A statute of limitations is essentially a time limit by which a victim of a crime or incident may file a lawsuit. It is possible to file a lawsuit once a statute of limitations has expired, but this usually happens under extenuating circumstances such as an injury not being discovered or the victim being unable to file due to the severity of the injury (such as an accident leaving the victim in a coma).
There are many different statutes of limitations depending on the type of incident, such as personal injury or trespassing. The statute of limitations for injury to person is one year, which is not a great deal of time, especially considering the types of incidents that qualify as injury to person. Perhaps the most notable of such incidents is a car accident. Obviously a car accident can cause serious injury or even death, but as you can see, victims do not have long to take legal action.
Some car accidents may be nothing more than an inconvenience, but others may be life-altering incidents that leave victims with long-term injuries and the inability to go to work. If the victim was the primary wage earner of a family, then the accident could affect the livelihood of the entire family. This is why it is encouraged for those who are injured in car accidents to take legal action as quickly as possible.
Depending on the severity of your injury, the last thing you want to do is likely deal with the hassle of a litigation process, but a one year statute of limitations may not give you time to recover. This is why it is recommended that injured individuals enlist the aid of an attorney who can do the legal legwork for you while you focus on recovering.