You Must Bring a Lawsuit Within Specified Time Periods; Otherwise You Will Lose Your Right to Sue
Arizona law provides time limits within which a personal injury or wrongful death claim must be settled or a lawsuit initiated. These time limits are known as Statutes of Limitations. If a lawsuit is not filed in the proper court within the time limit set by Arizona law, the right to recover compensation may be lost. The time limit may vary depending upon a number of factors, including the type of legal action involved, how or where the injury or death occurred, or the legal status of the parties involved.
The following is a brief summary of the most common Statutes of Limitations:
- Personal Injury (e.g., most car accidents) – 2 years from the date of injury.
- Dram Shop (Providers of Alcohol) – Usually 1 year from the date of injury.
If you are injured or a loved one is killed by a person who has been over-served alcohol, you may have a claim against the business that provided the alcohol.
- Dog Bites – The time varies, but is usually 1 year from the date of injury.
- Injuries or death caused by property owners or occupiers (Premises Liability) – 2 years from the date of injury.
- Medical Malpractice – 2 years after the cause of action accrues (consult attorney about meaning).
- Work Injuries Caused by Third Parties – 1 year from the date of injury.
If a person is injured while on the job as a result of the negligence of a third party (i.e., someone other than a co-employee or employer), that person may be entitled to compensation from the third party, in addition to Worker’s Compensation benefits. In most situations, Arizona law prevents an employee from suing an employer or co-employee.
- Governmental Entity or Employee
If you have a claim against a governmental entity (city, county, state, school districts, or their personnel, for a few examples), a Notice of Claim must be served upon the governmental entity within 180 days of the date of the injury. If an injured party fails to serve the Notice of Claim within the 180 days, the claim is barred. If the entity does not agree to settle the claim, then a lawsuit must be filed in the proper court within one year of the date of injury.
- When the Injured Person is a Minor
When the person who has suffered an injury is under the age of eighteen, the statute of limitations will not expire until the applicable limitation period has run after the minor’s eighteenth birthday (i.e., for personal injuries: date of 18th birthday + 2 years = deadline).
- When the Injured Person is Incompetent or Insane
When a person who is insane or incompetent suffers an injury, statutes of limitations will not expire until the applicable statute of limitations time period has run after the disability ceases.
WARNING: There are many possible exceptions to the above limitation times, and different circumstances may require other limitation or notice provisions to be applied. These laws are complicated. We recommend that you promptly seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney if you believe you may have a claim!
If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, call Bache & Lynch at 520-834-8921 or contact us online.
The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we win. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.