How long after a car accident do I have to sue? 75 Answers as of July 11, 2013

The accident involved a car and a bicycle.

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David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
3 years against an individual or private business, 2 years against the government.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 8/20/2012
Lapin Law Offices
Lapin Law Offices | Jeffrey Lapin
I will assume you were the bicyclist although the answer is the same if you were the car driver. The answer to how long you have to sue after an accident depends on (1) whether the person who hit you was working for the government or a political subdivision (such as a school district) at the time of the accident; and (2) your age. The length of time you have to either have a case resolved or have a lawsuit filed is called a "Statute of Limitations." Once the statute of limitations expires you lose, assuming that the defendant raises it as a defense, which occurs in almost all cases, Generally, for vehicle accidents in Nebraska involving private citizens you have four (4) years from the date of the accident to either have the case settled or to sue. If the driver was working for the government (federal, state, county, city or local) or a political subdivision (such as a public school) you must file a written claim (a "Tort Claim"), either within 1 or 2 years depending on who is involved, and have a limited amount of time after that to file suit. There are specific requirements for claims against the government, a political subdivision or any of their employees. As your question does not indicate that any of these are involved, I will not further discuss Tort Claims. If you are under the age of 20, you have until your 25th birthday to sue. However, if you were under the age of 19, your parent's claim for payment of your medical expenses (parents are responsible for the medical bills of their children) would be the same as if you were adult. The statute of limitations for your claim if you are under 19 items such as pain and suffering and other items, would be until your 25th birthday. There are other things that can shorten or extend the statute of limitations. As you do not indicate whether the car driver was a "private" citizen or working for a governmental entity nor list your age, I cannot state how long you have to sue. I would suggest contacting a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. Most offer a free initial consultation and you can find out the statute of limitations for your case and whether there might be other requirements that shorten the time you have to sue or make a claim.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 8/20/2012
The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
You have one year from the date of the accident to file suit or settle.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 8/19/2012
Sam Hochberg & Associates | Sam Hochberg
Ordinarily, in Oregon, the statute of limitations the time you have to sue for personal injury is not later than the two-year anniversary of the accident, unless it falls on a court holiday, in which case it's the next business day. BUT, there are instances where the statute may be extended beyond that; AND there are some timelines much shorter. For example, if you were injured by a drunk driver, Oregon law requires a specific type of notice to the server of alcohol within 180 days, if the defendant was served while visibly intoxicated. Same analysis if the other driver was on the job for any state or local government body in Oregon. Given what you can see are some complexities that are too detailed to try to explain here, you really ought to visit with a personal injury lawyer, in person, to analyze what your rights and timelines are. Most personal injury lawyers will give you a FREE consultation, so were I you, I'd take advantage of that asap.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 8/19/2012
Broad Law Firm, LLC
Broad Law Firm, LLC | Donald K. Broad
The limitations period (commonly referred to as the "statute of limitations") for personal injuries varies from state to state, but in most cases is two (2) years from the date of the accident. You should consult with a personal injury attorney in your state to be certain of your particular rights.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 8/15/2012
    Selik Law Offices
    Selik Law Offices | JOEL SELIK
    In California, you have two years to sue for personal injuries unless you are suing a governmental entity, for example, if the vehicle was owned or operated by a City or School, or if you are suing for dangerous design of a roadway and then you must file a claim with the governmental entity within 6 months.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    That would be 3 years.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    One year for certain benefits and three years for pain and suffering.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A.
    Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. | Charles Cartwright
    In Florida, four years unless the state or its agencies or subdivisions caused the accident. It is three years in that case.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Offices of Tom Patton
    Law Offices of Tom Patton | Thomas C. Patton
    Depends upon the jurisdiction (state). Where I practice, in Oregon it is 2 years and in Washington its 3.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Three years. Was the injured party a child? If so, 3 yrs after the child reaches majority (18).
