“Statute of Limitations” for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Q:  Do I have to bring a case for personal injury within any particular time?

A:  Yes. There is a “statue of limitations” that applies to most cases. That is, the state legislature has specified times within which various kinds of case must be filed in court or the right to pursue the case can be lost. Most cases for personal injury must be filed within two (2) years from the date of the incident causing the injury. However, in other types of cases, for example, medical malpractice claims, the injury, or the fact that it was caused by malpractice, may not be known for some time.  In such cases, the time limit is two (2) years from the date the claim accrues.  According to our courts, accrual occurs “when the damaged party realizes he or she has been damaged and knows or reasonably should know the cause” of the injury. However, if the claim is against the state or other governmental entity, or any employee of a governmental entity, a notice of claim must be served within 180 days of the date the claim accrues, and if the claim is denied, you must file suit within one (1) year of the date the claim accrues. Failure to act within these times could result in your claim becoming unenforceable.  There can be a number of legal issues involved in determining these deadlines, so you should consult with an attorney about the deadlines in your case.