Can I file a lawsuit on a car accident that happened a year ago? 69 Answers as of June 07, 2013

I was in a car wreck about a year ago. I went to the ER after the wreck and they told me I had whiplash. A couple of months ago I was having severe pain. I went back and a MRI was done. Now they are talking surgery. Have I waited to long to file a law suit?

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Lombardi Law Firm
Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
Yes, one year is fine. The challenge in such a suit will be proving the injuries you received in the car accident are related to your current need for surgery. Such proof will require a doctor's opinion.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 10/24/2011
David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
No, there is still time.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 6/3/2013
Adler Law Group, LLC
Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
Yes you can still file a law suit. You have a two year Statute of Limitations for most negligence actions in Connecticut. You may contact our firm or other personal injury specialist law firms to file the suit for you and explain all of your rights and options. Most law firms work on a Contingency fee basis and will get paid at the end of the case out of the proceeds.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 10/20/2011
Harris Personal Injury Lawyer
Harris Personal Injury Lawyer | Philip C. Alexander
The answer to your question depends on who the negligent party is. Typically the statute of limitations in California for personal injuries relating to an automobile accident is two years. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, the statute of limitations is much shorter if the negligent party was a government entity. You should immediately consult with an attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case. You are not required to get an attorney. However, if you truly are a surgical candidate, an insurance company will never provide you just compensation if you attempt to negotiate on your own. The majority of firms, like ours, will offer you a complimentary consultation to discuss your case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/20/2011
Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
You can probably still file a claim. Most states allow at least 2 years for the filing of a lawsuit. Virginia personal injury law has a 2 year statute of limitations. Some states allow even longer periods. The problem you will face is relating the later problems and care to the car accident. Did you tell your doctor that it was the same problem? Has the doctor related the car accident to your present pain problem. The answers to these questions will determine your recovery.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 10/20/2011
    Law Offices of Bodey & Bodey, PLLC
    Law Offices of Bodey & Bodey, PLLC | Michael Bodey
    In 1989, the Washington State Supreme Court held that a 6 year contract-based statute of limitation applies to UIM claims, rather than a 3 year tort based statute of limitations. Thus, a three-year statute of limitation applies to claims filed to recover damages for personal injuries received in a motor vehicle accident. This may be found under RCW 4.16.080 (2). However, this may not be your situation. The six-year statute of limitations may apply if the person who hit you did not have insurance or is simply underinsured, and you have a policy which contains underinsured motorist protection. This would allow for a six-year statute of limitations. However, an insured must not confuse his or her UIM entitlement with any right that the insured may also have against their own insurance Co. as a third-party claimant. So let us say, for example, if an insured driver is injured while riding as a passenger in his or her own vehicle, and the collision was the fault of an uninsured or underinsured driver of the insured's vehicle, the three-year tort statute of limitations found under RCW 4.16.080 (2) will apply to the insured's third-party claim against his or her insurer. This is so because the person's status as a named insured does not change the applicable statute of limitations when that person files a third-party claim against his or her own insurer. In addition, one must bear in mind that, if you find yourself in a UIM situation, a close review of your policy may reveal that you are unable to file a lawsuit. Rather, there may be other hoops set up by your insurance company that you must jump through, prior to the filing in court. What you need to remember is if these hoops have not been jumped through by you, as you promised you would do when you purchased policy, then the insurance company can force you to do so and courts are helpless in this matter. Bottom line, a close review of your policy, is warranted in all cases. Washington State's legal system has time limits on which one may make a claim. There are many reasons for these temporal elements. For example, over time, evidence may be corrupted, disappear, witnesses memories fade, scenes for which collisions occurred change, and entities dispose of critical records. The best time to bring a lawsuit is while the aforementioned is not lost or corrupted and as close as possible to the alleged negligent behavior. Thus, it has been my experience as an ex-claims insurance adjuster working with defense counsel on litigation files, and now as a plaintiff's attorney; that insurance companies like to drag out the litigation process in order to advance their profit margins and causes because they know that overtime evidence may be corrupted, disappear, memories fade, scenes for which collisions occurred change and entities dispose of critical records which would allow the plaintiff to prove their case. