After you suffer an injury due to the negligence, recklessness, or maliciousness of another party in Massachusetts, you might be a little hesitant to file a personal injury claim. Getting into the thick of a claim, which could feasibly turn into litigation, might not seem like anything you want to worry about when you are trying to recuperate from your injuries. But due to Massachusetts’s personal injury statute of limitations, you may have less time than you think to take action.
According to the state’s deadlines, an injured party has only three years to file a personal injury lawsuit against a potentially liable party. If the claim is to be filed against a government-related agency, the statute of limitations is reduced to only two years to make a formal complaint. Once the statute of limitations passes, the court will throw out any claim filed, effectively making it impossible to seek damages or justice.
As a general rule to follow, filing a claim as soon as possible is typically for the best. Not only do you totally avoid the risk of the statute of limitations eliminating your chances but you also give the defendant party less time to try to spin a story in their advantage. You should always talk to a lawyer before filing, though, to ensure you are not overlooking an important rule or relevant law.
Discovery Dates for Subtle or Delayed Injuries
Not every injury suffered is one that is immediately apparent. Some of the worst injuries, such as a brain injury, might not manifest any symptoms until years later. What is the statute of limitations in these unique cases?
Massachusetts allows the three-year statute of limitations to begin on an injury’s “discovery date,” or on the day that the injured party should have reasonably been made aware of the injury or illness. For example, a person who gets into a car accident and suffers a broken leg has a discovery date the same as the car accident. There is no reasonable way to not notice such a severe and immediate injury.
However, as another example, a man who is prescribed heart medication suffers a kidney fail five years later. The kidney failure is found to be linked to the dangerous medication. The discovery date in this case is the day when his kidney failed, not when he was prescribed the medication. A claim could still be filed for three years after the kidney failure.
For more information about Massachusetts’s statute of limitation laws, you can contact Percy Law Group, PC. Our Bristol County personal injury attorneys have managed complicated claims, from construction accidents to medical malpractice, and bring more than 100 years of combined experience to each case. Initial consultations are completely free, so schedule yours today.