What is a statute of limitations?
A statute of limitations is a law that places a deadline on when you can file a claim in Court. Think of a statute of limitations as a countdown timer. In car accident cases, your timer starts as soon as you are involved in an accident or learn that you have suffered damages as a result of an accident. If you want to file a lawsuit because of the car accident, you have to do so before the clock reaches zero. In a contract action, the timer begins to run at the time that one of the parties breached or failed to perform under the contract In a wrongful death claim, the timer begins to run on the date of death.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
- Car accident claim is 4 years
- Slip and fall claim is 4 years
- Wrongful death claim is 2 years
- Contract claim is 5 years
- Medical malpractice claim is 2 years, however, certain circumstances can extend the date.
- If the car accident claim involves a governmental agency, you have to give notice to the governmental agency within 3-years but the statute of limitations is still four year. However, if you don't give timely and adequate notice otherwise you lose your ability to file a lawsuit.
- Section 1983 claim is 4 years.
What happens if I file a case after the statute of limitations runs out?
Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD, PA