How long is too long to make an injury claim after an accident? 30 Answers as of February 21, 2012

I got into an accident about a year ago. I hurt my back and went to the emergency room and was told my back took a huge blow. I've since been to a chiropractor and had X-ray and a MRI done. I'm in the military so I didn't have to pay but I wanted to see what I could be entitled to for pain and suffering. The car had a throttle issue which caused the accident. During the accident the air bag light came on but did not deploy which caused me to injure my head and back. What can I do?

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LT Pepper Law
LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
There is a potential personal injury claim and products liability case since the air bag did not deploy as designed. You have 2 years from the incident to file so if you are serious you should contact a lawyer soon.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 5/27/2011
El Dabe Law Firm
El Dabe Law Firm | Edmond El Dabe
In California, you have 2 years to file a lawsuit for personal injuries.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/17/2011
David B. Sacks, P.A.
David B. Sacks, P.A. | David Sacks
The statute of limitations on negligence claims is four years. If it's a products liability case you are considering the time frame is the same as it is a case sounding in negligence.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/16/2011
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
In most cases you have a two year statute of limitation on an action arising out of an accident or negligence. If the negligent party was a public employee on duty, you may have a shorter period to put that public entity on notice within 180 days. Pain and suffering are elements of non economic damages. The fact that your medical bills were paid by the military or an insurance policy has nothing to do with pain and suffering. The real issue revolves around what caused the accident. If there was another person at fault the path is clear. If you are saying it was a manufacturer's defect that caused the accident the road is much more difficult. They may be liable, but the cost of prosecuting a products liability case is very expensive for you and the lawyer handling the case, so the value of your damages would have to be pretty big to justify the investment of prosecution. Without knowing more about the accident I cannot comment further.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/16/2011
Allegretti & Associates
Allegretti & Associates | James L. Allegretti
You usually have 2 years from the date of accident to make your claim for personal injuries. Is the car still available for testing? If not your opportunity to pursue your matter is probably gone unless someone else is at fault besides the manufacturer. If you were not the driver, you might have an action against him.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 5/13/2011
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S.
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S. | Richard Eugene Lewis
    The length of time to sue depends on the state. Consult an attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Whether the statute of limitations has expired will depend upon what state you live in, but it's usually a 3 year statute to bring a cause of action. Speak to a local Personal Injury attorney about your case. It sounds like a good case, as long as you've treated for more than 90 days out of the first 180 days after the accident and have an actual injury. However, any good PI attorney will tell you to speak to an orthopedic doctor rather than a chiropractor about the matter if you truly want to recover anything. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Consult a personal injury attorney. Two years is the statute of limitations in Alabama. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Bristol & Dubiel LLP
    Bristol & Dubiel LLP | Murray L. Bristol
    In Texas you must make a negligence claim within 2 years of the date of the accident.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Not clear but I assume you were the driver. You must prove the accident was the fault of someone else. If throttle, you must have a mechanic or engineer to testify as to causation. if it was some 3rd party's fault and if the injury occurred because of that fault you are entitled to some recovery for pain and suffering.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    You have 4 years from the date of accident to file a lawsuit but you need to call personal injury attorney immediately as they usually handle cases long before they ever file a lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    The limitations statute is two years for most products actions.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates | Cary J. Wintroub
    You present several issues. Generally for Illinois the time in which an action must be brought is 2 years. Depending on your military involvement it might be extended. Of equal importance is the question of where fault lies a necessary element of your matter. I urge you to consult with a personal injury lawyer on all questions raised.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    Your question as to how long, may be related to the statute of limitation, but it appears to ask how long after the accident can you claim injury. A doctor would have to tell you if an injury is related to an accident. So you need to discuss with a doctor. You also need to discuss with a lawyer in the State where the accident occurred.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky | Mark Kotlarsky
    You can make a PIP (no fault medical) claim withing one year of the accident. You should do that for the reasons below. You can make a liability (fault) claim, assuming that the the other driver or somebody else was at fault, within 3 years of Maryland accident. However, it may take a year or more to get the records from the US government, so you need to hurry. If you win the case, the US government would need to be paid from the settlement proceeds for your treatment.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
    Thank you for your military service. I am very appreciative & grateful. I am sorry you hurt your back in a car accident. I know what back pain feels like-it's debilitating. The silver lining is that, depending what you are in, you have two (2) years, which is the case in Georgia, so you have one (1) more year to file a claim. Find an attorney that you can relate to, that you are comfortable with & that is accessible. I wish you a speedy recovery & take care!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC | J. Todd Tenge
    Each state has its own statute of limitations - which is the time you have in which to bring a claim. I can speak to Colorado, which has a 3 year statute for auto accidents. It is hard to tell by your question, but if this was a single car accident caused by a stuck throttle, it may be a 2 year statute due to the "product defect" aspect of the case. You may also think about becoming involved in any class actions which may be ongoing (e.g. Toyota cases).
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    If you were injured in Oregon, you have 2 years from the date of your injuries to sue or conclude a settlement. Without more facts, it isn't possible to know what damages you can recover. But you should certainly consult an experienced trial lawyer. There is mo charge if you want to talk to me.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    In South Carolina, you have three year to file a suit such as yours. Yours sounds like a complex products liability case. Unless you have a permanent injury, confirmed by a specialist such a neurosurgeon, or orthopedic doctor , your damages are probably insufficient to justify such a suit. No offense to chiropractors. They are good at healing, but most would admit that juries tend not listen to them in court to establish a permanent injury.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Consult a firm that has handled design defects in cars.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Joel Ewusiak
    You may have a claim based upon a defect in the car. Air bag claims may arise from time to time. Generally, a product liability claim must be brought within 2 years (under Florida law). Pain and suffering is an element of your damages, as is lost wages and unpaid medical bills. You should consult with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC | Andrew N. Ackley
    Based on your description of the cause of the accident, your case would be a products liability case (defective product or negligent design). Products liability cases generally must be brought within three years from the date of the injury. In certain situations, the statute is "tolled," meaning the clock stops ticking for a period of time.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    The time you have to seek redress for an injury depends upon your jurisdiction. Some states have very short statutes of limitations. If you do not file a lawsuit before the deadline runs, you are out of luck. You should seek legal advice from a local attorney immediately to determine the deadline in your jurisdiction. It appears from your question that you may also have a claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle if it can be shown that a faulty airbag system made your injuries worse. However, such claims are extremely expensive to pursue even if valid, which makes it difficult to seek justice in our system. The auto industry for years has spent large sums of money lobbying politicians to make it difficult to sue them. But it is possible in some circumstances. You should immediately seek out a local attorney and determine if you have a claim that can be pursued. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
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