Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Claims

This treatise is based upon California law. Your statute may be different depending on jurisdiction and venue. When bodily harm is suffered by an individual due to the actions of another person or entity, they may have the right to bring a legal claim against the responsible person to hold them financially accountable for damages their actions caused. Filing a personal injury claim in the United States will have a statute of limitations, which is a time limit in filing the claim, whether it is for harm sustained in a car accident, slip and fall, motorcycle collision, construction site incident, workplace injury or dog bite. Personal injuries can be expensive and have long lasting effects for the person who is hurt, since there can be medical expenses, ongoing medical care, physical rehabilitation, loss of income and other costs directly associated with the incident that costs.

These expenses warrant filing a personal injury claim, but what should be understood is the statute of limitations or time limit to file the claim. This time limit begins running from the date the harm was suffered and if the statute of limitations runs out, before filing a legal claim the lawsuit will not be able to be filed and the plaintiff may give up their right to obtain financial compensation. Common Law and Procedural Rules When filing a personal injury claim in the U.S. judicial system there are procedural rules that will apply to the action. This will include the statute of limitation that will entail the maximum amount of time the plaintiff has to file the claim with the appropriate court, after the date of the incident resulting in harm. If the case involves medical malpractice there will be additional rules and discovery for the personal injury. The procedural rules for personal injury states that bodily harm cases must be brought in civil court and provide reasons why this rule applies.

  • The plaintiff must have good cause to pursue an injury case and with reasonable diligence.
  • The defendant may use lost evidence to dispute or disprove the claim brought against them.
  • A claim that is left inactive is more harmful, than it is just for the plaintiff.

Standards of Common Law

The standards of common law involving the statute of limitation in a personal injury claim have certain common law standards that cross several areas of law in the United States in judicial proceedings.

  • There is a prescription rule, which is a limitation rule applying to civil court or criminal court applying to move lawsuits.
  • Injuries that involve a specific level of prosecution rising to a misdemeanor offense may have a two year statute of limitations applied.
  • Injury cases that rise to an offense level over a misdemeanor or to a felony level can have a five year statute of limitations for bringing prosecution.

Personal Injury Lawsuits

Personal injury lawsuits have a statute of limitations, which may differ depending on the party or entity and it may also depend on the state laws. The range of years for filing a claim can be from one year to six years and stale claims, which are claims late in bringing the claim to court may be unsuccessful. This could be due to various reasons, including diminished evidence in the case or witnesses that cannot be located.

Sources:

Statute of Limitations: http://www.courts.ca.gov/9618.htm