August 16, 2019
Car Accident Lawyer
If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, there is an important aspect you need to understand. It is called the statute of limitations. This is essentially your time limit to file your lawsuit. If you wait too long, you will not be able to file, and if you try to file a lawsuit then it will be thrown out. If you want to successfully file a personal injury lawsuit, you need to know exactly how much time you have. This guide will go over everything you need to know, but it is also a good idea to speak with a personal injury lawyer in St. Paul, MN to learn more.
How Does the Statute of Limitations Work?
It is easy to understand the concept of a time limit on your lawsuit, but there are two aspects that many people do not fully understand. First, the statute of limitations begins counting down at the time of the injury. All the time you spend recovering from the injury is included in the statute of limitations. Luckily, it is always at least a year long, so you have plenty of time to recover.
Second, the statute of limitations is how much time you have to file your case. The lawsuit does not need to be finished within that time frame. It can take months for a lawsuit to conclude, so you do not need to worry about yours extending beyond the statute of limitations. However, it does take a few days to file a lawsuit, so do not think you can wait until the very last minute to file.
How Long Is the Statute of Limitations?
The exact length of the statute of limitations varies from one state to the next. For personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is:
- One year in three states
- Two years in 23 states
- Three years in 16 states
- Four years in four states
- Five years in one state
- Six years in three states
What Are the Exceptions?
Some states do have exceptions to the statute of limitations, which allow lawsuits to be filed after they are expired. The exceptions vary greatly from one state to the next, but the biggest exception is called the discovery rule. Essentially, in the unlikely event that it does not happen at the same time as when the injury is sustained, the statute of limitations does not begin counting down until the injury or responsible party are discovered. This is a bit of leniency to help in unusual cases.
Thanks to Johnston Martineau, PLLP for their insight into personal injury claims and how long you have to file.