Arizona laws establish strict time periods during which injury victims can claim compensation. When it comes to car accidents, the limit is of two years from the accident. Otherwise put, victims or their Yuma car accident lawyer have two years to file a lawsuit.
Those filing their claim with an insurance company will want to take action much sooner. This way if the insurance company declines their claim they can still file a lawsuit. What happens if the two-year deadline has already expired?
In most cases, the defendant will request the court to dismiss the case and their request will be successful. However, in some situations, an experienced Yuma car accident lawyer may be able to justify the delay. They may convince the court that their client could not file the claim in due time for solid reasons.
Of course, this is not just a matter of persuasion. They will have to provide evidence that the case is an exception to the statute of limitations. Here are some case scenarios when a car accident lawyer in Yuma may be able to bypass the statute of limitations.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations a Yuma Car Accident Lawyer May Invoke
According to the Arizona Revised Statutes Title 12 Chapter 5, the two year period can be extended if:
1. The Defendant Is Absent from the State
This exception is subject to section 12-501. When the defendant has left the state, time starts running upon their return. For example, let’s say the person responsible for an accident works in another state and only comes home every six months. The two-year deadline starts running when the defendant returns, giving the claimant six more months.
2. Minor or Insane Claimant
This exception is subject to section 12-502. It stipulates that, for minor claimants, the two-year period begins when they become of age. For insane victims, the two-year period may begin when they recover from their insanity.
3. Unusual Termination of Timely Commenced Action
This exception is subject to 12-504. It refers to scenarios when the claimant takes action in due time but that action ends unjustifiably. It gives the claimant the right to take action again, even though the deadline has passed.
Let’s say that the claimant sues the other driver for damages. During the trial, evidence shows that the respective driver was not at fault. The accident occurred due to improper repair work performed in a local auto shop. Even if the two years have passed, the accident victim can still seek compensation from the auto shop. However, they need to file their action within six months from the termination of their initial action.
And there are more scenarios a Yuma car accident lawyer may speculate to help their client. For example, they may be able to prove that their client discovered their injuries much later. In such situations, the two-year period starts running at the time of the discovery.
Another scenario is when the claimant is unable to take action sooner. Let’s say the accident victim entered a coma or remained temporarily disabled. The two-year deadline would start running at their recovery.
Of course, all these scenarios need solid supporting evidence. The court will not accept words. They will want to see medical records, expert testimonies, similar cases, and more. These are better left to a Yuma car accident lawyer.
The latter will know how to approach the case and where to look for the necessary evidence. They will analyze their client’s situation, recommend the best approach, and take over the formalities. They will represent their client in court and during any settlement negotiations, and will do anything in their power to obtain the compensation their client deserves.
Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Yuma Car Accident Lawyer Now
Even if two years have passed from your car accident, you should not lose hope. Your case may qualify as an exception and the court may still accept your case. The best solution to find out is to request a case evaluation from an experienced Yuma car accident lawyer.
At Warnock MacKinlay Law, our Yuma car accident lawyer will review your case for free. They will analyze its details and let you know what your options are. You have nothing to lose, but you may win that long-delayed car accident compensation. Schedule a consultation now! Every minute you lose could cost you your case.