How do I reopen a case if my body is hurting and can't find anything wrong? 17 Answers as of May 16, 2013

Seventeen years ago, I was a part of a large car crash. At the time, I was a state word. I do remember my foster mother saying not to settle the case because of other unknown injuries. She was so right because I found out that my neck and spine was injured. How do I reopen my case?

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David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
If you are over nineteen years of age, the statute of limitations has likely run and it cannot be reopened. However, to explore the possibility of bringing a case, contact an attorney.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 5/16/2013
Lydy & Moan | C. Gary Wilson
If you settled the case, you may not reopen it.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/16/2013
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
Sorry, but the statute of limitations is stayed only until you turn 18 and then you have two years in which to file suit or else you are barred.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/16/2013
Gary L. Platt, Attorney at Law | Gary Platt
You don't say how old you are, but unless you turned 18 less than two years ago, the statute of limitations has long gone by now, and you cannot reopen a closed case (or open one if a lawsuit/claim was never filed). If the accident occurred when you were very young, and a claim or lawsuit was never filed on your behalf, AND if it has been less than 2 years since you turned 18, there is a chance you might be able to work around the statute of limitations, however, it will be difficult or impossible for you to prove that pain you are experiencing suddenly, after 17 years, was directly caused by an accident that happened that long ago. Only a very detailed investigation can answer these questions. You should consult an attorney and give him/her all the facts.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/16/2013
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
It is probably much too late. Every state has its own Statute of Limitations. In Michigan it is 3 years. The only way to get more than that amount of time is if you were and still are under a "disability." By that, I mean that a child under the age of adulthood can file a suit (in Michigan) up to the 19th birthday. If you are mentally incompetent, then upon no longer being incompetent, you could file suit within 6 months. Other than that, you have waited too long. Sorry.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/16/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    If you previously settled your claim, you have no other recourse. All medical treatment is your burden along.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    The answer depends what age you were or whether you were under a disability that would allow you to file a case after the usual three-year statute of limitations had run. Otherwise, you are too late to file a case.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    John Russo | John Russo
    You can't if you settled.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    Loren Lambert
    Loren Lambert | Loren Lambert
    How old are you now? And when you say "reopen" was there actually any type of the settlement previously by anyone acting as your guardian or conservator? This is something that you really should go talk to an attorney about and most attorneys are not going to charge you anything to do so. Depending on your age and the circumstances you may still be able to pursue the matter.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation if you call my office at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts your case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    Candiano Law Office
    Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
    If you have celebrated your 20th birthday, it is too late. You have a 2-year statute that begins to run the day you turn 18.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Don't know how old you are. If this were done when you were a child under 18 you have 3 years or until age 21 to file suit. If that time has passed I don't know of anything you can do. You can’t wait 17 years to take legal action.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Cannot reopen. Too much time and you apparently settled. Does not happen without a release.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    Ricks & Associates | Kenneth R. Ricks
    In California the time within which a minor must file a lawsuit for personal injuries is within 2 years after turning 18. If you have already turned 20, and it sounds like you have, then you are barred from bringing suit unless there has been some extraordinary factors that may have tolled the statute of limitations. In your case, maybe you didn't even know you were in the accident until much later and the 2 year statute would commence when you knew or should have known about your injuries. Do you even have the negligent driver's information any longer so you could name and serve them with suit? Consult an attorney to figure out if you are barred by the statute of limitations.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    Sarrail, Castillo & Hall, LLP | Monica Castillo
    You do not provide much information, but, generally, in California, a minor has 1 year after turning 18 to file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/15/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    It sounds like it is too late. You might try to go to the lawyer you had at the time of the settlement and talk with them about it. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/15/2013
    Hone Law Firm
    Hone Law Firm | John S. Hone
    You don't.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/15/2013
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