How long can I wait before filing an auto accident lawsuit?
Many of us have heard the phrase “time is of the essence.” That is true for many areas of life, but if you have been hurt in a car accident on a Louisiana road, that phrase is even more applicable for your current situation. If you want to file a civil lawsuit against the other party to win compensation for your injuries, you cannot wait for very long before filing in court.
The reason hesitating to file a suit can be harmful is because Louisiana law has put a ticking clock on when you can file for compensation. Findlaw points out that Louisiana’s Civil Code 3492 places a statute of limitations of one year following an automobile accident. Any attempt to file a suit after that period will likely be dismissed by a Louisiana court.
Louisiana’s short window of time to file a civil suit after an auto accident may come as a surprise to both residents and visitors alike, as many other states have longer statutes of limitations. This is why it is important to consult early with qualified legal counsel on the merits of a possible suit before the one year period expires. In the process, you want to gather information on the accident and your injuries as early as you can.
Making sure you file in a timely manner also helps prevent the insurer of the other party from trying to lowball your compensation. If you feel an initial settlement offer is inadequate, you want to know it before the one year window has passed. Be aware that the other side likely knows about the one year statute of limitations and may try to stagger the settlement talks past the point when you can file a suit.
Please note that this article is not giving you any legal advice. It is written to inform readers on Louisiana’s laws concerning compensation for automobile accidents.