After any type of personal injury resulting from a slip-and-fall, auto accident or any kind of injury where a person’s negligence or conduct caused you bodily harm, there is a time frame in which you must file a claim.

When you are looking to contact a personal injury lawyer in Louisiana, keep in mind that the statute of limitations could run out if you take too long to file a personal injury lawsuit. Time is of the essence, not only because of the statute of limitations, but also because it is generally a better practice to file the claim while things are still fresh in your mind.

Every state has its own statute of limitations. However, Louisiana is typically one year. You can find Louisiana personal injury statute of limitations at the Louisiana Civil Code section 3492. Usually, the time starts the day the injury or damage occurred, up to one year past. Delictual actions are any type of action resulting in harm and can be filed as a lawsuit. The one-year timeline from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit applies to personal injury cases driven by the negligence of another party. 

Outside the Statute of Limitations

If you have missed the statute of limitations deadline, typically the court will dismiss the case based on that alone.

If you have a case that needs to be taken to Louisiana court, filing within the deadline is crucial for not only the court case, but also any type of insurance filings as well.

Exceptions to the Louisiana Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

If you are a minor, you may have leverage in section 3492 that pauses the statute of limitations clock. It states that the prescription period “does not run against minors,” if the person was under the age of 18 at the time of the incident.

If there is a defective product that caused an injury, the time starts only when the discovery of the defect happens.

Please note that the statute of limitations law can change. The court is the determining factor and is typically taken on a case by case basis depending on the specific nature of the case. There are times when a case may have several different areas where the statute of limitations is not enforceable or may even fall under a different law category and could lengthen the statute of limitations.

Car Accident Statute of Limitations Exceptions

The limit of the statute of limitations for Louisiana personal injury or property damage is typically not flexible if the deadline is missed. However, if the injured party is mentally ill or incompetent, lives out of state or is incarcerated, there are some exceptions.  If the injured person is a minor, and the parents did not file within one year of the injury, the minor can file up to one year after their 18th birthday.

If a government agency or public entity is the at-fault party, they may have a shorter claim file period.

If a wrongful death occurs by an at-fault-driver, the time frame does not start until the victim’s death date. This can even be after the actual accident.

While typically a limitation period starts from the time the plaintiff knew of the injury itself, this is not always the actual date of the injury. This could be the case when you have suffered harm, but not sure what actually caused the harm until later. In most cases, this does not run past six years from the date in question.

There are many laws within laws, and each case can take its own direction. You may find that you have grounds for additional claims or additional time to file those claims that set forth their own statute of limitations.

Because state legislators determine the time limits on civil claims and crimes, it protects both the public’s safety and even the individual that may face criminal charges. The statute of limitations is in place to make sure that a conviction only occurs without depreciative evidence and in a timely manner.

If you have filed a claim on time but were denied, you have 15 days to file a denial appeal. You must make sure the appeal is filed correctly, or you may miss out on compensation by being denied again.

Because there are so many different time limits that can apply in every situation, it is best to consult a lawyer or a personal injury attorney. They will be up to date on the current time limit laws, and will be able to better direct you on the specific needs of your case and if you need to file a specific claim.

Remember filing a lawsuit in the wrong parish or a court which has no jurisdiction will not stop the prescriptive period from running or running out.

We understand that Louisiana’s statute of limitation law can be overwhelming if you do not know personal or business-related injury law.