Personal Injury Situations That Buy You Time

Posted on: 12 April 2018

Most people know about the statute of limitations. This rule exists in all states and covers everything from personal injury cases to murder, and it places finite and unbending rules on how soon you must bring a case. If you fail to take legal action after you've been hurt in a car accident, for example, your case will be "thrown out" of civil court by being dismissed. There are a few unique injury situations, however, that allow filers more time due to the nature of the harm done. Read on to learn about why you may have more time to seek damages than you thought.

Slow-acting injuries

A lot of injuries happen quickly, such as slip and falls and car accidents, but there is a special class of injuries that can take a long time to become noticed. The harm happens slowly and gradually, leaving the victim unaware of it until it's too late and the disease has taken a firm hold. This type of injury is no less traumatic than the sudden injury, and the effects can be even more devastating.

Asbestos exposure

You may have heard about this dangerous compound and the way it damages lungs. Tiny asbestos fibers get inhaled and lodge in the lung tissue. As your body tries to protect itself from the invading foreign body, it forms a protective scar around each tiny fragment of asbestos. This will, in time, block the ability to breathe in and out and can cause a certain type of lung cancer. The harm done could not have been fully known at the time of exposure, and when the harm was discovered, it may have been well past the statute of limitations.

Taking action

You should understand that this type of injury does buy you time, but that time is not unlimited. Once you know that you have been injured, the statute of limitations is in force. This is known as the "discovery of harm" and marks the time when you knew, or had to have known, about your injury and what or who caused it.

That discovery point is often when your doctor gives you a diagnosis of a disease that was caused by exposure to a harmful substance in the past. If you ignore symptoms and fail to seek legal or medical help your chances of recovering any money damages could be severely impacted, particularly if the other side can show that you must have known earlier, thereby setting your statute of limitations earlier.

No matter how much time has passed, speak to a personal injury attorney about your injury and get the compensation you need.