Injured? Here’s why you need to act quickly

injured person with lawyer

If you, a loved one, or a friend has suffered an injury, it’s important to speak to an attorney quickly to determine your rights. That’s because the law contains a “statute of limitations” which says that if you wait too long to pursue justice, you might be out of luck.

The limitations period for injuries is often very short – much shorter than that for other types of lawsuits, such as contract disputes. (That’s unfortunate, because many injured people don’t think to talk to a lawyer right away simply because they’re dealing with the effects of the injury.)

An additional problem is that it’s not always clear when the limitations period starts to run. That is, sometimes people aren’t aware immediately that they’ve suffered harm, or that the harm might be due to someone else’s carelessness.

For instance, in a recent case in Utah, a woman’s doctor treated her for a perforated colon. When her condition worsened, her husband moved her to another hospital where she was treated by different doctors and recovered.

A little more than two years after switching doctors, the woman sued her original physician for failing to treat her properly. The doctor argued that she had no right to sue, because the limitations period in Utah was two years, and she should have known she had a medical malpractice claim at the time she first switched physicians.

Fortunately for the woman, the Utah Supreme Court ultimately decided that the woman’s mere “suspicion” that the doctor had done something wrong wasn’t enough to start the two-year clock ticking.

However, the case is an important reminder that if you’ve been injured and have any reason to believe that someone else might be at fault, you should speak with an attorney right away. Waiting too long to see what happens could mean that by the time you’re absolutely sure you deserve compensation, it’s too late to obtain it.