How Long Can I Wait to File a Lawsuit? There Are Deadlines to Consider

When a serious accident happens, the first concern is the health and well-being of everyone involved. Everyone concerned is probably shocked and the victims need time to recuperate. If the victims are severely injured, they may require extensive medical care and recovery time. In many cases, an injury lawsuit needs to be filed against the party responsible for the injuries. Some victims and their families wonder, how long can I wait to file a lawsuit?

Understanding the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is a legal time-frame during which a lawsuit must be filed. The statute of limitations requires that you start a lawsuit within a specified time limit. The limit is in place to protect all parties to the lawsuit. When too much time passes after an accident, or injury, the fewer facts may be available to the case. Also, the memory of any witnesses could fade over time. For these reasons, no lawsuits may be brought after the time expires.

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases

The statute of limitations for a typical personal injury case in Arizona is two years. The time clock begins at the time of injury. Although two years may sound like a long time, it can take some time to prepare a legal case. For this reason, it is best not to wait to consult an attorney.  Other circumstances may shorten the time an injured person as to file a lawsuit.  For example, an injury claim against a public entity, like a city or the state, must be served within 180 days.  Other claims, like dog bite injuries, have a shorter one year statute of limitations.  Other deadlines may also apply.  The most important thing to remember in regard to any of these deadlines is: don’t wait to talk to a lawyer.

How to Proceed with a Legal Action

After an accident, you may wonder whether you have a legal case, and if so, how to proceed. It is common for accident victims to be contacted by the responsible party’s insurance company with a settlement. Very often, the proposed settlement is not enough to cover the victim’s damages. It is usually best to speak with an attorney before you talk with the insurance representative. Your lawyer will protect your interests and work on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve.  As soon as possible, discuss the accident with a qualified attorney to determine your options. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Udall Shumway PLC for a consultation today.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you or someone you know wishes to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney regarding How Long Can I Wait to File a Lawsuit, or other personal injury matters, call Mesa AZ Personal Injury Attorney Clark R. Richter at 480-461-5321 or contact him at for a free consultation to discuss your rights and options. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.