Statute of Limitations – Issues Arising

Posted on Tuesday, December 28th, 2021 at 10:36 am    

Every personal injury case has a time limit set regarding time allowed to pass before filing a personal injury lawsuit. Once this time limit has passed you automatically lose your right to proceed with your case. This article will discuss issues that arise with statutes of limitations.

The Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute defines statute of limitations as:

“Any law that bars claims after a certain period of time passes after an injury. The period of time varies depending on the jurisdiction and the type of claim”.

Each and every state has its own statute of limitations and these vary with the type of claim being made. For instance, one state may allow for different statute of limitations in different cases. For example, it may provide for one year for a plaintiff to file a personal injury claim. Yet, provide for four years for a plaintiff to file a breach-of-contract claim.

The statute of limitations clock starts ticking on the date of harm. This means that the date when you were injured or your property was been damaged, etc. This is when the clock starts for your statute of limitations. However, there exist exceptions to this basic rule.

Legal actions’ statute of limitations can start at three different times:

  • The date of harm – this is when a person is injured and immediately knows they are injured. For example, in a car accident where a person sprains their wrist.
  • The date a plaintiff reasonably should have discovered their harm – this applies even if the plaintiff did not actually know about it, but finds out. For example, when a routine medical exam shows an injury.
  • The date s/he actually discovered harm – For example, when a patient gets a second opinion about an issue and is advised of the harm.
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