Making Sense Of The Statute Of Limitations In Injury Law

One of the biggest issues hanging over nearly every personal claim or lawsuit is the statute of limitations. This is a law that limits how much time you have as a claimant to officially notify the defendant or their insurance company that you demand compensation. Here is what claimants need to know about statutory limits.  


Foremost, you'll want to know how long you have to file. For the majority of cases in most American states, you will have between two to three years. The period depends on personal injury law in the state where the accident happened. Also, the clock usually starts ticking from the date of the accident.

Typical injury cases of this type include pedestrian and car accidents, slip-and-fall incidents, animal bite cases, medical malpractice, and strict liability claims against licensed contractors. However, you should always discuss your case with a personal injury attorney who's licensed to work in the state to ensure you get the most accurate information.

Many Exceptions

While the majority of cases follow the previously noted structure, there are numerous exceptions. For example, many U.S. state legislatures carved out exceptions for their government workers that often cut the limit down to months rather than years. You want to know whether your case might fall under this exception because it means you'll have to assemble the claim much faster.

On the other end of the spectrum, states have also carved out longer statutory periods for other claims. Child sex abuse claims often have much longer limits or none based on the idea that it can take decades for abuse to come to light. Also, many states don't start the clock on cases of any type involving minors until the victim reaches the age of majority.

Repetitive stress injury claims also tend to have state-level exceptions. If you're filing a product claim against a company, the limit is typically the usual two to three years. However, the clock normally doesn't start until you learn about the injury. This ensures that manufacturers can't avoid liability if their products cause injuries that take years to develop.

Why the Statutory Limit Is Important

Within the statutory period, you have to figure out what your injuries are, whether they're long-lasting, and how much compensation you deserve. You and a personal injury lawyer have to determine all of this while you might be recovering, undergoing surgeries, and still talking to specialists about what even happened to your body. Getting the claim to the defendant in time is critical because otherwise, they can reject it based on the limit.

To find out more, contact a personal injury attorney.