The statute of limitations sets the maximum time after a car accident within which legal proceedings may be initiated. Failing to act within this period can bar you from bringing a car accident injury lawsuit entirely. Read on for general information, and for specific help on your case, contact a car accident attorney in Louisville, KY as soon as possible.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Injury Lawsuits in Kentucky
In Kentucky, the statute of limitations for car accident claims is generally two years from the date of the accident. This is established under Kentucky Revised Statutes section 304.39-230. It’s important to note that this period applies to the filing of the lawsuit itself, not the completion of all legal proceedings, which may take longer.
Exceptions to the General Rule
While the two-year statute of limitations applies in most cases, there are exceptions. For instance, if the car accident results in someone’s death, the claim may be considered a wrongful death lawsuit. In such cases, the time limit for filing a lawsuit is one year from the date of the deceased person’s death, which may not necessarily be the same date as the accident.
Moreover, if the injury was not discovered right away, the statute of limitations may be extended under the “discovery rule.” This regulation permits the commencement of the countdown from the date when the injury was identified or reasonably should have been identified through diligent investigation.
Claims Against Government Entities
If you are filing a claim against a government entity in Kentucky, such as the state transportation department, different timelines apply. You must file a formal claim within one year of the accident, and there are caps on how much you can recover; generally no more than $200,000. Different cities and counties have their own rules, so be sure to work with a local lawyer with extensive knowledge of the area.
It’s also important to differentiate the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit from the deadline for filing an insurance claim. Insurance policies often require you to notify them of an accident within a much shorter timeframe, sometimes as soon as within a few days of the incident. While insurance claims and legal claims are separate, the outcome of an insurance claim can influence the legal strategy and negotiations your lawyer will take on for you.
When to Call a Car Accident Attorney in Louisville, KY
Given the strict deadlines associated with the statute of limitations, seeking the counsel of a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible is always the smartest course of action. An attorney can help ensure that all necessary steps are taken to preserve your legal rights and that your lawsuit is filed in a timely manner. Legal professionals are familiar with the potential exceptions in the law as well as with Kentucky’s legal system generally and can provide guidance tailored to the specifics of your case.
The statute of limitations sets a definitive period within which you must act to protect your rights. If you or a family member has experienced a car accident, take prompt action and don’t delay. Contact Winton & Hiestand Law Group PLLC now to protect your rights.