How Long Is The Statute Of Limitations In The US?

Statute of limitations is put in place due to various reasons. These include the following::

To safeguard the evidence and facts

Witnesses statements may become unclear and less reliable as people’s memories fade over time, and thus they are not able to recall what they saw or heard years back, leading to inaccurate and conflicting testimonies. Crucial evidence can also go missing or be destroyed.

To ensure prompt attention to the matter

This law ensures the lawsuits are dealt with quickly, so it is important for you to file the lawsuit as soon as possible after the offense or accident.

To prevent malicious prosecution

Moreover,  it also prevents people from pursuing a lawsuit that has no basis or probable cause and is only filed for harassing others.

Common statute of limitations

If the case you want to file a lawsuit for comes under one of the following categories, then you will have a statute of limitations. Some of the common statutes of limitations include:

1)   Property damage due to intentional or negligent behavior

In most areas, the statute of limitations for this category is 3 years.

2)   Personal injury due to intentional or negligent behavior

For personal injury cases, the time limit is from 1 year to 6 years, according to the state you live in.

3)   Medical malpractice

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice is around 3 years. But in the case of minors, the lawsuit should be filed within 3 years, and if the child is younger than 6 years, then before their 8th birthday.

4)   Breach of contract

Ranging from 3 to 15 years, the statute of limitation is more for a breach of written contract and shorter for a breach of oral contract.

5)   Libel or slander

For this, the time limit of filing a lawsuit is 1 to 3 years.

6)   Debt

Depending on the kind of debt, the statute of limitations is around 3 to 6 years.

7)   Fraud

Generally, for fraud, the statute of limitations is 4 years. However, it can be increased according to the type of case and its jurisdiction. Major fraud against the US is around 7 years.

When does the statute of limitations start for my case?

The time starts right after the offense occurs. If the time limit is reached before you take your legal action, then your claim can be renounced. Moreover, why do you want to delay your legal action?

If you want to take legal action and recover damages, then you need to do it quickly because later in time, it may become difficult due to destroyed or altered evidence.

However, some states allow pausing of statute of limitation under some special situations where the statute of limitation does not start until it is un-paused again.

Special circumstances that allow the statute of limitation to be paused

Some of these special situations include:

1)   Injured minors

Usually, personal injury cases have 2 to 3 years of statute of limitations. But, many states allow for minors who are injured to reach 18 years of age before the time starts.

2)   Discovery of an injury

The statute of limitation can be paused or tolled until an injury is discovered. This exception is very effective in cases where injuries do not appear immediately.

3)   Defendant is out of states

When the defendant is not within state, the statute of limitations can be paused or tolled. If legal action starts and then the defendant goes out of state within the limited time period, then the statute of limitation is paused.

4)   Insanity law

It states that the defendant cannot be proven guilty if they were legally insane at the time of the offense. Once the condition ends, the statute of limitation starts.

5)   Fraudulent concealment by the defendant

If the defendant uses fake evidence or misleading and disillusion actions to confuse the plaintiff and prevent them from understanding the cause of action and taking it.

6)   Disability

A form of disability that prevents the person from taking a cause of action such as being a minor and not being legally permitted to do that have a serious medical condition that makes them not competent for that or if the person is bankrupt.

What happens once the statute of limitation passes?

Once the statute of limitations has passed, you can use other ways to recover damages, like filing a claim with an alternative cause of action. You should contact an experienced lawyer about the statute of limitations of your case so that your claim is filed within the time frame given to you.

Moreover, if it is passed, then also your lawyer may be able to come up with an exception that could allow you to file a claim. But if a prosecutor charges you for a case that has passed its statute of limitations, what do you do then?

Usually, the judge does not review the deadlines, so if a defendant does not raise the problem of the statute of limitation, then the court will proceed in judging the case. So only a defendant and their lawyer can petition for dismissing the case due to an expired statute of limitations.

In conclusion

Most of the cases are subjected to a statute of limitations. If you think you have a valid case after an accident or offense, then it is important that you file a claim as soon as possible. Or you can pause or toll the statute of limitation if you have a special circumstance mentioned above.

It is important that you meet the deadlines and file your lawsuit before your statute of limitations expires. If you still have questions regarding the statute of limitations and how it is subjected to Filing for a claim and suing to recover for your injuries and damages following an accident needs to be done within a specific period of time. This time frame is known as the statute of limitations. A statute of limitation is a law that states the amount of time that the parties involved in an accident have to start the litigation process from the time of the accident or offense.

The amount of time given to the plaintiff to start the legal action against the defendant depends upon the type of offense and the laws of the state. In this article, you can learn about the Statute of limitations on a birth injury and other cases in the US.

Purpose of statute of limitations

your case, then you should quickly consult with an experienced lawyer who can help you out.