The question is not , as I take it, how long must you wait to file suit. The question is how long do you have to file suit. That is, by what date do you have to file a suit if you were hurt today. The answer is you have until the statute of limitations runs. At 5 years, I believe you have gone past the time to sue.
The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.
The age of the injured party can come into play, if the person was a minor you might have longer. Consult an attorney in your area immediately.
DISCLAIMER: Gene Burkett is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship
The laws of each state vary. For most personal injury claims in California, for example, you have two years to sue from the date of the injury causing event. But minors may have different deadlines and if the government is a potential defendant, then there would only be 6 months to seek and file a damages claim and then if denied, a letter to sue is issued.