The feeling of waiting for things to come together for an injury claim can be tense. It's fair to wonder how soon you can move forward with a case, and here's what a personal injury lawyer would likely tell you to consider.
Statutory Time Limits
Every state has limits on how long someone can take to file a claim. However, as it applies to the typical injury case, the statute of limitations usually is either two or three years from the date of the incident in question. For this reason, a personal injury attorney will probably discourage you from rushing quickly into a claim until you have all the necessary information to support it.
There is one major exception where you may need to move faster. If the case involves a government agency, your state may have a statute that tightens the timeline. In many states, the limit is months rather than years. You should contact a personal injury lawyer as early as possible to learn what time limit likely applies to your case.
No personal injury attorney wants to push a case until the client has reached maximum physical recovery. This means the doctors believe your body has bounced back about as much as it's going to. Notably, you may need to wait for months to get tests back. Similarly, exploratory surgeries and doctors' reports take time, too.
Waiting for overall physical recovery can end up in conflict with the statute of limitations, though. A personal injury lawyer will move forward with a case if the time to file is running out. The best move is to seek counsel ASAP so you're not sorting out the paperwork in the last few weeks before the deadline.
Finding the Right Defendant
Sometimes it will be obvious who the defendant in a case should be. There are cases, however, where some research may need to go into figuring out who the appropriate defendant is. You don't want to jump the gun and file a claim against a defendant who could easily reject the case because that's wasted time as the clock runs down on the statute of limitations.
Bills, Bills, and More Bills
Much like determining maximum physical recovery, you'll also want to document as many bills as possible. While you can project medical expenses going forward, it's usually much easier if you can put a precise figure for medical bills on your damages.