If you have been injured by someone’s careless, reckless, or intentional conduct, you can sue for financial compensation. If successful, you can receive money damages for all economic and non-economic losses attributable to the defendant’s conduct. However, Kentucky’s statute of limitations for personal injury gives you only one year from the date of your injury to file your lawsuit.
Read on for more information about Kentucky’s statute of limitations.
What Personal Injury Actions Does the Statute of Limitations Apply To?
Personal injuries are typically bodily injuries you have suffered in an accident. Kentucky’s statute of limitations can be found in Kentucky Revised Statute 413, which identifies the different legal actions you can bring:
- Medical malpractice: 1 year from the date of the injury
- Negligence: 1 year from the date of injury
However, a different statute, § 304.39-230, provides a two-year statute of limitation for personal injuries caused by traffic accidents. The clock starts either from the date of the accident or from the date of your last PIP benefit payment.
Also, different deadlines exist for people injured by sexual assault:
- An adult has 5 years from the date of the last offense or from the date they learn the identity of the perpetrator.
- A child who suffers sexual assault or sexual abuse has 10 years from the date they turn 18.
Are there Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
Yes. In some situations, you cannot discover that you are injured before the statute of limitations period has ended. In these cases, the deadline might be extended out of fairness. However, you should not count on this “discovery rule” applying in your case. Instead, you should schedule a meeting with a Kentucky personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights.
What Happens if I Wait too Long to File a Lawsuit?
If you do not file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, the defendant can file a motion asking the judge to dismiss the lawsuit. Judges strictly enforce the statute of limitations, and your judge will probably toss your case out of court. This means you cannot hold the defendant legally responsible for your injuries—regardless of how at fault they are.
But I Want to Settle My Dispute. Why Should I Care if I Can’t File a Lawsuit?
The vast majority of personal injury disputes settle. However, the only leverage you have over a defendant is the ability to sue them if settlement negotiations break down. If you lose that leverage, then the defendant has no real incentive to reach an agreement with you, so they can walk away from the bargaining table. To effectively negotiate, you need to preserve your right to bring a lawsuit.
Call a Kentucky Personal Injury Lawyer with Questions
Thousands of people each year are injured in car, motorcycle, and truck accidents in Kentucky. At the Harville Law Offices, we have helped injured motorists receive the compensation they need to provide for themselves and their families after a devastating crash.
To learn more about the services we offer or set up a free consultation, please contact us today.