What Are the Time Limits to File an Injury Lawsuit?

Chris Mar 19, 2019

Being injured in any type of accident (construction, car, motorcycle, slip and fall, or workplace) will most likely force you to consider filing a claim against the party or parties responsible for the accident. Personal injury victims are entitled to compensation for the injuries they’ve suffered if they were not partly at-fault for the accident that left them injured. If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to note the statute of limitations in Louisiana so that you don’t miss out on your opportunity to recover compensation.

Louisiana Statute of Limitations

For the most part, the statute of limitations in Louisiana is one year. According to Section 3492 of the Louisiana Civil Code, the statute of limitations is as follows:

“Delictual actions are subject to a liberative prescription of one year. This prescription commences to run from the day injury or damage is sustained.”

What is a delictual action? This is any lawsuit filed for harm. Most personal injury lawsuits are civil matters. Civil lawsuits seeking damages following an injury must be filed within one year from the date the plaintiff suffered injury or property damage. This deadline of one year applies to any and all cases that would involve car accidents, slip and fall accidents, premises liability accidents and any other accident involving negligence. It also applies to cases involving intentional tort, such as assault.


Missing the Deadline to File

It’s not uncommon for victims of various accidents to miss the deadline to file their injury lawsuit in Louisiana for one reason or another. So, what happens if the filing deadline is missed? You can still file the lawsuit. Just be ready for the defendant to point out you missed the deadline to the court. There are some exceptions that might allow your lawsuit to move forward if you missed the deadline and they are as follows:

  • The one-year statute of limitations does not apply to anyone who was under the age of 18 at the time of the accident that left them injured.
  • Injuries that are caused by a defective product might not start the one-year clock until all information has been reasonably discovered.

Why are There Statutes of Limitations?

Louisiana has the statute of limitations for personal injury cases for the following reasons:

  • To serve the safety of the public
  • To ensure that convictions happen in a timely manner
  • To ensure that convictions happen only when evidence related to the case does not depreciate over a long period
  • To ensure the accused remains in the state and remains publicly visible so an investigation can be conducted

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in any type of accident that was not your fault, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. You do not want to miss the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit that can help you recover compensation for your injuries. Doing so will make it more difficult to pay your medical bills, monthly expenses, and stay above water because your injury might keep you from working. The sooner you talk to an attorney, the sooner you can build a case against the at-fault parties. Call the Offices of Schwartz Law today at (225) 766-6775.

About Author: Chris

Legal Support and Marketing Director

Schwartz Law Firm was founded by Christopher Schwartz in 1997. After obtaining his MBA and law degrees, Christopher Schwartz served as a Workers Compensation claims adjuster. This experience gave him a view of the system from the inside and inspired him to begin his own practice. Christopher Schwartz has successfully represented many injured employees in Longshore claims, Jones Act claims, and Personal Injury claims. He is a tough negotiator, whose track record includes multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. Chris has also authored a book titled “The Road to Justice”. In his book, Chris outlines how he and his colleagues fight for public safety and what role his clients can play in winning their own personal injury cases. Chris is a native of New Orleans and has practiced law in Louisiana for 14 years. As a result, he understands local laws and feels a special loyalty to local people. He takes every case personally. Chris is available to represent clients anywhere in Louisiana and Maritime clients anywhere in the Gulf South. But he is also qualified to represent Defense Base Act clients anywhere in the world outside the U.S. He also focuses on auto accidents, semi-trailer accidents, 18-wheeler accidents and slip & fall accidents.