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Levin & Perconti | Jeffrey E. Martin
    In general, assuming the car involved was privately owned, the Illinois statute of limitations provides that a lawsuit for such an incident must be filed no later than 2 years after the accident. There are some exceptions for minors and mentally disabled adults.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Chadwick Lawrence | Chadwick Lawrence
    You have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in Florida. If you wait beyond that date your claim will be barred by the statute of limitations.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Atterbury, Kammer & Haag | Eric J. Haag
    In most situations you have 3 years to sue. There are exceptions. For example, if the injured person is a minor the time period is longer. If the at-fault party is a governmental employee, the time frame may be shorter. An attorney can help you evaluate that statute of limitations that applies to your case, but in general, 3 years is the personal injury statute of limitations that applies to most accidents in Wisconsin.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    In a typical car accident claim in Massachusetts, you have 3 years from the date of accident to file a complaint in the proper court. Otherwise, your claim is barred forever. If it is a claim you are making with your own policy, such as an uninsured or underinsured claim, then you would have 6 years. This would apply in situations like a hit and run, defendant stole the vehicle, etc. where the at fault party insurance is either unknown or doesn't apply.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Graves Law Firm
    Graves Law Firm | Steve Graves
    Generally two years. Maybe longer if the plaintiff was under age 18 when the accident happened.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    Two years from the date of the injury in Iowa.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Lee Law Group | Ernest Lee
    Friend, it depends on your states statute of limitations. 'Statute of Limitations' are the laws in your state that say how long you have to exercise your right to do certain things, usually to sue. In California you would normally have 2 years from the date of the incident or the date you discovered an injury from the incident.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Mosley, Engelman & Jones, LLP
    Mosley, Engelman & Jones, LLP | Britany M. Engelman
    Generally you have two years from the date of the incident to sue. However there are some exceptions to this general rule. You should consult with a lawyer regarding your particular fact pattern.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    You have two years from the date of the accident to sue.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Behren Law Firm
    Behren Law Firm | Scott Behren
    In florida normally would have 4 years to sue for negligence.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Howes & Anderson, P.C.
    Howes & Anderson, P.C. | Ronald Anderson
    The statute of limitations in Iowa for personal injury claims is two years.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Goodgame Law, LLC
    Goodgame Law, LLC | Jeffrey L Goodgame
    2 years from the date of the accident.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Hynum Law Office, LLC
    Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
    Most car accident cases in Mississippi are subject to a 3 year statute of limitations. That means you must file suit within 3 years of the date of the accident or you lose the right to file suit. However, if the defendant was working for a governmental entity at the time of the accident, such as city worker, or state worker, the 1 year statute of limitations of the Mississippi Tort Claims Act would apply and there are notice provisions that have to be complied with before suing the governmental entity.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    The Phillips Law Firm
    The Phillips Law Firm | Joseph J Ganz
    Three years from the date of the collision to file the lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC | Matthew D Kaplan
    In Oregon you have two years to file a lawsuit, unless there was a death. If someone died, the estate has 3 years.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    NJ has a two year Statute of Limitations
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    2 years in Alabama
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Gilbert & Bourke, LLP | Brian J. Bourke
    In California, a lawsuit for personal injuries must be filed within two (2) years from the date of the accident for an adult, and two (2) years after reaching the age of 18, if it was a minor who was injured.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Brankey & Smith, P.C. | Rodney L. Smith
    2 years, as long as a minor is not involved. If a minor is injured, then a minor has 2 years after they turn 18 to sue.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Offices of David W. Hibbert
    Law Offices of David W. Hibbert | David W. Hibbert
    In the State of Georgia there is a two year statute of limitations on personal injuries and a four year statute of limitations for property damage. Unless there are some other factors that meet certain exceptions to the rule , age or lack of capacity for a couple, no suit brought outside the time limits is allowed.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Ricks & Associates | Kenneth R. Ricks
    In California you have 2 years from the date of the accident unless a defendant is a public entity, then you have 6 months from the accident to file claim and then 6 months after the claim is denied (they're all denied) to file suit. If you are a minor the clock doesn't start ticking until you turn 18.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    W Morris Taylor, PC | W Morris Taylor
    Normally five years; if child 5 years after majority.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    That would be three years.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    In Nevada there is a two year statute of limitations for auto accidents.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A.
