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Do You Know What the Statute of Limitations is?

Posted May 31, 2019 | News

Best Personal Injury Lawyer Philadelphia

If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may have heard about something called the statute of limitations. If you are not familiar with this term, it is important that you learn what it is and how it impacts the validity of your case. While this guide will go over the basics, remember that it is no substitute for speaking with the best personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia from Wieand Law Firm, LLC.

The Statute of Limitations

This is actually a rather simple concept. The statute of limitations is essentially just a time limit to file a lawsuit. If a lawsuit is filed after the statute of limitations is expired, chances are very good that the judge will throw the case out completely. Without even taking the statute of limitations into account, it is better to file a lawsuit sooner rather than later. All the information will be fresher, it will be easier to find witnesses who are willing and able to testify, and the jury will be more sympathetic. Additionally, trails can take months or years to complete, so you should not delay. Remember, the statute of limitations is the time limit to file a lawsuit. It does not need to conclude, or even go to court, before the statute of limitations is up.

What Is the Statute of Limitations?

The specific length of the statute of limitations depends both on the state the lawsuit is filed in and the type of lawsuit. For personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is usually either two or three years. The following are all the states that do not have two or three years as the statute of limitations for a personal injury case:

  • 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

Exceptions

There are very few exceptions to the statute of limitations that would allow a lawsuit filed after it expires to continue. The biggest exception is called the “discovery rule.” If you do not discover an injury or you do not discover who is responsible for the injury until later, the statute of limitations does not begin until that discover is made. So, if an accident causes a minor injury that you are not aware of until six months after the accident, and the statute of limitations is two years, you can file a personal injury case until two years and six months after the accident. An attorney can tell you more.