If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence and think that you have a personal injury claim, you absolutely have a right to file a claim – but you have to do so within the statute of limitations for it to be effective. Nebraska has a state law which sets extremely strict time limits on filing a personal injury lawsuit in court.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
Every state has specific deadlines for filing lawsuits, and every type of case has a different limit. A statute of limitations is that deadline.
This deadline is very strict and it does not change, with very few exceptions. Of course, there are some exceptions including situations that occurred when a person was very young or if someone was unconscious or otherwise unable to file a case for whatever reason.
In a personal injury case, the timeframe for the statute of limitations begins on the day that you were injured.
The Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases
The statute of limitations in many personal injury cases depends on the type of personal injury case it is. Most fall between one year and six years from the time the incident occurred. There are shorter statutes of limitations in some medical claims.
Some of the most common statutes of limitation terms in Nebraska are:
- Injury to Person: 4 years §25-208
- Injury to Personal Property: 4 years §25-207(2)
- Professional Malpractice: 2 years or 1 year from discovery §25-222; 2 years §25-208
It is essential to understand that these rules and laws are always changing and you need to stay up to date. While it is still better to take action as quickly as possible, it is understandable why you may not want to do so.
What “From Discovery” Means
As seen above, many states have a discovery rule that extends the statute of limitations in an injury case. Discovery extends the deadline when the person didn’t even know about the injury or the fact that the defendant’s actions caused the injury.
Other Ways to Extend the Statute of Limitations Deadline
In some states and some situations, there are other methods to extend the statute of limitations. One way is if the defendant left the state after committing the injury – the deadline is paused during the time that the defendant was outside of the state. This means that if the statute of limitations was four years and the defendant leaves the state for three years after the accident, the time stops counting after one year. Know that this can be extremely difficult to prove and requires working with a lawyer to ensure that you can still file a claim. Do not get your hopes up for an extension unless there is significant proof.
As mentioned, another way to ensure that the statute of limitations is lifted is if the plaintiff is a minor. If that person is disabled or mentally ill, then the statute can be extended as well. Of course, all of this depends on the case and whether or not there is a significant reason for the time limit to be extended.
If you believe that you have a personal injury case in Nebraska, you should contact Matthew G. Miller, a qualified personal injury lawyer, immediately to learn your legal rights and make sure that you haven’t missed your case’s statute of limitations. Even if you believe that you may have missed the deadline, we offer a free consultation so that you can learn more about your rights.
As always, what you tell Mr. Miller will remain private, and he will never take action without your approval. He can simply walk you through the process and help you to make a determination about whether or not you want to proceed with the case – no pressure.