Generally, yes. Most claims that arise out of a car accident are general
negligence claims. The statute of limitations or time limit you have to
file a lawsuit for a general negligence action is 3 years from the date
of the incident which would give rise to the lawsuit. Therefore, if you
were in an accident 2 years ago, you would be able to file suit for another
year. However, we would encourage any potential plaintiff not to wait
until they are near the 3 year deadline, as after it passes, you will
not be able to bring a claim against any party under a general negligence
theory of liability.
Something else to be aware of is the time limits that affects any claim
that is being brought against a state or government run agency. This would
include cities, towns, or any municipal agency. If an individual wishes
to pursue a lawsuit against such an agency, they must serve a Notice of
Claim within 90 days of the incident giving rise to the action. Failure
to do so can prevent a plaintiff from being able to begin a lawsuit against
the party owned and/or operated by state. This is yet another reason to
act quickly and contact an attorney immediately after being injured. An
injured person may not know if the vehicle that just hit them or the building
they fell in is state owned, and if they consult an attorney outside that
90 day window, they may lose the chance to pursue a claim against the state.
There are also times when an injured party lacks the capacity to institute
a lawsuit on their own. The most common situation where this arises is
with people under 18 years old, which the law refers to as an "infant".
If a minor is injured, they would need a parent or guardian to institute
legal proceedings on their behalf. If a parent or guardian decides not
to bring a lawsuit on the injured minor's behalf, the underage individual
must wait until they are 18 years old. The law protects people in this
situation by "tolling" or delaying, the normal three year statute
of limitations. This works by allowing a minor who is injured to institute
a lawsuit three years from their eighteenth birthday, and not from the
date of the accident.