Yes. It’s called the “statute of limitations” and it varies from state to state. For instance, in the state of Alabama, there is a two year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. An example of this would be, if you were involved in a truck accident and suffered injuries, you would have two years to file suit against the truck driver and the trucking company. The same period applies to all types of accidents.
However, there are some very important exceptions to the two year limitation. First, if the injured party is a minor, or is incompetent, the period can be “tolled” or extended. The reason for this is to protect the victim until they can make their own decision or have a court-appointed guardian decide for them. Also, the two-year period can be tolled if the injury is not yet known. For example, this would be true in a case where a doctor’s error in performing a medical procedure does not manifest itself until after two years from the date of the procedure.
Regardless of the specific limitation period that applies, it is always a wise decision to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible in order to protect your rights and to avoid a complete forfeiture of your claim.