If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a car accident, you may be considering filing a personal injury claim to recover damages for your injuries, lost wages, medical bills, and more. So, how long after a car accident do you have to file a personal injury claim? The amount of time that you are allowed under the law to file your lawsuit is known as the Statute of Limitations. The Statute of Limitations on personal injury lawsuits varies state by state. Let’s explore the Statute of Limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Louisiana, and investigate the possible exceptions that may be made.
The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits in Louisiana
In the state of Louisiana, you have one year from the date of your car accident to file a personal injury claim. The Statute of Limitations for personal injury lawsuits is shorter in Louisiana than it is in most other states. If you try to bring a personal injury lawsuit to court more than a year after your accident, the defendant’s lawyer will simply ask the judge to dismiss your case, and they will in almost every case except a few.
Exceptions to Louisiana’s Statute of Limitations
A year is not much time, so it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as you possibly can after an accident. However, in a few specific instances the one year Statute of Limitations in Louisiana does not apply.
The Statute of Limitations does not apply to minors aged under 18 in the state of Louisiana. For injured victims under the age of 18, the Statute of Limitations clock doesn’t begin to run until they turn 18. Once they turn 18, they have one year to file a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if you were hurt in a car accident at the age of 6, you would have roughly 13 years to file a personal injury lawsuit.
2. Defective Products, Drugs, and More
In some cases, like dangerous prescription drugs, defective products, etc, the Statute of Limitations doesn’t begin until the injured victim could have reasonably discovered the causes of their injuries. Whether it be a medication they were using, or a product they used or were exposed too, injured victims in Louisiana are protected from the one year Statute of Limitations if they couldn’t have reasonably known that the medication, product, etc, was injuring them or causing them harm. For example, if you took medication for an ailment, and then four years later found out that the medication you took was dangerous and it caused you harm or injury, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana. The Statute of Limitations in cases like these does not begin until the relevant information, damages, etc are reasonably discoverable by the victim.
Have Recent Tort Reform Bills Affected the Statute of Limitations?
The first version of the tort reform bill, LA SB 418, proposed raising the Statute of Limitations from one year to two years in order to give injured victims and insurance companies more time to reach a fair settlement. However, SB 418 was ultimately vetoed by Governor Edwards, and the bill failed to garner a veto proof majority. LA HB 57 eventually did pass into law. This bill contained a number of similarities to SB 418, but, ultimately, HB 57 did not raise the Statute of Limitations. Under current Louisiana law, the Statute of Limitations in personal injury cases remains at one year.
Baton Rouge Personal Injury Lawyers
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, it is important to seek legal help from a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. In Louisiana, the clock starts ticking the moment your accident occurs. Murphy Law Firm is here to help injured victims navigate the complexities of a personal injury lawsuit. We have over 150 years of combined litigation experience, and we are not afraid to bring a case to trial if that is what it takes to get our clients fair settlement terms. Call us at (225) 928-8800 to get in touch with a personal injury attorney.