Learn About the Statute of Limitations

Car Accident Lawyer

If one person’s actions result in another person being injured, then the first person is responsible for compensating the victim for his or her medical bills and all other expenses related to the injury. Personal injury lawsuits are the system for forcing someone to pay these compensations if he or she refuses. However, after the injury, your first priority should be to seek the medical treatment you need. You do not need to file the lawsuit right away, but keep in mind that there is a time limit on when you can file.

The Statute of Limitations

The time limit on filing a lawsuit is called the statute of limitations. If you try to file a suit after the statute of limitations has expired, then it will almost certainly be thrown out. At this point, there is nothing you can do to receive the compensation you are owed. However, you should not worry too much about rushing to file your lawsuit. The statute of limitations is always at least one year for personal injury suits.

What Is the Statute of Limitations?

The specific statute of limitations you need to keep in mind depends on your home state. The time limit is different in each state, as well as for each type of lawsuit. For nearly all states, the statute of limitations is either two or three years. The states that do not fall into one of these categories are:

  • Kentucky – One year
  • Louisiana – One year
  • Tennessee – One year
  • Wyoming – One year
  • Florida – Four years
  • Nebraska – Four years
  • Utah – Four years
  • Missouri – Five years
  • Maine – Six years
  • North Dakota – Six years

The statute of limitations is designed to protect the defendant, while also giving the plaintiff plenty of time to file a lawsuit.


There are very few exceptions to the statute of limitations. You should not rely on finding some loophole and simply file your lawsuit in a timely manner. It can be easy to forget, so do not delay once your medical treatment is complete.

The most common exception is called the discovery rule. If you do not know why was responsible or your injury, or if you do not realize you are injured at first, then the statute of limitations does not begin until this discovery is made. Remember, your car accident lawyer in Tarzana, CA will be able to tell you more information that relates to your case specifically. It is always a good idea to hire a legal professional as early as possible.

Thanks to Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into personal injury claims and the statute of limitations.