How Much Time Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Kentucky?

If you or a loved one has suffered due to someone else's actions, depending on the state, personal injury claims could still be a viable legal option.

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Jay Vaughn

July 1, 2024 12:03 PM

When you are injured because of someone else’s actions (or inaction), you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. You can get compensation for your expenses, financial losses, physical injuries, emotional distress and other harm related to the incident.

A statute of limitations sets the time you have to file a lawsuit. Each state sets the statute of limitations for lawsuits filed within the state. The deadline could vary depending on the type of legal action being filed.

An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine the time limit for your case during a free consultation. Until then, read on for further information.

What Is the Deadline to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Kentucky?

Kentucky has a relatively short deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit compared to other states. Generally, you have only one year to file a personal injury lawsuit in Kentucky.

The year begins from the date of the accident or injury. Because the time to file a lawsuit is short, it is in a person’s best interest to seek immediate legal advice from a personal injury lawyer.

What Happens if I Don’t File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Before the Deadline?

A court can dismiss a personal injury lawsuit filed after the statute of limitations expires. The judge does not need to consider whether you have a valid legal claim before dismissing your case. Unless you have a legal reason for filing a personal injury lawsuit after the one-year deadline, you lose your right to pursue a legal claim.

Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in Kentucky?

The facts of your case could change the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are few exceptions to the one-year deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit in Kentucky.

One overarching exception that could apply to many cases is the “discovery rule.” Under this rule, you may have more than one year to file a lawsuit if you don’t discover your injuries until after the fact. Check with a lawyer to see if your case qualifies.

The following are other examples of exceptions to the statute of limitations:

The Victim Is a Minor

An exception exists if the injured party is a minor. Generally, the time to file a lawsuit begins once the child reaches 18. At that time, the victim has one year to file a lawsuit.

However, a parent or legal guardian can pursue the claim for the child. It is wise to do so because waiting until the child is an adult could jeopardize the case.

The Negligent Party Leaves the State

Another exception to the statute of limitations is when the at-fault party leaves Kentucky before the lawsuit is filed. The statute of limitations is tolled (paused) until the person can be located.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

The statute of limitations in Kentucky for cases involving motor vehicle crashes is two years instead of one year. Again, it is best to seek legal advice from a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to protect your rights.

Wrongful Death Cases

When a party causes someone’s death, they can face criminal charges. However, they may also be sued in civil court for damages caused by wrongful death. In most cases, the personal representative of the estate has one year after the person dies to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

If the personal representative is not appointed within the first year, the deadline to file a lawsuit may increase to two years from the date of death.

Medical Malpractice Cases

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is incredibly complicated. Generally, the deadline to file a medical malpractice lawsuit is one year. However, as mentioned above, the discovery rule might apply, and other factors could also change the deadline.

Suing a City in Kentucky

If you are suing a city in Kentucky for an injury because of a condition of a public thoroughfare, you must give the city notice of your claim within 90 days.

When Should I Talk to a Lawyer About Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Kentucky?

Talk with a personal injury attorney after an accident or injury as soon as possible. The Kentucky statutes of limitations can be confusing. Exceptions to the law and other factors could impact your filing deadline. The best way to protect your rights is by seeking prompt legal advice from an experienced injury lawyer.

Jay Vaughn is the co-founder and managing partner at HJV Car Accident Personal Injury Lawyers, a personal injury law firm based in Louisville, KY, with millions recovered on behalf of their clients. Contact them for a free consultation.

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