victims exposed to asbestos were not aware of the danger they were in until many years later when their doctors notified them.  In their situation, the statute of limitations would arguably begin from the day they were notified by their doctors.

File a Claim That You Were a Minor, Mentally Unstable or Ill, or Disabled

There are many other exceptions that can be made based on unique circumstances. If you were unable to file a lawsuit because you were mentally unstable or ill at the time or you were in a coma and unresponsive, a personal injury attorney can easily argue that the statute of limitations should be extended. These cases are a lot more unique, as an experienced personal injury attorney will need to present a reasonable claim to a judge and hope the judge rules in your favor.

In these situations, the statute of limitations would begin after the judge's ruling. In addition, the statute of limitations may not begin for minors until they reach the age of majority. Once again, you should voice these concerns with an experienced personal injury attorney before deciding what to do next.


The type of personal injury claim you are filing may also affect the length of the statute of limitations applicable in your state. If you believe you have been harmed due to the negligence of another party, make sure you speak with an attorney as soon as possible to better understand whether there are any deadlines to when you would need to file a case.