Statute of limitations refers to laws that state the amount of time one has to file a lawsuit against a company or an individual. Once this time elapses, it is no longer possible to seek legal action in a court of law. Very few exceptions exist to this law and to be on the safe side, it is best to seek the services of a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after being involved in an accident or suffering serious injuries. Remember, insurance companies have teams of lawyers and adjusters whose sole purpose is to evaluate every claim forwarded to them—not for your benefit. Delaying to get a personal injury lawyer can subject your claim to a statute of limitations and the courts may not have time for you even with all the right evidence.
Statutes of limitations fall into two categories: criminal and civil. Most statutes of limitations refer to civil cases. Cases or claims are subject to either Federal statutes of limitations when filed in federal courts or state statutes of limitations when filed in state courts. Both courts have their own time periods, and this can vary by state.
Most Common Statutes of Limitations
It is always important to find out whether your lawsuit is subject to the statute of limitations or not. Your statute of limitations clock starts ticking from the time the incident or event takes place, and you cannot afford to assume that you have all the time. Find out from the state or federal court or, better yet, with your personal injury lawyer the period of time for the statute and particularly how it applies for your case. Some of the most common statutes in civil law include:
- Personal injury cases
- Medical malpractice
- Childhood sexual abuse
- Domestic violence
Depending on your lawsuit, your statutory deadline might be extended. However, the only foolproof way to ensure you get the justice you deserve is to file a lawsuit as soon as you can. Being involved in an accident or suffering a serious injury is already drama enough. You do not want to have another battle with the courts over Statutes of Limitations.