If you’re involved in any sort of accident, you may end up having to file a lawsuit against the defendant. Hopefully, this won’t happen. In most cases, the defendant has insurance that can pay for your injuries. Unfortunately, not everyone carries insurance. And, even if they do, there’s no guarantee that their insurance company will pay your claim. Regardless of the situation, in Louisiana, you only have a certain amount of time to file your lawsuit. This is because Louisiana, like every other state, has something called the Statute of Limitations. This is a law that states how long a plaintiff has to file their lawsuit. It’s different depending on what kind of case you need to file. For a personal injury case, you only have one (1) year to file your lawsuit. This is one of the strictest laws in the country when it comes to timeframes for filing legal action.
This means that, if you are hurt in an accident, you need to call a local Louisiana car accident lawyer sooner rather than later. You can’t afford to waste any time. A year will fly by really fast, especially if you consider the time it takes for you to find out if your insurance claim will be paid.
There is No Wiggle Room When it Comes to the Statute of Limitations
Some people think their lawyer can work magic when it comes to their case. They don’t realize that the court has rules in place and that everyone has to follow those rules. When it comes to the statute of limitations, there are no exemptions. If you don’t file your case within a year, your case will be dismissed.
Your attorney is going to have to work hard to serve the defendant within the one year time frame. They’ll hire experts to track down the defendant if they’ve left town. Or, they’ll find someone who can accept service on behalf of the defendant. For example, if they own a business in your state, maybe your lawyer can serve their place of business. Or, if there is an insurance company involved, your lawyer can serve the insurance adjustor or their attorneys. They’ll do whatever they can to track down the defendant so that they can file your case in time.
What if You Miss the Statute of Limitations?
If you miss the one-year statute of limitations for some reason, you won’t be forgiven. The judge will dismiss your case. More than likely, the defendant’s lawyer will file a motion to dismiss. But even if they don’t, the judge may still deny your claim. You will not be given a second chance. Once your claim is dismissed for statute of limitations reasons, your case is as good as dead. There’s nothing your lawyer can do to fix this.
This is why Lake Charles car accident lawyers ask their clients to come see them early in the process. They need time to prepare your case. They have to gather evidence and submit motions to the court. If you wait more than a few months to retain a lawyer, they may not be able to get your case filed in time.
Contact a Skilled Accident Lawyer in Lake Charles
If you’re involved in an accident in Louisiana, you don’t have a lot of time to act. If you don’t file your lawsuit within one year of the date of your accident, your claim will be dismissed. The judges in Louisiana are very strict when it comes to the statute of limitations. This is why you need to contact a personal injury law office in Louisiana sooner rather than later. It’s going to take your attorney months to prepare your case. They also need some time to negotiate with the insurance adjustor. If the defendant has taken off, it’ll make your lawyer’s job even harder.
Call today and schedule your initial consultation. You can sit down with an attorney in Lake Charles who is very familiar with the statute of limitations. They also know how to track down a defendant. They know how to serve your papers on the defendant and will work hard to make sure this is done properly.
You owe it to yourself to schedule a free consultation. You can let your attorney answer any questions you may have. They can also give you an idea of what your case may be worth. Call today and find a time that works for you. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until your case is settled.