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A. | Joseph Lipsky
    Assuming your car accident occurred in Florida, there is a four year statute of limitations for you to file a lawsuit against the person(s) who caused your damages.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC
    Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC | Linda Chalat
    In Colorado there is a three year statute of limitations for motor vehicle accidents - you have three years in which to file your lawsuit from the date of the accident, after three years you lose your right to file a claim. This limitation applies to all accidents involving a vehicle including a car-bicycle accident.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    The Law Offices of Charles Pernice | Chas Pernice
    California law allows 2 years for an adult to sue for personal injuries of this kind, unless the defendant is a public entity which would require a Government Code Section 910 claim to be filed/served within 6 months of the accident. A minor has up until he/she turns 18 before the 2 year statute of limitations begins to run.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Offices of David M. Blain
    Law Offices of David M. Blain | David Blain
    Generally speaking, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. See C.C.P. Section 335.1.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    David Francis Law
    David Francis Law | David Francis
    The statute of limitations in Nevada is two years for personal injury cases.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Koning & Jilek, P.C.
    Koning & Jilek, P.C. | Jonathan Neal Jilek
    I Michigan there is a three year statute of limitations for third party automobile negligence claims. There is a one year statute of limitations for first party claims. There may be shorter or longer periods of time for notice and suit on uninsured or underinsured motorist claims.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Reeves Aiken & Hightower | Arthur K. Aiken
    In South Carolina, you have 3 years.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. | Steven Fairlie
    You generally have two years from the date of the accident, but there can be some situations where that changes, such as if you are suing PennDOT or any other governmental entity.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of James J. Rosenberger | James Joseph Rosenberger
    The statute of limitations in Washington state is 3 years from the date of the auto accident to commence a lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC | Matthew R. Kober
    The standard statute of limitations for a car accident is 4 years. That could be shorter if there any issues in the case, especially if someone died or you are suing any government entity. You should consult an attorney to understand which statute applies in your case.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Timiney Law Firm
    Timiney Law Firm | Leigh Anne Timiney
    In Arizona, you have two years from the date of the accident to either settle your accident and injury claim, or file a formal lawsuit. If you are having concerns, I would suggest you contact an attorney in your area who specializes in personal injury and seek a consultation. Good luck to you.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray | Ronald D. Reemsnyder
    In general, the statute of limitations is 2 years in Ga but there are variations e.g. if you are /were a minor or if you were mentally disabled.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    The statute of limitations in Florida for general negligence, which includes automobile accidents, is four years from the date of the accident.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Link & Smith, P.C.
    Link & Smith, P.C. | Houston Smith
    Two years is that statute of limitations for personal injuries in Georgia, assuming you are not a minor.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Craig Kelley & Faultless
    Craig Kelley & Faultless | David W. Craig
    Typically you have two years to file suit for an injury received from a car accident. That is what is called the statute of limitations. However if you were under the age of 18 then you would usually have two years beyond your 18th birthday. The exception is if you are emancipated before your 18th birthday then you would have two years from the date of your emancipation.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Buchholdt Law Offices | Jon M. Buchholdt
    There is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury.
    Answer Applies to: Alaska
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Frank Law Group, P.C.
    Frank Law Group, P.C. | Brett E. Rosenthal
    2 years for personal injuries
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C.
    The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C. | Paul A. Samakow
    Virginia's Statute of Limitations is 2 years.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    3 years assuming the person you are suing are private citizens. This also assumes you are an adult. The above is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advise.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    Typically 3 years from the date of the crash but, there could be other factors that would shorten or lengthen this time period so don't wait finding an attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    If you were 18 years or older at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations for third party personal injury claims in the state of New Jersey is two years from the date of the accident.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/15/2012
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