It is very easy to lose your right to compensation for a serious injury inflicted upon you by a negligent driver. State law in Ohio limits you to two years from the date of your car accident to file a lawsuit against anyone who might have caused the accident. This is known as the statute of limitations.
Two years might seem like a long time within which to file a lawsuit, but delays may occur for any number of reasons. An auto accident victim might not immediately realize the extent of the injuries suffered in the accident and might delay seeking legal advice.
Different statutes of limitations exist for the various types of civil causes of action that exist. As a result of the expiration of the statute of limitations, an individual being sued may ask the court in which the case is pending to dismiss the lawsuit. Dismissal of a lawsuit seeking damages for a brain injury or other serious injury caused by a car accident would probably mean the injured party would not be compensated for things such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Rehabilitation expenses
Delays might also occur if catastrophic injuries suffered in a car collision make it impossible for the victim to seek legal assistance in filing claim against a distracted driver or drunk driver. The two-year statute of limitations would probably continue to run while the victim was recovering.
There are situations, such as the fact that a car crash victim is a minor or has been declared by a court to be of unsound mind, during which the ticking clock that is the statute of limitations temporarily stops. The complexities of lawsuits and the time limits within which to file them make it essential that a Columbus, Ohio, personal injury attorney be contacted immediately after a car accident.