Personal Injury Statute of Limitations By State in 2024

An injury accident can be a life-changing event, and it can be stressful to navigate the legal system that follows. One of the most important aspects of personal injury law is the statute of limitations. This is the time limit within which you must file a lawsuit or forfeit your right to compensation, and the statute of limitations by state varies for personal injury claims.

The statute of limitations varies for different types of injuries and across states. It’s essential to understand what a personal injury statute of limitations is, how it works, and what factors affect it. In this article, we will go over the personal injury statute of limitations by state for all 50 states to help you understand your legal rights and options.

What is the Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a law that sets a limit on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after an event has occurred. In personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is the time limit in which you can file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries. Each state has different statutes of limitations for different types of personal injury cases. For instance, in some states, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is shorter than that for car accident cases.

The Personal Injury Statute of Limitations By State

It’s essential to know the applicable statute of limitations by state depending on where you were injured and the type of case you have. This information can be found in your state’s legal code, or you can consult with a personal injury lawyer.

Missing the statute of limitations can be devastating, as it will likely mean you won’t be able to seek compensation for your injuries. The defendant can use the expiration of the statute of limitations as a defense to have your case dismissed without compensating you for your injuries.

The table below outlines the statute of limitations by state for personal injury claims in all 50 states throughout the United States.

STATE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS STATE LAW
Alabama 2 years Ala. Code § 6-2-38
Alaska 2 years Alaska Stat. § 9.10.070
Arizona 2 years Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 12-542
Arkansas 3 years Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-105
California 2 years Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 335.1
Colorado 2 years (3 years if motor vehicle accident injuries) Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-102
Connecticut 2 years Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 52-584
Delaware 2 years Del. Code Ann. Tit. 10, § 8119
District of Columbia 3 years D.C. Code § 12-301
Florida 2 years Fla. Stat. Ann. § 95.11
Georgia 2 years Ga. Code Ann. § 9-3-33
Hawaii 2 years Haw. Rev. Stat. § 657.7
Idaho 2 years Idaho Code § 5-219
Illinois 2 years Ill. Comp. Stat. 735, Art. 5, § 13-202
Indiana 2 years Ind. Code Ann. § 34-11-2-4
Iowa 2 years Iowa Code §. 614.1
Kansas 2 years Kan. Stat. Ann. § 60-513
Kentucky 1 year (2 years if motor vehicle accident injuries) Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 413.140
Louisiana 1 year La. Civ. Code Art. 3492
Maine 6 years Me. Rev. Stat. Tit. 14, Ch. 205, § 752
Maryland 3 years Md. Courts & Jud. Proc. Code Ann. § 5-101
Massachusetts 3 years Mass. Gen. Laws, Art. 260, § 2A, 4
Michigan 3 years Mich. Comp Laws Sec. 600.5805
Minnesota 2 years Minn. Stat. § 541.05, 541.07
Mississippi 3 years Miss. Code § 15-1-49
Missouri 5 years Mo. Rev. Stat. Title 35, § 516.120
Montana 3 years Mont. Code Ann. § 27-2-204
Nebraska 4 years Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-207
Nevada 2 years Nev. Rev. Stat. § 11.190
New Hampshire 3 years N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 508.4
New Jersey 2 years N.J. Stat. § 2a:14-2
New Mexico 3 years N.M. Stat. Ann. § 37-1-8
New York 3 years N.Y. Civ. Prac. Laws & Rules § 214
North Carolina 3 years N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-52
North Dakota 6 years N.D. Cent. Code § 28-01-16, 28-01-18
Ohio 2 years Ohio Rev. Code § 2305.10
Oklahoma 2 years Okla. Stat. Ann. Tit. 12, § 95
Oregon 2 years Or. Rev. Stat. § 12.110
Pennsylvania 2 years 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5524
Rhode Island 3 years R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-14
South Carolina 3 years S.C. Code § 15-3-530
South Dakota 3 years S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 15-2-14
Tennessee 1 year Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104
Texas 2 years Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003
Utah 4 years Utah Code § 78B-2-307
Vermont 3 years Vt. Stat. Ann. Tit. 12, § 512
Virginia 2 years Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-243
Washington 3 years Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 4.16.080
West Virginia 2 years W. Va. Code § 55-2-12
Wisconsin 3 years Wisc. Stat. § 893.54
Wyoming 4 years Wy. Stat. § 1-3-105

When Does the Clock on the Statute of Limitations Begin?

The statute of limitations for personal injury cases typically begins on the date the injury occurs, or the date you discover the injury. In some cases, such as car accidents, the date of injury is the date of the accident. In other cases, such as medical malpractice, the date of discovery might be later than the date of the actual injury, depending on when you realized you were harmed.

Book on a desk that reads "statute of limitations" - Statute of Limitations by state for all 50 states in the US

Can the Statute of Limitations Be Extended?

The statute of limitations deadlines can be extended or paused under some circumstances. For instance, if the injured party is a minor, the statute of limitations period may not begin to run until he or she reaches the age of majority. Additionally, the statute of limitations may be extended if the defendant leaves the state or is incarcerated. In contrast, if the injured party is mentally disabled, the statute of limitations may be extended until he or she is no longer incapacitated. To take one state as an example, there are multiple exceptions to the statute of limitations in Texas, though they rarely apply to most injury claims.

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims can be complex and the statute of limitations by state can vary. It’s crucial to be aware of the time limit within which to file a claim to avoid losing your right to compensation. Make sure to seek legal counsel if you are unsure of the statute of limitations applicable to your case. With this information, you can stay informed and take the necessary steps to protect your rights and obtain appropriate compensation.

Summary: What to Know About the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury by State

Understanding the statute of limitations for personal injury claims by state is essential to ensure you retain your right to seek compensation for injuries. Each state has its own specific time frame within which you must file your claim, ranging from one to six years. Missing these deadlines typically results in the dismissal of your case, potentially leaving you uncompensated for your injuries.

Various factors, such as the nature of the injury, the time of its discovery, and specific state laws, influence the starting point and duration of the statute of limitations. Additionally, exceptions exist for situations involving minors, mental incapacity, or if the defendant is out of state or incarcerated, which can extend or pause the time limits.

Given the complexity and variation of these laws, consulting with a personal injury lawyer is advisable to ensure you meet all necessary deadlines and protect your rights. Contact Thompson Law today for a FREE CONSULTATION.

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State law limits the time you have to file a claim after an auto accident. If you have been injured in an accident, call now to get the help you need.