Please be advised that the following topic is for informational purposes only and not a legal matter currently handled by our firm. If you need further assistance regarding this particular topic, you can contact your local Bar Association for a referral to an attorney who may be able to address your inquiry in more detail.
An old injury aches as a daily reminder of your accident. You have lasting pain that never goes away, new symptoms of an underlying injury, or visible scars that won’t let you forget what happened. Meanwhile, expensive medical bills seem to stick around forever. Hospitals and doctors are well-known for hounding people over payments. You could be sent into debt collection over medical bills from long ago, and you may be wondering if you can file a claim for an old injury.
These nagging frustrations bring people to the legal team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We can help you determine whether there’s still time to start a personal injury claim for compensation connected to an accident that happened weeks, months, or even years ago.
Here’s some good news: You may still have time!
Why Timing Is Everything
Every state in the U.S. has a statute of limitations, which is a deadline for making legal claims. Here in California, the statute of limitations usually runs out two years after the date of your personal injury. However, there are some finer points to know about this rule.
If your injury wasn’t apparent until long after your accident, it could still be eligible for compensation. For example, if you were in a California freeway accident a few years ago that put pressure on your spine and eventually led to a herniated disc, you might still have time to start a case based on the date when your doctor discovered the injury.
What if you also have a pre-existing injury that makes the situation more complicated? That’s okay, as long as you have an experienced personal injury lawyer. A pre-existing injury doesn’t prevent an injured person from pursuing compensation from a negligent defendant. An accident can aggravate an old injury that otherwise would have healed normally.
Special Situations and Protections
In California, minors have special protections that extend the available time to secure injury compensation. Generally speaking, the clock doesn’t start ticking until the injured minor reaches their 18th birthday, regardless of when the accident happened.
An adult who has been incapacitated, out of the country on military duty, or in prison might also have more time to start a claim. These special situations require considerable legal knowledge and may call for special appeals to the courts. Your personal injury lawyer can help you make the appropriate inquiries.
Keep in mind that the statute of limitations is much shorter for accidents that happen on government property or involve government employees. The clock runs out just six months after your accident in most of these cases, so time is of the essence.
Cases that involve childhood abuse/assault often have extended deadlines. Under the California Child Victims Act, a minor who is a victim of abuse usually has until their 40th birthday or 5 years after discovering an emotional injury, whichever is later. Please note that the team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers usually doesn’t handle cases that involve abuse, assault, malpractice, or workers’ compensation.
How to Pay Off Your Old Medical Bills and Other Costs
Are you worried about having time left to start your case? It’s common to feel hopeless and helpless about long-lasting injuries. Don’t give up! A successful personal injury claim can help you cover old medical bills and other costs that still need to be resolved.
In addition to things like hospital bills and medical appointment fees, a personal injury case can address your lost wages, reduced earning power, property damage, and mental health counseling. You may also be due compensation for your considerable pain and suffering from an injury that lasted so long.
Talk to the compassionate legal team Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss whether you have a case for compensation involving an old injury. We’re here to support you in claiming the full and fair payment you deserve, even if your accident happened long ago.
We handle many areas of personal injury law, including pursuing compensation for old injuries. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details. Call 877-380-8852 today for a free case evaluation.