When is it too late to file a personal injury, car accident, workers’ comp or wrongful death claim?
Montana is similar to most states when it comes to deadlines for personal injury and workers’ compensation claims. When time is up, there’s almost zero chance that you’ll be able to recover any damages for your injuries. For this reason, if you have experienced an injury and want to file a claim, you need to do so as soon as possible following your accident.
When building your case, you should keep these deadlines in mind. Even if a case seems simple and easy to present, you won’t be able to get any compensation if it’s not filed correctly and before the deadline in Montana.
Montana statute of limitations law
When filing a personal injury claim in Montana, tort law states that you must bring the case within 3 years of your injury. That time limit accounts for most injuries, but there are some exceptions which actually have shorter time limits. For example, if you wish to sue for defamation and malicious prosecution, these cases only have a 2-year limitation.
One of the few exceptions to this deadline is for underage minors. The statute of limitations doesn’t start until the injured plaintiff turns 18 years old. So if your daughter suffered an injury on her 11th birthday, then you’d have 10 years to file the claim. That makes a case more difficult to present, so you should still consider filing as soon as the injury occurs.
Montana car accident statute of limitations
Like all personal injury cases in Montana, car accident victims have 3 years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.
In addition to a personal injury claim, you may want to file for the damages to your property if you were in a car accident. These claims are for damage to real and personal property, and they must be brought within 2 years of the event. It’s important that you check for injuries immediately when you are in a car accident and get treatment as soon as possible.
In addition, those who want to file injury claims from a car accident should get the information of the other driver, including their name, address, insurance carrier and policy number. If you have a camera or a smartphone, you’ll want to take photos of the accident and any evidence around the area. For example, take photos of skid marks, glass on the road where it occurred, and pictures of your car as well as the other party’s vehicle.
If the other party is claiming to be injured, you may also try to take photos of those injuries as well. In addition, you may want to check if the other driver was intoxicated, which is something you can tell the officer investigating the accident on scene.
Witnesses to the accident should also be noted with their names, addresses and contact information. After that, you’ll need to get a copy of the police report. If you hire a lawyer, all of this evidence will be made available. Otherwise, you’ll need to go to the police department that responded to your accident and get a copy of the police report in person.
When seeking medical treatment for your injuries, you should also keep any mental injuries in mind during your medical examination. Are you feeling anxious? Did you suffer multiple injuries? You’ll need to make sure the doctor checks you out completely and notes all injuries sustained after the accident, as well as treatment options. If there are recommendations that will make you miss work, then those should be included as well.
All of this information helps you to defend your claim in court. It might be necessary to have multiple professionals document your injuries and the accident so that the courts have a full account of what happened from a legal and medical standpoint. This guarantees the highest possible of success when it comes to winning your case.
All of these steps take time — time that you might not have if you delay too long to speak with an attorney. Remember you must file your claim before the statute of limitations expires, so contact a Montana personal injury lawyer as soon as possible if you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence.
Montana personal injury claims
There are multiple types of personal injury claims in Montana, including:
Under Montana law, some claims involve a legal cap on the amount of damages that an injured person can recover. For example, Montana caps damages in medical malpractice claims at $250,000 for “non-economic” damages.
You may find that after filing your claim in a case, the other party says that you are at fault for their injuries. Montana has a comparative fault rule that applies to these cases where the injured party making the claim also shares some of the legal fault.
This means that the amount of damages you can receive are reduced if you are more than 0 percent but less than 50 percent responsible, which is determined by a legal decision. Without representation, injured parties are often forced to dispute this shared comparative fault rule that takes away the damages rightfully owed to them.
To get more information about the statute of limitations and to see how to file your claim before the deadline, contact the Murphy Law Firm as soon as possible.