How Long Do I Have To Hire An Attorney?

The law requires that you file a lawsuit within a specified period of time depending on the nature of the claim and the entity that caused your injury. This is referred to as the statute of limitations. Failure to file suit within this time frame prevents you from filing suit at all. In the District of Columbia, a claim for personal injuries must be commenced within three years. Claimants who are either under the age of eighteen, mentally incompetent or imprisoned may bring their action within three years from removal of their disability. A wrongful death action must be brought within one year from the date of death.

For lawsuits brought against public entities, there are statutes which often require lawsuits be brought within a very short period of time, and only after written notice of the injury has been given to the government. For example, for claims against the District of Columbia, written notice of the claim must be presented within six months after the date the injury was sustained.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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