The clock is ticking for patients who have received DePuy ASR hip implants and are considering filing lawsuits, according to Carey Danis.
Each state government sets a statute of limitations that prohibits lawsuits being filed once a certain amount of time has elapsed. If a lawsuit is not filed within that time period, the victim could lose the opportunity to ever receive compensation.
It does not matter how severe the injuries may be. If a judge rules that a lawsuit was filed after the statute of limitations expired, DePuy and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, have the right to have the case dismissed.
Each state sets its own limits, and those limits can vary depending on the type of lawsuit. Further complicating matters is that each state has a different set of rules to determine when the period begins.
Many states have a two-year limit for personal-injury cases. Those states include Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia. Washington has a three-year limit.
Across much of the country, the deadline is quickly approaching because DePuy’s official recall notice was distributed Aug. 24, 2010. That means the majority of people who have received hip transplants must have their lawsuits filed by Aug. 23, 2012.
However, it is important again to note that the calculations widely vary from state to state. One example is Virginia where the time period begins as soon as the claimant feels pain or becomes aware that an injury occurred. Please consult a personal injury lawyer with experience handling DePuy cases as soon as possible in order to verify when your claim must be submitted. Whenever you experience an injury and believe you may be entitled to compensation, you should waste no time in talking to an experienced attorney who can give you specific information about your deadlines for making a claim.
There are some potential exceptions to the statutes of limitations. For example, military personnel or people with mental illness could qualify for extensions. In the case of military personnel, the time spent it service may not count toward the time period.
Many states also have a rule that allows the time period to not start until a person would “reasonably” realize they have a claim. It is not clear if that rule could apply to the DePuy lawsuits, although a judge would likely rule that a person should have known about the recall notice since it received a great deal of publicity.