Statute of Limitations
A client recently sent in a file approximately one month before the statute of limitations. The Defendant, who was a minor at the time of the accident, did not have insurance. In this scenario, the cosigner for the minor’s license can be held responsible for the damages caused by the minor’s negligence. However, there was not enough time to request the Department of Motor Vehicle’s record which would establish who the cosigner was on the driver’s license. Unfortunately, the ‘issue of time’ was due to the limited time provided by the client. As a result, the Complaint had to be filed against the driver only, who is now 19 years old, and an avenue against the cosigner was unavailable.
On another claim, a Complaint was filed against the adverse driver only. The driver was listed on the police report and the owner of the vehicle was a rental company. The client sent in the file only two months before the statute of limitations. That adverse driver answered the Complaint and then through discovery, it was learned the adverse driver believed he was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. However, since the statute of limitations had now expired, the Complaint could not be amended to add in the employer and the employment relationship had terminated. Another missed avenue of recovery due to a client waiting to send in a file.
Waiting to send in a file can close avenues of opportunity
We understand clients want to attempt all avenues of collection before sending the file to litigation. Unfortunately, waiting to send in a file can close potential avenues of collection. Keis George recommends sending in motor vehicle files no later than six months before the statute of limitations. Otherwise, it could close an avenue of opportunity.