A statute of limitations is a law passed by the legislature that puts a time limit on when a person can bring a legal claim. For personal injury in Kentucky, the statute of limitations is one year. If a person is injured in an automobile accident or a truck wreck, they have two years to file a claim.
The statute of limitations is calculated from the day of a person’s injury. If a person is injured in a truck wreck or a car wreck, the statute of limitations starts the day of the wreck. However, for things like medical malpractice, it is harder to determine when the statute begins to run because it can be extended based on when a person knew or should have known about the injury. That makes it very important to get to a Louisville injury lawyer as soon as they suspect that something might be wrong. Keep in mind, the case does not have to be resolved within that time period. They just have to take legal action within that time period to begin the process.
Discovery of Harm Rule
Sometimes, especially in cases regarding medical negligence, it is hard for an individual to know that they have been injured by negligence. Therefore the discovery of the harm rule says that the statute of limitations will not start running against a person until they know or should have known that the harm suffered is because of medical malpractice or medical negligence.
Discovery of harm is a way to help extend the statute of limitations in those situations where a person is not sure how they got hurt or even if they were hurt. However, it does not apply to a car wreck, for example, because they should know what caused the injury.
Combatting Claim Adjusters
The best way to make sure that a claim adjuster does not ruin your opportunity is to avoid talking to them. Instead, it is often preferable to immediately seek out an attorney and let the attorney be the one that talks to the adjuster.
Claims adjusters are there to work for the insurance company and to save the insurance company’s money. They don’t have any incentive to help the injured party which is why it’s often better to let an attorney talk to them so that the injured party doesn’t say anything that could end up hurting their claim later on.
Statute of Limitations for Minors
When dealing with minors, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until their 18th birthday. Generally, minors have one year from the day they turn 18 to file any legal claims for injuries.
Even though a person’s child may have until their 19th birthday to file a claim, it is very important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as a person knows their child was hurt. The quicker an attorney can get involved, the more evidence they can gather and preserve. The attorney can be helpful throughout the process to make sure that their son or daughter gets the maximum amount they are entitled to.
Discovery of Harm in a Minor’s Case
In some cases, a person is injured and they may not understand how or why they were injured or even that they were injured, especially with a medical malpractice case. For example, if they had a surgery and may be healing from the surgery, or at least think they are, and do not understand that they are healing from something that went wrong during the surgery. That is malpractice.
For minors and anyone else, the discovery of when a person knows or should have known that their harm was caused by negligence is the beginning of the statute of limitation state. Minors are not yet considered adults; they have one year from the day they turn 18.
How a Parent Can Help
Parents or guardians should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as they think their child is injured. The quicker an attorney can get involved, the faster the attorney can start working with the adjuster. The insurance company’s adjusters try to gather information and spin it to fit their scenario to try to make the case settle for a lesser value. That is why the quicker the parent can get the attorney involved, the better off they are.