If you are injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you will want to take legal action and receive the compensation you feel you deserve. There is a situation however when you are not able to pursue legal action against someone for your injury. This can happen if you take too long to file a legal action claim and the statute of limitations has expired.
What is a statute of limitations?
A statute of limitations limits the amount of time you must file a legal action for your injuries after an accident. While each state has different time restrictions, in Arizona, you will have two years to initiate a legal action against someone due to an injury from an accident. If more than two years elapse before you pursue legal action, it will most likely end up being dismissed without any compensation coming your way.
Besides a statute of limitations on personal injury, here are a few other incidents that will need legal action in a set amount of time:
- Slander or libel – One year
- Property damage – Two years
- Fraud – Three years
- Trespassing – Two years
- Malpractice – Two years
- Written contracts – Six years
- Debt collection – Three years
Not every crime or accusation is subject to a statute of limitations in Arizona. There is no statute of limitations on homicide, violent sexual assault, involvement in a crime, misuse of public money or falsifying public records.
When does a statute of limitations begin?
The time period for when the countdown starts on a personal injury statute of limitations is at the time of the accident. There can be opportunities to extend the deadline and there are exceptions, but that is something you will need to discuss with your personal injury attorney. Typically, the most common cause for the statute of limitations to be lengthened is if an injury from the accident was not found out until much later. Then, the time would start from the discovery of the injury instead of at the time of the accident.
Statute of limitations are put into place to make sure that evidence and key witness testimony is not tampered with or corrupted. It will also keep the chance of a lawsuit from happening long after an event has taken place.
If you have been in an accident that you feel was due to the negligence of another person, you should act quickly. While two years may seem like a long-time, you may be surprised how fast the time can go before you realize you need to take action.