Statute of Limitations on Motorcycle Accidents
If you are thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit for your recent motorcycle accident, you may have heard that there is a statute of limitations. Since you may not know the extent of your injuries, it’s normal to wonder why there is a deadline. Here is why the statute of limitations is important and why there is one.
Protection for the Case
To wait too long to file your claim can put a dent in your ability to win. After years, there may be less evidence. If you had witnesses that saw the accident, who could back up your claim that the other driver was at fault, you may not be able to use them after waiting too long. While you may have a clear memory of what happened that day, the witnesses may not. Memories fade and change over time. You may find that there are more discrepancies in their statements. The witnesses may not even agree on the circumstances of the accident.
The more time that you wait to file your claim, the harder your case is going to be to fight. You don’t want to go through the pain of gathering evidence years after the accident occurred. The sooner that you can access police reports, witness statements and file an insurance claim, the better. Also, insurance companies may have a statute of limitations themselves. It is better for you if you file early.
Protection for the Defendant
No one wants to be served with a civil lawsuit years after an event happened. While the main point of the statute of limitations is to make sure that the evidence is still valid and that it hasn’t deteriorated, the statute does serve as a protection against defendants. For instance, if you live in South Carolina, your statute of limitations is three years. You cannot file a lawsuit against someone five years after the accident. They may not have a fair shot in arguing the case, because they didn’t think you were going to sue. It’s fair for both sides to have the statute in place.
No matter the civil lawsuit, any claim has a statute of limitations. While there are exceptions if your injuries due to the accident manifest later, for the most part, you have a deadline on when you can file.