Rhode Island law limits how long you have to file a lawsuit after an accident. This is known as a “statute of limitations.” The amount of time you have to file suit depends on the type of case you are involved in. For a car accident that causes personal injury, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit under most circumstances. For fatal car accidents, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is three years from the date of death under most circumstances.
Although three years may seem like a long time, it is important to get started on an accident claim as soon as possible. Important evidence and witnesses may become unavailable as time passes. Your attorneys need time to develop a strong legal claim for your right to recover compensation. The sooner you talk to an attorney, the better.
However, even if a significant amount of time has passed, you should not be deterred from discussing your case with a lawyer. In some situations the statute of limitations may be extended, particularly in cases involving minors and disabled adults.