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the injured party to swiftly bring about changes so that the process may begin and fully executed. Generally speaking, these limitations, or for the lack of a better term, time periods begin when a cause of action is deemed to have arisen, and in some situations when a plaintiff had reason to know of the harm or should have known of the harm rather than at the time of the original event. This distinction is important in cases in which an event which occurred earlier on has delayed ramifications. For example, if you felt as though you were not injured in the initial motor vehicle collision, however, later it is discovered that due to the motor vehicle collision you did sustain injury with delayed symptoms years later. Generally, you will see situations like this occur in medical malpractice cases where a surgeon leaves a sponge in someone and it is discovered years later or in a motor vehicle collision where there is an accelerated degenerative spinal process due to the motor vehicle collision. The fact that the motor vehicle collision occurred one year prior to you posting this question seems to suggest that you are squarely within, RCW 4.16.080 (2). However, the problems that may arise contained within your claims may be complex in nature. It is foreseeable that, your insurance company (in the case of a UIM situation), or the tortfeasor insurance company, is highly likely to argue that your injuries are not related to the motor vehicle collision which occurred a year ago. They are also likely to argue that another event, or superseding cause, is what your claims are related to. Without a proper review of your situation, consisting of a proper investigation, it is very difficult to say how successful you will be without representation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    No. You have two years in NJ.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Statute of limitations is two years. If medical personnel can link the present need to the accident, you may actually have multiple claims or potentially multiple defendants. You should see an attorney that handles PI and also medical mal. The latter is really a speciality of its own.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Law Office of Garrett S. Handy
    Law Office of Garrett S. Handy | Garrett S. Handy
    You have not waited too long to file a lawsuit. Generally the statute of limitations is four years; however, there can be circumstances where the time frame is much shorter. For example, if a governmental entity was involved, you only have one year to file a Notice of Claim, which is required in order to later file a lawsuit. The bigger issue here may be the delay in treatment between the ER visit and the MRI. Y
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A.
    Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A. | Orman Kimbrough, Esq.
    In Florida, you normally have longer than one year to file a personal injury suit involving an auto collision. You should consult a personal injury attorney in your community who can advise you on what steps you should take to protect your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    In Indiana, the statute of limitation for most personal injury claims is two years. It appears that you still can file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your medical and other expenses caused by the accident. You should retain a plaintiff's personal injury or accident attorney for specific legal advice and direction.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Law Office of Neil M. Kerstein
    Law Office of Neil M. Kerstein | Neil M. Kerstein
    Yes, you can sue the responsible parties for an auto accident that happened a year ago. The statute of limitations for suing is three (3) years in Massachusetts. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    In Virginia you have two (2) years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    If the accident occurred in New York State, you have three years to bring a lawsuit from the date of the accident. However if you are claiming medical bills they would be included under no fault, which would be the insurance of the host vehicle. (the car you are in when the accident occurred). Said filing time is 30 days from the day of the accident.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    In Alabama you have two years from the date of the incident to file suit.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    Yes, you still have time. Typically, the statute of limitations in NY is 3 years from the date of your crash. If your crash involves a municipality, you have 1 year and 90 days. If you are an infant (under 18), the statute does not begin to run until you turn 18 and is added to that time. Bottom line, it sounds like you have time but, I wouldn't wait anymore. Go see an attorney right now.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You have 3 years from date of injury to file suit. your problem will be to establish that the accident caused your injury. You went months without care and the doctors may not be willing to make the connection between the wrec k and your present condition. For all anybody knows you fell out of your own back door and caused this problem. If a doctor backs you up you should be OK. But I can tell you the lag time between accident and claim of injury is held suspect by all insurance companies.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    It is certainly your right to file a claim if you desire. The problem you will face here is the huge 10 month gap between your initial treatment and your treatment recently. As a plaintiff, it is your burden to show that the severe pain you are in now is related to your accident of a year ago. I would expect the insurance company to deny your claim and suggest that you did something during that 10 months to cause the pain. With no formal complaint of pain during that gap, you face an uphill battle proving your case. The first step is to see if your treating doctor is willing to say that your current pain and treatment is causally related to the original accident. Start there. You have up to 3 years in Massachusetts to file a lawsuit in court, so you do have time.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    It depends what state you had the accident in. Every state has a different statute of limitation.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    No, you have not. In Florida, the statute of limitations is four (4) years from the date of the accident. I think you would be well served by hiring a good personal injury lawyer; most usually work on a contingent fee basis and you would not have to pay the lawyer unless they obtain a recovery for you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    No, you have not waited too long. The statute of limitations is three years.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
    The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for personal injury in Georgia is 2 years, meaning that your case has to be either settled or filed within that time. You need to get an attorney quickly as evidence and witnesses may get away. Do not wait until the last minute.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A.
    Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A. | Council Wooten
    In Florida most car accidents have a 4 year statute of limitations a few situations have shorter times you should consult a trial attorney to be sure in your case
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    No. Against the at fault driver, you have three years from the date of the accident.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield | Jonathan C. Reed
    No. Statute of limitations has run.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    In Massachusetts you have three years from the date of the accident to file a suit of this type. The problem may be that you did not seek and continue to obtain medical treatment for a long period. This will weaken your argument for "causation," that the accident caused your injury. You should consult with a personal injury attorney immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    Yes, you can still file the lawsuit. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in New Jersey is two years.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    No. You have not.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2013
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    You should definitely contact and injury attorney as soon as possible. The big question is whether or not you signed a release yet.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 10/20/2011
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S.
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S. | Richard Eugene Lewis
    Yes you can still file. In Washington you have 3 years from the date of injury, but do not wait. You should hire a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Tomalas Law Firm
    Tomalas Law Firm | Ryan Tomalas
    In California there is a two (2) year Statute of Limitations in California that applies to most personal injury cases. This means that if you have not settled your claim or filed a lawsuit by the second anniversary of the accident, you may lose your legal rights arising out of the accident. Since your accident only happened 1 year ago, you still have time to pursue a claim for your injuries. However, because it sounds as though there is a significant "gap" in the medical treatment you have received, you will need the aid/expertise of an experienced personal injury attorney to help to connect the surgery that you now need to the trauma sustained in the accident.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC | J. Todd Tenge
    Absolutely not. In Colorado, you have three years in which to file a claim. You should, however, contact an experienced and qualified injury attorney to handle this for you.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    In Utah, the statute of limitations is 4 years. You can only file an automobile personal injury if your medical expenses exceed $3,000. It sounds like you have met that requirement.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Mishkind Law Firm, Co., L.P.A.
    Mishkind Law Firm, Co., L.P.A. | Howard Mishkind
    Yes. The statute of limitations for an auto collision in Ohio is two(2) years. The major hurdle you will have in connection with your case is proving through expert medical testimony that your need for surgery is directly related to the injuries caused by the collision. Insurance companies will fight this type of case because of the gaps in your medical care from the emergency room until the time you had the MRI. The success of your case will depend on the credibility of your doctor and whether he is willing to opine that the collision was a proximate cause of the findings on the MRI and the need for surgery. If you had any pre-existing conditions or suffered any type of injury between the date of the collision and the time of your MRI you are going to have a very difficult case. Also, the nature of the collision is important in terms of how an insurance company will view your case and a jury will judge your case. If the collision was substantial and you were lucky that you were not more seriously injured immediately then you are in a better position then if the damage was minimal. You should discuss this with an attorney in your area that handles automobile collision cases so as to review the facts of the collision and the likelihood that you will prevail. Bottom line you have not waited too long but you do need professional advise at this time from a personal injury attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm | Reza Torkzadeh
    Generally speaking, you have 2-years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in California. There are exceptions for claims against the government such as state or local organizations. I suggest you immediately consult with an attorney about your case. Surgery is an extremely serious process and you want to make sure that you are properly represented by legal counsel against the person that caused the accident.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    Most auto accidents in Florida are governed by a 4 year statute of limitations (you must bring suit within four years of the occurrence), unless there is a death involved in which case it is 2 years. There are exceptions, however, so you should talk to a lawyer right away to make sure that you preserve your ability to seek compensation.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    You should retain an attorney to help you with that. It isn't too late. The statute of limitations for personal injury civil suits requires the commencement of an action within three years of the date of the injuries, usually.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    The Law Firm of Shawn M. Murray
    The Law Firm of Shawn M. Murray | Shawn M. Murray
    In Louisiana, you have one year from the date of your accident within which to file a lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    THE LAMPEL FIRM
    THE LAMPEL FIRM | ERIC LAMPEL
    No. Your claims are still timely. You should contact one of the experienced personal injury lawyers in your area.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Law Office of Dean B. Gordon
    Law Office of Dean B. Gordon | Dean B. Gordon
    You probably are not too late. Generally, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim based on an automobile accident is two years from the date of the accident. However, the time may be as short as six months if a public entity may be at fault. Also, there different time limits for minors and for uninsured motorist claims.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    The Kelly Law Firm, P.C.
