Statutes of limitations are laws that limit the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit following an injury or wrongful action. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the allotted time, you can no longer file a lawsuit. It is important to understand how statutes of limitations work because they might limit your right to take legal action following an accident and recover compensation. Every state has different statutes of limitations when it comes to bringing a personal injury claim against another individual or company. Understanding the statute of limitations in your state and analyzing when yours will expire is vital before making a final decision on whether or not to proceed with a personal injury claim.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a law that sets a strict time limit for filing a lawsuit for a particular cause of action. Each state has its own statutes of limitations that vary depending on the type of lawsuit. For example, if you were hit by a car and suffered an injury, you might decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver for your losses. The statute of limitations for bringing a personal injury claim varies from state to state, but in most states, it is two to three years from the date of injury. If the driver hit you on June 5, 2016, your state’s statute of limitations would expire on June 5, 2018, and you would be barred from filing a lawsuit after that date.
There are several important reasons why statutes of limitations exist. First, to ensure that disputes are resolved quickly and fairly, while also giving people the necessary time to file a claim. Second, they are meant to prevent stale and fraudulent lawsuits. These laws help determine what type of evidence may be allowed during your trial and what type of evidence is considered legitimate.
When Are Statutes of Limitations Applied?
Each state has a different statute of limitations that determines how long you have to file a lawsuit. Some events, such as the death of a loved one, may be outside the statute of limitations. This means that you do not have a legal right to bring a lawsuit in these situations because the limitations period has expired for taking action. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, minors and disabled people may have longer to file a lawsuit than an adult would, depending on the situation. A minor's statute of limitations may not start running until they reach the age of consent.
Important Points to Remember About Statutes of Limitations
Deadlines matter. You will need to look up the statute of limitations in your state or jurisdiction to see the time frame you have to file a lawsuit. Statutes are not a “rule” but rather a “guideline.” Judges can extend this time frame if they see that it is justifiable to do so under the circumstances.
2 Common Misconceptions About Statutes of Limitations
One misconception people have is that the statute of limitations does not apply to minors or children. This is not true. The same time limit applies, but in most cases the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the victim’s 18th birthday. Another misconception is that you only have one chance to file a claim and that if you miss the deadline, you cannot sue the person or company at all. This is not true, because judges can extend the time frame if they see it is justifiable to do so.
2 More Things You Should Know About Statutes of Limitations
Your state’s statute of limitations might apply to different types of lawsuits. For example, in most states, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit, but you have three years to file a medical malpractice suit. The type of lawsuit you file will determine how long you have to file your claim. There are other time frames that can affect your ability to file a lawsuit. You might have to file a lawsuit within a certain time frame if the defendant was a minor at the time of the incident or if the defendant is a government agency.
Statutes of limitations are laws that set specific time frames during which you have to file a lawsuit. If you do noy file your lawsuit within the allotted time, except in limited circumstances, you cannot proceed with your case. Understanding statutes of limitations can help you protect your rights and avoid falling victim to another person’s wrongful actions.
For more information, or if you have any questions, contact Nashville attorney Timothy L. Miles today.
Timothy L. Miles
Timothy L. Miles is a nationally recognized shareholder rights attorney raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Miles was recently selected by Martindale-Hubbell® and ALM as a 2022 Top Ranked Lawyer, 2022 Top Rated Litigator. and a 2022 Elite Lawyer of the South. Mr. Miles also maintains the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®, their highest rating for both legal ability and ethics. Mr. Miles is a member of the prestigious Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers: The National Trial Lawyers Association, a superb rated attorney by Avvo, a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by Premier Lawyers of America (2019) and recognized as a Distinguished Lawyer, Recognizing Excellence in Securities Law, by Lawyers of Distinction (2019). Mr. Miles has published over sixty articles on various issues of the law, including class actions, whistleblower cases, products liability, and more. Please visit our website
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