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What Is a Statute of Limitations?

In the context of legal proceedings related to personal injuries, a statute of limitations is the maximum amount of time that can elapse after an injury before filing a claim. For example, if the statute of limitations is two years, that would mean that you have two years to initiate the lawsuit, after which point your claim would no longer be considered valid. Essentially, the statute of limitations is the deadline for initiating the claim-filing process. The exact statute of limitations will vary depending on the situation and the state in which the event occurred.

 

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims?

All states have set statutes of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. Most states have set the statute of limitations for personal injury claims to two years after the date of the injury. However, in some states the statute of limitations can be as long as six years. Here’s a list showing the statute of limitations on personal injury claims in all 50 states:

  • Alabama – 2 years
  • Alaska – 2 years
  • Arizona – 2 years
  • Arkansas – 3 years
  • California – 2 years
  • Colorado – 2 years for standard personal injury claims (3 years for claims involving vehicle) accidents
  • Connecticut – 2 years
  • Delaware – 2 years
  • Florida – 4 years
  • Georgia – 2 years
  • Hawaii – 2 years
  • Idaho – 2 years
  • Illinois – 2 years
  • Indiana – 2 years
  • Idaho – 2 years
  • Kansas – 2 years
  • Kentucky – 1 year for standard personal injury claims (2 years for claims involving vehicle) accidents
  • Louisiana – 1 year
  • Maine – 6 years
  • Maryland – 3 years
  • Massachusetts – 3 years
  • Michigan – 3 years for standard personal injury claims (1 year for personal injury protection) claims
  • Minnesota – 2 years
  • Mississippi – 3 years
  • Missouri – 5 years
  • Montana – 3 years
  • Nebraska – 4 years
  • Nevada – 2 years
  • New Hampshire – 3 years
  • New Jersey – 2 years
  • New Mexico – 3 years
  • New York – 3 years
  • North Carolina – 3 years
  • North Dakota – 6 years
  • Ohio – 2 years
  • Oklahoma – 2 years
  • Oregon – 2 years
  • Pennsylvania – 2 years
  • Rhode Island – 3 years
  • South Carolina – 3 years
  • South Dakota – 3 years
  • Tennessee – 1 year
  • Texas – 2 years
  • Utah – 4 years
  • Vermont – 3 years
  • Virginia – 2 years
  • Washington – 3 years
  • West Virginia – 2 years
  • Wisconsin – 3 years
  • Wyoming – 4 years

As you can see, only three states have set their personal injury claim statute of limitations to less than two years. Louisiana and Tennessee are the only states that have set their statutes of limitations to one year for all kinds of personal injury claims. In California, Nevada, Texas, and most other states, the statute of limitations is set to two years for all kinds of personal injury lawsuits. Keep in mind that many states have shorter statute of limitations when you sue a governmental entity. Be sure to consult with a lawyer to confirm the statute of limitation on your case.

 

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Claims?

The law governing medical malpractice claims is slightly different because it is possible for some time to pass before the injury resulting from the malpractice is discovered. As a result, many states have set statute of limitations that may be based on the date of diagnosis instead of the date that actual the malpractice occurred. For example, in California a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed one from the date that you knew or should have suspected the malpractice not to exceed three years from the date of the malpractice.

 

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Negligence Lawsuits?

Typically, the laws related to negligence lawsuits follow the same statute of limitations as personal injury claims. For example as personal injury claims are generally brought under a theory of negligence.  In California you have two years from the date of negligence to initiate a lawsuit against the negligent party. However, keep in mind that the longer you wait to initiate legal action, the greater the risk you have that the statute of limitations has expired.  Still, even if it has been one year and 11 months since the date of negligence, it is still worthwhile to pursue a lawsuit if you can prove that the other party was at fault.

 

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims?

In most states, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit follows the same general time frame as a typical personal injury lawsuit. That means the loved ones of the deceased, or the legal representatives they’ve elected, have two years (California) from the date of death to initiate a lawsuit against the allegedly responsible entities.

 

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Slip and Fall Claims?

As you might imagine, a slip and fall case falls under general personal injury claims, which means you’d have two years to file a claim in most states (see the list above for the exact statute of limitations in your state).

 

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Camp Lejeune Injury Claims?

Camp Lejeune represents a unique kind of personal injury case, so you might be wondering if the same statues of limitations apply to it since the event occurred across multiple decades from the mid-1950s to the late 1980s. Since the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) was only passed in August of 2022, claimants have two years from the date the Act was passed to file a claim. That means the deadline for filing a lawsuit to obtain compensation for Camp Lejeune water contamination is August 10, 2024. Prior to the CLJA passing, residents of North Carolina and other states who had previously worked or lived at Camp Lejeune were not able to file claims against the government due to the state’s general three year statute of limitations on personal injury claims.

 

Still Not Sure If Too Much Time Has Passed Since Your Injury?

If you still have questions about whether you remain eligible to file a claim for compensation, try discussing your situation with a personal injury attorney during a free consultation. Call us at 877-557-4221 and let the brothers fight for you! It should only take 5-10 minutes or less to get a professional opinion on whether you should pursue a lawsuit based on a simple recollection of the events and a few questions about your supporting evidence and documentation.

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