    The Kelly Law Firm, P.C. | L. Todd Kelly
    You generally have 2 years to file suit in Texas.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Seale, Stover & Bisbey
    Seale, Stover & Bisbey | Blair Allan Bisbey
    Texas law provides for a two year statute of limitations in personal injury actions, including motor vehicle collision cases.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Magnuson Lowell P.S.
    Magnuson Lowell P.S. | Richard S. Lowell
    You have not waited too long; but hopefully, you had some treatment between the time of the ER visit and the recent MRI. If not, it would not be surprising to have the insurance company for the other driver argue that your need for surgery is not related to the accident. For that reason, you should definitely get a qualified personal injury attorney to help you. P
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    No. You have 2 years from the date of the accident to file suit in Oregon.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    The statute of limitations in Oregon on a lawsuit like yours is two years. So, you do still have time to file a lawsuit. That being said, your chances for success on a lawsuit diminish when there is a lag time between the incident and any treatment for injuries. The defense will argue that there must have been an intervening cause of your injury, otherwise you would not have waited to get treatment.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    No, you have not waited too long, but the delay in treatment may cause problems. You should speak with an attorney immediately so that you can quickly preserve all remaining evidence.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    The statute of limitations is 3 years.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    You have 2 years from date of accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    In Colorado most lawsuits involving motor vehicle collisions must be filed within three years of the date of the accident. Therefore you likely have plenty of time to file a lawsuit. The thing to do is contact a lawyer to do that for you or contact the at fault parties insurer to see if they will negotiate with you.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
    In Louisiana you have one year from the date of the accident to settle your claim or to file suit against the at-fault party in order to protect your legal rights.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Law Office of Christopher F. Earley
    Law Office of Christopher F. Earley | Christopher Earley
    Yes, you may bring a claim.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    The S.E. Farris Law Firm
    The S.E. Farris Law Firm | Spencer E. Farris
    You have time to file suit. The longer you wait, however, the harder it will be to gather the evidence you need to pursue your claim. Contact an experienced injury attorney immediately. If you have potential surgery in your future, you will need professional help to protect your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Buff & Chronister, LLC.
    Buff & Chronister, LLC. | Curtis L. Chronister Jr.
    Yes, you can file a lawsuit for your injuries. Pursuant to Georgia law, you have up to 2 years to file your suit.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Holzer Edwards
    Holzer Edwards | Kurt Holzer
    The statute of limitations in Idaho is two years. The significant question in your case is whether the collision caused the need for surgery. That will be a matter for medical opinion. You need to contact a local lawyer to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC
    Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC | Linda Chalat
    In Colorado you have three years from the date of your motor vehicle accident in which to file you claim. Typically, it takes at least a year for the full extent of physical injuries and any possible permanent impairment to be established so you are definitely not out of the norm for pursuing a claim one year after the accident. I would strongly encourage you to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney - most will provide a free initial consultation during which you can ask questions and discuss your options. Soft tissue injuries such as whiplash are strongly defended by the auto insurance companies, so the representation by an attorney will be critical in order to help you get adequate compensation for your injury.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    You have 2 years in CA to file a car accident lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Parks Law Group
    Parks Law Group | Melinda J. Parks
    Typically, you have 2 years to file a claim against someone else for their negligence
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Ryan L. Hilts, Attorney at Law
    Ryan L. Hilts, Attorney at Law | Ryan L. Hilts
    If your case happened in Oregon you have two years to file a lawsuit (assuming you are not a minor). If you are within the first year, you should contact your own auto insurance company to have them process any medical expenses you incur.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/19/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    Nope. If you were injured in Oregon, you have two years to file. However, personal injury cases are not like fine wine. They do not improve with age. You should call a lawyer as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/19/2011
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