What Is the Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a state law that sets forth the time frame in which you can file various types of lawsuits. Each state has its own set of SOLs pertaining to specific types of lawsuits and specific types of defendants.

Personal Injury Lawsuits

In terms of how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit after you sustain injuries due to someone’s negligence or wrongdoing, this depends on the following:

  • The state in which you live
  • The type of injury you sustained, i.e., medical malpractice, motor vehicle accident, etc.
  • The person or entity you wish to sue, i.e., hospital, city, county, state, etc.

Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits

As you might expect, personal injuries can result from a number of causes, including the following:

  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Motorcycle accident
  • Bicycle accident
  • Pedestrian accident
  • Boating or other water accident
  • Medical malpractice incident
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect
  • Premises liability accident
  • Defective product accident

SOLs Regarding Type of Suit

Most states give you 2-3 years after the date of your injuries to sue the individual who caused the accident or incident that, in turn, caused your injuries. Some states give you more time and some give you less, however. In addition, many states have a more stringent SOL for medical malpractice suits than for motor vehicle suits. Your wisest strategy is to contact an experienced local personal injury lawyer. He or she will undoubtedly know your state’s statutes of limitations and which apply to your specific kind of lawsuit.

Unfortunately, if you miss the SOL filing deadline, you may well not be able to obtain any compensation whatsoever for your injuries, as the lawyers at Cohen & Cohen can explain.

SOLs Regarding Suing a Government

If you wish to sue a governmental entity, such as your city, county or state, based on its negligence in maintaining the street, road or highway on which your accident occurred, most states have a specific set of SOL laws, rules and regulations pertaining to these types of suits.

Obtaining Legal Advice, Counsel and Representation

Given that state SOLs can be confusing at best, your wisest course of action whenever you sustain a personal injury is to seek the advice and counsel of an experienced local personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. He or she can help you determine who was at fault, and therefore who you can sue. He or she can also make sure that you meet all applicable SOL deadlines.

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