If a claim is not filed within the time period specified by a state's "statute of limitations" (i.e. time limit to file a claim), you lose the right to sue and recover losses from injuries accrued from a mass transit (i.e. bus, train, airplane, cruise ship, etc.) accident. For example, the statute of limitations in North Carolina for personal injury is three years.
If the mass transit vehicle which caused your injury is government-owned (i.e. owned by the federal, state, county or city), there may be unique notices that must be given in a certain time period before filing a lawsuit. The time limit and notice requirements are usually available in the state code or city/local ordinances.
In some areas, the time limit to provide notice is short, such as 30 to 60 days. An experienced injury lawyer, like those working for Shapiro & Appleton will be able to give you with reliable information for the appropriate time limits and notice requirements.