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Statutes of Limitations for Different Types of Personal Injury Cases

The statute of limitations is a legal principle that restricts the time in which an individual can file a lawsuit or bring legal action against another party. The purpose of this limitation is to promote the timely resolution of legal disputes and ensure that evidence and witnesses are still available and reliable when a lawsuit is filed.

For some types of claims, such as personal injury or medical malpractice, the statute of limitations may be relatively short, typically ranging from one to three years. Other types of claims, such as breach of contract or property damage, may have longer time periods, typically ranging from three to ten years.

Once the statute of limitations has expired, a person is no longer able to file a lawsuit for that particular claim. This means that even if someone has a valid legal claim against another party, they will be barred from pursuing it if they fail to do so within the prescribed time frame. This restriction serves as a protection for defendants, as it prevents them from being constantly exposed to the threat of a lawsuit long after the alleged incident occurred.

There are a few exceptions and circumstances that can affect the application of the statute of limitations. In some cases, the clock may be paused or “tolled” due to certain factors, such as the plaintiff being a minor, the defendant being out of the jurisdiction, or the discovery of the injury or harm being delayed. Additionally, the statute of limitations may vary depending on the nature of the claim, the identity of the parties involved, or the specific laws of the jurisdiction.

How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Arizona?

In Arizona, for most personal injury cases, including car accidents and slip and fall injuries, the statute of limitations in Arizona is two years from the date of the accident. So, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the incident, or you may lose your right to seek compensation.

However, it is important to note that there are exceptions to this general statute of limitations. For example, if the injured party is a minor or if the injury was not immediately discovered, the clock on the statute of limitations may be extended. Additionally, if the defendant is a government entity, the timeline for filing a claim may be significantly shorter.

It is critical that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an injury occurs to ensure that you understand the specific statute of limitations that applies to your case. Waiting too long to file a lawsuit can result in forfeiture of your right to seek compensation, so it is important to take action promptly.

Statutes of Limitations by Case Type

The statute of limitations for different types of personal injury cases varies depending on the type of case and jurisdiction. Different case types have different rationales for the varying time limits imposed by the statute of limitations.

Civil cases, such as personal injury or contract disputes, often have statutes of limitations that range from one to ten years. These time limits aim to strike a balance between the need for aggrieved parties to pursue legal remedies promptly and the need for defendants to have closure and certainty.

For instance, personal injury claims typically have a shorter statute of limitations (often one to three years) to encourage the injured party to promptly seek compensation and be aware of their injuries. On the other hand, contract disputes may have longer limitations, as it may take time for parties to discover breaches and gather necessary evidence.

  • Personal injury – 2 years (A.R.S. § 12-542)
  • Product liability – 2 years; or within 12 years of when the product was initially sold in some cases (A.R.S. §§ 12-551, 12-542(1))
  • Claims against the city, county, or state – 1 year (claim must be filed within 180 days) (A.R.S. § 12-821.01)
  • Injury to personal property – 2 years (A.R.S. § 12-542)

It is important to note that statute of limitations laws can vary based on the facts of the case, and they can also be subject to certain circumstances that may pause or toll the limitations period. These laws exist so that cases are pursued within a reasonable time frame where the facts and details of the case are still clear in everyone’s mind.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you should consult an attorney to discover the exact time you have to file a claim for compensation. Don’t wait — your case could get weaker as time goes by. If you’re going to make a claim, it’s essential you contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your right to compensation is protected.

Are There Special Rules for Statutes of Limitation in Arizona?

In Arizona, there are specific rules and time limits that govern the statute of limitations for different types of cases. There are also a few special rules that apply to certain cases. For instance, if the injury was not immediately apparent following an accident, the time to pursue a case may be extended. Additionally, if the victim was a minor at the time of the accident, the time to file a lawsuit may also be extended so that the plaintiff can file a case as an independent adult.

In cases involving property damage, including trespass, nuisance, and negligence claims, the statute of limitations is typically one year in Arizona. This means that legal action must be initiated within one year from the date of the damage occurring.

Claims Against a Public Entity

Another special rule that can come into play is if the defendant is a government entity. Per Arizona law, (A.R.S. § 12-821.01) persons who have claims against a public entity or a public employee shall file claims with the person or persons authorized to accept service for the public entity or public employee as set forth in the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure within 180 DAYS after the cause of action accrues.

Medical Malpractice

The statute of limitation for an alleged action of medical malpractice in Arizona is two years after the incident. However, under the discovery rule followed in Arizona, the cause of action does not accrue until the patient knows or should have known that the malpractice occurred.

Wrongful Death

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years after the incident. In Arizona, the statute of limitation does not accrue until the plaintiff discovers, or with reasonable due diligence should have discovered, that they have been injured by the defendant’s negligent conduct.

Contact Torgenson Law for a Free Case Evaluation

If you have been injured in an accident or through the fault of another party, it’s important to consult with an attorney to determine if there are specific circumstances or legal nuances that may affect the time limit for your particular case. The facts of each unique case play a part in any claim for compensation, and a personal injury attorney can give you a clear and honest picture of your claim.

Reach out to us online or call 602-726-0747 to get your case examined by an experienced litigation attorney who can best evaluate how to build a strong case for compensation.