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How Long Do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?

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Find out how to successfully file a motorcycle accident lawsuit.

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Motorcycle accidents can be traumatic and life-altering. In the aftermath, you may face physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial burdens. Understanding the legal timeframe for filing a lawsuit is crucial for seeking justice and compensation. 

It’s important to know the statute of limitations for motorcycle accident lawsuits and the consequences of missing the filing deadline. If you’re not sure what to expect when filing a claim, a Law.com Premier Motorcycle Accident Attorney can offer you guidance. Schedule a free consultation with an attorney near you to learn more. 

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The statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated.

The length of the statute of limitations for motorcycle accidents varies by state. Typically, it ranges from one to six years. For example, in California, the statute is two years, whereas in Maine, it extends to six years.

The clock usually starts ticking from the date of the motorcycle accident. However, in cases where injuries are not immediately apparent, the time may begin from the date the injuries were discovered. This is known as the "discovery rule."

Failing to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit within the statute of limitations typically results in losing your right to sue the at-fault party. Courts are stringent about these deadlines and generally dismiss cases filed after the time limit.

A missed deadline can also have a significant financial impact. You can lose the opportunity to receive compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

In very rare cases, courts may extend the deadline. This is typical in situations of fraud or deliberate concealment by the defendant.

The statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit, but there are exceptions that might extend this deadline in certain cases of motorcycle accident claims. These exceptions commonly include:

  • Minor age: If the crash victim was a minor at the time of the motorcycle accident, the statute of limitations might not begin until they reach the age of majority. For example, if the accident occurred when the victim was 17, and the age of majority is 18, the statute might start when they turn 18.
  • Mental incapacity: If the crash victim was mentally incapacitated at the time of the motorcycle accident and couldn’t legally file a lawsuit, the statute of limitations may be delayed until the incapacity is lifted.
  • Defendant’s absence: In some states, if the at-fault driver leaves the state or can’t be found, the statute of limitations may be paused until they return or are located.
  • Fraud: If the defendant has committed fraud or concealed their identity, and this prevented the filing of a lawsuit, the statute of limitations may be extended.

Relying on these exceptions can be legally complex and risky. It’s best to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to understand the applicable statute of limitations and any exceptions that might apply in your case. This ensures that your right to pursue legal action is preserved.

When filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit, the most important thing to do is seek legal help from an experienced attorney. An attorney can offer guidance on the applicable statute of limitations in your state and help ensure that all necessary steps are taken within the timeframe.

To help strengthen your case, gather as much evidence as possible. This includes medical records, police reports, witness statements, and photographs of the crash scene and your injuries.

You will need to report your motorcycle accident to your insurance provider but do so with caution. Only provide basic information regarding your motorcycle accident. That includes the date, time, location, and information on the parties and vehicles involved. Don’t admit fault or discuss who is to blame, as this can potentially hurt your chances of getting compensated. 

You should also get medical attention as soon as possible, even if your injuries seem minor. A medical evaluation can identify and address your injuries before they get worse. Plus, a diagnosis creates a clear link between your motorcycle accident and the injuries you sustained. 

Injured in a motorcycle accident? Don’t hesitate to reach out to a Law.com Premier Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in your area. They’ll walk you through the steps required to successfully file a motorcycle accident lawsuit. Plus, they’ll gather the necessary evidence to strengthen your case and fight to maximize your settlement or court award. 

Our verified motorcycle accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means there are no hidden costs or upfront lawyer fees. You only pay if your attorney successfully secures compensation for you. To file your motorcycle lawsuit, contact a lawyer near you and set up your free consultation.

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