If you’ve been in some kind of personal injury accident in Baton Rouge, you may want to file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for what happened to you.
But how does filing a claim work, and how much time do you have after the accident occurs to file?
This blog takes a look at Louisiana’s statute of limitations regarding personal injury claims, as well as some exceptions for missing the deadline.
Statute of Limitations in Louisiana
The statute of limitations is a law that defines the time frame in which a victim can take legal action in both criminal and civil court. Statutes of limitations differ between states and between types of legal action. The statute of limitations for an assault crime may be different from that of medical malpractice. Likewise, the statute of limitations for theft may be different in Ohio versus what it is in New York.
Louisiana’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases is one year. That means that from the moment the incident occurs, you have 365 days to file a claim in a court of law. Since Baton Rouge doesn’t have its own statute of limitations, this one-year timeline also applies to Baton Rouge.
So, if you were injured in a car accident on March 15th, 2020, that means the deadline to file your claim is March 15th, 2021.
While that may sound like a long time to bring your case to court, it’s actually much shorter than most other states give their residents. In almost every state in the U.S., people have at least two years to file a personal injury claim. A few states even give people up to six years to file their claim.
But is it a problem that the period for filing your claim is so short in Louisiana?
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Baton Rouge
First, let’s take a look at what it means to file a claim.
Filing a claim is the official process where you notify the court and the person who wronged you that you are taking legal action against that person, and you explain the basis and reasoning for your lawsuit.
It is the first step in the long process of having a case tried in a court of law, and it’s also, perhaps, the most important step. If you don’t file a claim, you don’t get to go to court. And if you don’t go to court, you can’t receive compensation for your injuries.
How long does it take to file a claim? That depends on a few factors, including:
- your injuries,
- your lawyer,
- the state and court in which you are filing, and
- the facts of your case
There’s no standard amount of time that you go through when filing a claim. It’s different for each and every case.
Missing the 1-Year Mark
But what happens if you don’t get your claim filed within one year?
Unfortunately, if you wait longer than a year to file your claim, the court will most likely decline or dismiss your case, and you’ll be out of luck. No matter how good, strong, or valid your case is or how badly you were injured, you won’t be able to go forward with it.
In some circumstances, a court can grant an extension for you, but those cases are extremely rare. Some of those exceptions could include:
- If the victim is a minor
- If the victim is mentally ill
- If the victim is incarcerated within the year after the incident
- If the victim lives out of state
But if you make sure you file your claim in time, you won’t have to worry about getting an exception.
Your Chance at Justice with Pierce & Shows
Filing a claim is the first step in getting the compensation you deserve. It’s the first step to justice. If you’re the victim of a car accident, you may have dozens of other things to think about, and filing a claim in a court of law may be the last thing on your list. But if you wait too long, your chance to get money for your injuries may run out. One year isn’t much time, and it slips away quickly. Contact Pierce & Shows today to get started on your claim.