When you’re injured or in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, you can take legal action against that person or entity, but only in a certain amount of time. The statute of limitations restricts the amount of time you have to bring legal action, and each state has different time limitations for different areas of law.
Attempting to take legal action after the statute of limitations has expired can result in your lawsuit being dismissed or the defense successfully winning the case. The statute of limitations also applies to pursuing financial compensation for an injury through legal means.
The Arizona statute of limitations for personal injury is generally two years to bring legal action against someone for a personal injury or accident. A.R.S. 12-542 states that a case should be commenced and prosecuted within two years after the cause of action. However, there are some circumstances to consider when pursuing a personal injury case.
When Does the Statute of Limitations Start?
The statute for personal injury lawsuits, ARS 12-542, states legal action must be taken “within two years after the cause of action accrues.”
In general, the two-year period begins when the incident – the accident, injury, or other event – occurs. Although there are exceptions and ways of lengthening the two-year period, the statute of limitations for personal injury in Arizona generally begins when the accident occurs.
If you were injured in a car accident by a company’s semi-truck, for example, you would have two years from that day to take legal action against the driver and the employer.
Because there are certain cases that can influence when the two-year period goes into effect, it’s best to discuss your case with an attorney in order to learn more about when exactly your window of opportunity started.
If, for example, an injury is hidden until some time after an accident, then it’s possible for the Arizona statute of limitations period to start at the discovery of the injury rather than at the time of the accident.
A common example is whiplash. At the time of the accident, you may feel fine and have no physical signs of injury. However, pain from whiplash may arise the next day or a few days later, and the effects can be longer lasting than you might imagine if it leads to chronic pain in the spine. The statute of limitations on suing for whiplash can depend on when you discover the injury.
Taking Legal Action Quickly
Although two years may seem like a long enough time to file a lawsuit, there are many cases in which this time period goes faster than expected. If you’ve suffered serious injuries, for example, then the initial part of that two years may involve medical treatment that prevents you from immediately taking legal action. Of course, your first priority will be to recover from your injury, rather than seeking legal support.
Given these circumstances, if you have what you think is a legitimate personal injury case, it’s best to take legal action as soon as possible so you can begin putting the pieces together for a case that can bring you appropriate compensation rather than waiting until it may be too late.
Getting a Free Case Review
If you’re not sure if you have a case or not, almost all personal injury attorneys offer free case reviews. At JacksonWhite, our personal injury team is led by Jared Everton, who offers free case reviews over the phone or in person.
In your review, you’ll give the attorney more information about your potential case, and the attorney will give you a better idea of the strength of your case.
In many cases, personal injury attorneys work on contingency, which means they only get paid if you win your case. Instead of paying your legal fees upfront, as is the case with other legal areas, what you end up paying your attorney is based on the settlement he or she receives on your behalf.
Because of this business model, it’s in the interest of your personal injury attorney to only take on your case if he or she believes it to be a strong case.
At JacksonWhite, Jared Everton takes extra time to review the details and information on his potential clients’ cases, which allows him to gain more insight into the strength of cases. This approach gives him an extremely high success rate, and he’s helped injury victims throughout Arizona secure settlements for thousands to millions of dollars.
Pursuing a Case after Your Case Review
When your case review is done, you’ll have a much clearer idea of your potential legal options. Many times, after talking to an attorney, accident victims will find that they simply don’t meet the requirements of having a strong injury case.
On the other hand, you may find that you meet all the requirements of a strong case, and you may wish to move forward. You can decide to move forward with the attorney you’ve talked to or continue looking for the right personal injury lawyer for you.
In either case, you’re looking for the best possible representation for your injury lawsuit. Some personal injury attorneys specialize in certain areas of injury, such as car accidents or medical malpractice, while others take on general injury cases no matter how they occurred.
The important thing is to work with an attorney you’re comfortable with, and one who makes it very clear what to expect from the injury lawsuit process. Your attorney should be easy to communicate with and should answer your questions and concerns along the way.
At JacksonWhite, we focus on providing compassionate, aggressive care that takes into consideration our clients’ sensitive circumstances, while pursuing the best potential legal results.
Our success rates prove that the combination of compassion and committed legal representation often results in settlements and results that are far beyond our clients’ expectations.
Arizona Statute of Limitations for Specific Injuries
Although two years is the general rule of thumb for most injury lawsuits, there are shorter times based on specific types of injuries and accidents. If you’re bringing legal action against a government agency or employer, for example, you may have less time to file a claim. In Arizona, formal claims against the state or specific cities must be filed within 180 days.
On the other hand, when a minor suffers injuries or an accident, they may have more than two years to file a claim because of the minor’s age.
Again, because of the specifics of each injury case, it’s best to discuss your case with an attorney before pursuing any legal action. This can help you determine the best course of action, as well as save time and fees if you don’t have a legal claim.
See if You’re Still Covered by the Statute of Limitations
If you’ve suffered an accident or injury because of negligence, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your losses. To see if you’re still in the two-year period, consider contacting a personal injury firm to see when your time period began.
Most times, your two years will start at the time of the accident, but only an attorney familiar with your case can help determine the exact time your window starts and ends.
Two years can go fast, so for accident victims, we highly recommend considering your legal options as soon as possible. A quick phone call is all you need to learn more about the strength of your case, and in the right hands, you’ll know within minutes if you have a legitimate accident claim.
Possible Damages You Can Recover from a Personal Injury Lawsuit
There are more possible damages that can be eligible for compensation than some people may think. Because a personal injury can disrupt your life, work, and finances, there are many potential damages you can seek as compensation for your struggles.
Some of the potential damages you can recover from a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Current and future medical expenses – Any expenses you incur from seeking treatment for an injury can be eligible for compensation. Compensation usually includes costs for seeking treatments now and if issues arise in the future.
- Lost wages – When an injury forces you to miss time at work, a strong case can help you recover some of the financial losses from not being able to work.
- Losses in future earning capacity – In some cases, an injury may limit your ability to work for more than just a short recovery period. A lawsuit can take this into account and help you pursue compensation for future earnings.
- Subjective losses – Subjective losses apply to factors like pain and suffering. Although they do not have a specific monetary value, you may still be entitled to financial compensation for ways that an injury has disrupted your life.
- Incidental costs – Incidental costs are those related to seeking recovery, but are not exactly medical costs themselves, and can include travel to medical appointments, legal fees, and potentially court costs.
A serious injury can put undue stress on you and your family, especially if it takes you away from work or forces you to pay high costs for medical care. Pursuing legal action can help you receive financial compensation for the unexpected expenses and offer a sense of relief.
Get Help with Your Injury or Accident Now
An accidental injury case can provide a spark of hope for someone who’s had their life derailed by an accident injury. In Arizona, the statute of limitations on a personal injury case is two years, so it’s important to act on a case as soon as possible in order to reduce the risk of the statute of limitations expiring. A personal injury attorney can help you get your case off the ground in time.
At JacksonWhite, we understand how emotionally, physically, and financially taxing an injury can be, so we make every effort to help our clients shoulder the burden, and we have a strong success rate because of it. Our excellent success rate comes from the time and energy we put into properly investigating your accident, giving your case the resources it deserves, exploring all legal outcomes and resolutions, and working tirelessly to get you what you deserve
Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 378-8802 to discuss your case today.