How Long Do You have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Kentucky?
Every state sets deadlines for filing personal injury claims. This deadline is known in the legal field as the “statute of limitations.” In Kentucky, the deadline by which you must file your personal injury lawsuit depends on the manner in which you were injured. If you were injured in a car crash, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in court. For all other personal injury claims, you generally have only one year from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. Most of the time, one has to file their claim in court before the end of the statute of limitations or they will not be able to receive compensation for his or her injuries. Therefore, if you have been injured through the fault of another, it is critically important that you contact a Kentucky personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to protect your right to receive compensation. This is especially true because, in order to provide good legal representation, your personal injury attorney will need time to investigate your claims.
What does my lawyer need to do before they can file my lawsuit?
Before a Kentucky personal injury lawyer files a lawsuit, he or she must first investigate your potential legal claims by collecting medical records, obtaining accident reports, and locating other evidence. This process takes time. For example, it usually takes thirty days for an attorney to receive medical records once they are requested. Once the personal injury lawyer has completed the initial investigation, he or she will be able to advise you on the strengths and weaknesses of your claims and the best manner to proceed going forward. In some cases, your Kentucky personal injury attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement for you without having to file a lawsuit in court.
It is important to note that a lawyer’s investigation into your potential legal claims does not stop the statute of limitations—the case still has to be filed within 2 years of the car crash or within 1 year for most other types of personal injury. Therefore, you must contact a Kentucky personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your injury to allow your attorney enough time to investigate your potential claims.
Are there any exceptions to the statute of limitations?
Most of the time, injured people have to file their claims in court before the end of the statute of limitations or they will not be able to receive compensation for their injuries; however, in Kentucky there are a few instances in which the statute of limitations may be lengthened:
Minors: In general, if you were injured through the fault of another before you turned 18 years old, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until you turn 18 years old. However, there are exceptions to this rule, so minors or their parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to reach out to a Kentucky personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the injury to ensure their right to sue.
Disabled: Likewise, if were injured while you were mentally incompetent, then the statute of limitations may not begin to run until you are determined to be mentally fit to bring your lawsuit. Due to the complexity of issues regarding mental incapacity/ disability, however, it is still important to meet with a Kentucky personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the injury.
Discovery Rule: In most situations, the statute of limitations does not start to run until one knows or should have known 1) that he or she has been injured and 2) that the injury may have been caused by defendant’s conduct. This is known as the “discovery rule,” which can come into play in products liability and medical malpractice cases. For example, Sue had surgery in December 2016. In July 2019, Sue discovery that the surgeon negligently left a surgical instrument inside of her. Since Sue did not learn that the surgeon left a surgical instrument inside of her until July 2019, her statute of limitations did not start to run until July 2019. Therefore, Sue has one year from July 2019 to file her personal injury lawsuit.
Takeaway: Contact a Kentucky Personal Injury Attorney as Soon as Possible
As you can see, calculating the exact deadline before which a case must be filed can be complicated. Therefore, the best thing that you can do to protect your right to be compensated is to contact a Kentucky personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury.
Burg Simpson’s Kentucky personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping seriously injured people seek compensation for harm caused by the fault or negligence of another. Our seasoned trial lawyers have represented clients in Kentucky and across the nation, helping them to obtain the compensation they need to rebuild their lives. We have the experience and resources to navigate the many issues that surround personal injury claims, including accident investigation, insurance claims, settlement negotiations, and litigating in court against persons and companies who won’t take responsibility. If you or a loved one have been injured, fill out our Free Case Evaluation form or call 513-852-5600 to speak with our Kentucky personal injury lawyers in Cincinnati, OH today!