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Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims

Slechter Law Firm, PLLC 
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When you have been injured in an accident, you have a lot on your plate. In addition to mounting medical bills and the loss of income, the last thing you want to think about is a ticking clock on your ability to file a claim. 

However, it is crucial to understand the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Kentucky to ensure that you file your claim in time. Missing the filing deadline can cause you to lose your right to compensation. 

Reach out to Slechter Law Firm, PLLC to get experienced guidance from a skilled husband-and-wife legal team. Mr. Slechter and Mrs. Slechter can assist you with filing your claim and all other aspects of the claims process to make sure that you get the compensation you need. With an office in Louisville, Kentucky, the law firm serves injured victims throughout the state, including Lexington.  

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injuries in Kentucky

The term “statute of limitations” is defined as a time limit set by law on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after an injury. If you fail to file within this time frame, you may lose your right to do so. The specific limitations vary by state and type of case, but the goal is to ensure cases are handled within a reasonable time frame and do not drag on indefinitely. 

  • Personal injury cases. In Kentucky, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is one year from the date of the injury. This means that you need to file your lawsuit within one year to obtain compensation for your losses and damage. Keep in mind that this timeframe applies to lawsuits, not just the initial claim or settlement negotiations.  

  • Car accident cases. While the one-year statute of limitations applies to most personal injury cases in Kentucky, there is a two-year deadline for car accident cases. Kentucky is a no-fault state where all motorists are required to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Under Kentucky’s no-fault law, injured victims cannot seek compensation from another party unless their injury meets certain requirements. The two-year clock starts ticking on the date of the accident or the date of the last PIP coverage payment, whichever occurs later.  

If you are in doubt about the timeline, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the legal process and explain the applicable deadlines in your case.  

I’ve Missed the Filing Deadline. Now What?

If you miss the filing deadline for a personal injury claim, the court will likely dismiss your case. This is because the statute of limitations is designed to ensure that cases are filed in a timely manner, which allows for a fair and efficient legal process. If you file your case after the deadline has passed, you will have lost your opportunity to seek compensation for your damages. 

Even if you are able to file your personal injury claim after the deadline has passed, you may have weakened leverage in negotiations with the defendant and their attorney. This is because filing late may signal a lack of preparation or seriousness, making the other party less likely to offer a favorable settlement offer. Filing as soon as possible ensures that you have the strongest case and strongest leverage in negotiation on compensation. 

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in Kentucky

While there are strict deadlines for filing personal injury claims, there may be exceptions that apply to your case. 

  • The victim was a minor. Kentucky law allows individuals who were minors at the time of the injury to file a lawsuit within one year of their 18th birthday. This means that if you were injured as a child, and the statute of limitations would have expired before your 18th birthday, you have until you turn 19 to file a lawsuit.  

  • The defendant’s absence. If the defendant fled the state or went into hiding (and therefore is impossible to serve him or her with legal papers), the statute of limitations may be “tolled.” This means that the limitations period is temporarily put on hold, and the clock stops running until the defendant is found.  

  • The victim did not discover their injury until a later date. If a victim did not realize their injury until a later date, the statute of limitations may be extended. This is referred to as the “discovery rule,” which allows individuals to file a lawsuit within one year after they discover their injury or should have discovered it through reasonable diligence.  

  • The victim’s mental or physical incapacity. If the victim suffered incapacitation due to physical or mental incapacity, the statute of limitations may be extended. This means that the limitations period will not begin until the incapacitation ends. Alternatively, the victim’s representative or legal guardian may file a lawsuit on their behalf. This exception guarantees that individuals with disabilities or mental health issues have the same legal rights as others to file a lawsuit. 

An experienced personal injury lawyer can advise you on whether or not there are any exceptions to the statute of limitations that apply to your specific case. 

Understand Your Rights and Expectations

The importance of complying with the statute of limitations when filing a personal injury claim cannot be overstated. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you need to act quickly to ensure that you do not miss the filing deadline. Mr. Slechter and Mrs. Slechter can help you file a claim within the applicable limitations period in your case to obtain fair compensation. Contact Slechter Law Firm, PLLC today for a free consultation.