If I was injured in a bus accident due to a drunk driver running into my school bus 15 years ago, can I still sue?

I pursued legal representation which went no where. At the time of the accident I saw many doctors and was simply diagnosed with whiplash and a lumbar sprain. The only tests conducted by the doctors was X-rays and CT scans which returned normal. Now to date, I am here to find out that after years of severe back and neck pain, a doctor finally ordered an MRI of my neck. I have no other injuries to my back or neck and have found out that I do have disc bulging and mild bilateral foraminal narrowing at CC5-6 and minimal bulging and osteophytes towards the left foramen at C6-7 causing left foraminal narrowing. What are my legal grounds?

Asked on November 19, 2014 under Personal Injury, West Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, it is far too late to sue. The statute of limitations, or time period within which you must sue, is only 2 years for personal injury (like car accident) cases. While you can sometimes extend that time if the injury was undiscoverable until some later date, that's not the case from what you write: the injury would have been discovered if you'd had more tests/scans (like an MRI) done earlier. If you had "years of severe back and neck pain," you should have had an MRI done much earlier. By not acting for years after you would be considered to have had reason to investigate, you have waited too long and exceeded time within which you would have had to have filed a lawsuit.

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