Kentucky law limits the time that you can seek a remedy after sustaining a serious injury in a motor vehicle accident or slip and fall at a local store. Any personal injury claim needs to be filed within one year to obtain a remedy from a negligent driver or storeowner.
This one-year deadline is called a statute of limitations. Even filing a case one day late could mean that a judge dismisses the case. This could leave a person injured with no remedy.
Dates and the day of the week become very important
A Kentucky case is illustrative of how the statute of limitations works. A woman injured in a car accident had until Saturday, October 18, 2003 to file a personal injury lawsuit. Because the statute of limitations expired on a Saturday, the woman had until the Monday to file her claim with the court. The woman brought her complaint to the circuit court on Friday, October 17, 2003. A clerk stamped the filing with a time date stamp indicating receipt of the complaint on October 17, 2003 at 2:35 in the afternoon.
It may seem that this would be an easy case, but the clerk did not formally process the complaint or issue a summons until the next Tuesday.
This case ended up at the Kentucky Supreme Court after the circuit court dismissed the case, because it was officially filed a day after the limitations period expired. The state’s highest court reversed the circuit court. It held that because the plaintiff had no control over when the clerk filed the complaint and issued the summons equity required that she could proceed with her case.
The court stated, “Once [she] delivered the complaint, she could reasonably expect that the summons would be issued within the statutory period. At that point, [she] had no further duty to ensure that the clerk [filed the complaint] and issued the summons within the limitations period.”
Reasons for deadlines
While the Kentucky deadline is shorter than some other states, it ensures the prompt processing of cases. It may be hard to locate witnesses and memories usually fade as time passes, which also supports the statute of limitations.
In some cases, there may be questions about the time that the statute of limitations takes effect. This can happen when an individual does not realize the total extent of the injury right away. Court rules also affect what happens when the limitations period ends on a weekend or a holiday. It is always best to file with plenty of time to avoid the statute of limitations issue.
While the initial focus for anyone injured is on recovery, a call to an experienced Kentucky personal injury attorney is also a good idea. Call Gladstein Law Firm if you need help learning about your rights. Seth Gladstein will stand by your side and help you receive the compensation that you deserve. Call today or fill out our contact form and we will get back with you!