Arizona’s Personal Injury Statutes of Limitations
How Arizona Statutes Of Limitations Affect Your Personal injury Claim
A statute of limitations is the time limit in which you have to file any type of case. Different statutes of limitations apply to different types of cases, to different types of defendants, and in different states. You may think, “why should I care about when my case expires? I’m going to file right away.” However, depending on the extent of your injuries, you may need to wait a long time before doctors can properly project your future medical necessities and costs. Read on to learn more about statutes of limitations in personal injury claims. If you’d like to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Arizona personal injury lawyer, call 480-470-1504 or click here.
Arizona Personal Injury Statutes of Limitations
Generally, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim -or the date by which your case must be filed with the court- is 2 years from the date of the injury. This may seem like a long time, but your case could be subject to an exception, your injuries could take a long time to treat and assess, or you may not even be aware of your injury. Even if you aren’t ready to file your claim yet, it could be beneficial to speak to a personal injury lawyer. That way, you can be alerted to any potential statute of limitations issues in your case.
Injuries To Minors
Injuries to minors can be more complex to treat than injuries to adults. That is because their bodies are still developing, making several types of medical treatments inappropriate. It can be hard to discern which types of treatments will be necessary in adulthood for some serious injuries. A parent or legal guardian can bring a personal injury suit on a child’s behalf. If that doesn’t happen, the minor will have 2 years from their 18th birthday to file a personal injury lawsuit with the court. If you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been injured in an accident, you should still speak with an injury lawyer as soon as possible.
City Municipalities & Other Governmental Parties
It isn’t always just another average driver on the road when you get in a traffic collision. Sometimes, the other driver may be a government worker on official duty. Additionally, a local municipality could be liable for your damages after an accident, e.g., negligently maintained road hazards, improper signage. The statute of limitations for these types of opposing parties may be limited to 180 days, or 6 months.
Dog bite injuries are subject to a shorter statute of limitations in Arizona than other types of injuries. Arizona has strict liability laws for dog bite claims, which can make it easier for an injury victim to collect. However, the trade-off is that the statute of limitations for Arizona dog bite claims is 1 year. This is for many reasons, including dogs’ shorter lifespans. If you’ve been injured in a dog attack, you should speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as you can.
Other Party Leaves the State
Unfortunately, sometimes defendants will flee the state in an attempt to avoid liability in personal injury cases. A.R.S. § 12-501 addresses this issue. If you are unable to locate the other party to serve them for your personal injury lawsuit, the statute of limitations will pause on the day the defendant left the state. It will resume once the defendant returns to Arizona.
Whiplash & Other Hidden Injuries
One of the reasons for knowing the statute of limitations for your potential claim is because of hidden injuries. Whiplash is probably the most common example of a hidden injury. This is because rear-end collisions are the most common type of traffic collision in Arizona, and rear-end collisions frequently cause injuries to the neck and spine.
Whiplash is a troublesome injury because you may not feel it immediately after the accident. Being in a car accident can cause an adrenaline rush that may inhibit your ability to feel whiplash and other types of injuries. Whiplash can also take several days, if not weeks, to become symptomatic. If you suspect that you have whiplash injuries from an accident, it’s essential that you see a medical professional before signing a settlement agreement with the other party. Once you sign a settlement agreement, you lose any chance of pursuing future compensation from the other party, even if you have injuries of which you aren’t yet aware. That’s why it’s best to inform yourself about the applicable statute of limitations to your claim, giving you more time to determine if you have a latent injury and seek treatment if necessary.
What If I Can’t Pay My Medical Bills While Waiting To Settle?
Depending on the course of your medical treatment, it may be strategic to wait until near the end of your statute of limitations to file your personal injury case in court. However, this might be difficult given your financial circumstances. You may have significant out-of-pocket expenses even with health insurance, and you may also be forced to take time off of work. Check your own auto insurance policy for MedPay- this policy feature can help with medical expenses regardless of if you reach a settlement agreement. Otherwise, you might need to seek out medical liens.
Medical liens allow you to accrue a balance with a medical provider with the knowledge that you have a pending personal injury claim. Your doctor(s) will receive payment directly out of your award. However, it can be difficult to find doctors who are willing to work on this basis. If you have complex injuries that require multiple specialists, it can be even more difficult to find doctors who will coordinate with other specialists and accept medical liens. Our attorneys can assist you in finding the proper medical care for your injuries, whether or not you need to use medical liens as payment in the meantime. Schedule your free consultation with one of our Avondale injury lawyers today by calling 480-470-1504.
Free Case Evaluations For Arizona Accident Victims
If you’ve been the victim of an accident, the statute of limitations for your claim is just one of the several issues you will need to observe. Researching potential issues and dealing with insurance adjusters are the last things you need to do when recovering from an accident. While most personal injury claims settle out of court, you must be prepared to take your case all the way to trial at the same time. Hiring a reputable injury attorney can show you are prepared for wherever your case takes you and can encourage an adjuster to agree to a higher settlement. But it isn’t fair for you to give up a substantial portion of your award for the kind of high quality representation that your claim deserves. Many injury attorneys across Arizona will charge upwards of 33% of your final injury award. That’s why the injury team at Mesa Injury Lawyers charge a guaranteed 25% contingency rate. Our discounted prices don’t come with decreased service levels. See for yourself with no risk or obligation by scheduling your free consultation- click here or call 480-470-1504.