The Statute Of Limitations: What Victims Need To Know About Acting Fast

Posted on: 1 July 2021


When you suffer harm at the hands of another, you only have so much time to take action. That means you must file a suit in court before the time runs out. This issue can be very confusing for victims because the rules vary from state to state and from case to case. To find out what victims need to know about taking action quickly after harm has been done, read on. 

States Vary in Time Limits

Personal injury, or civil law, is state-specific. That means you must act on the harm done to you based on the state that has jurisdiction over the incident. If your injury occurred in Florida, you have to take action in that state. It doesn't matter where you lived at the time of the incident. When you are wondering about the statute of limitations, look at how long you have to act by considering the state where the incident happened. You will notice that states vary a lot in how much time you have to act on a lawsuit. 

The Type of Case Matters Too

When you consider a personal injury case, this form of civil law covers a variety of different types of cases. In many states, the time allowed to file a case varies depending on the type of case. You should consider the following types of cases – some of which are differentiated by quite a bit when it comes to filing a case:

  • Written contracts
  • Oral contracts
  • Car accidents
  • Property damage
  • Physical (bodily) damage
  • Medical malpractice

What Stops the Clock?

The time allowed can also be affected by certain circumstances. When the statute of limitations clock is temporarily stopped, it is said to "toll" and that suspends the passing of the time allowed to file. The below issues can sometimes toll the clock:

  1. Incapacity: When the victim is unable to take action due to physical or mental incapacity.
  2. Age: Only those above the legal age can take legal action. Once the victim has attained the legal age (often, age 18), the clock begins to tick again. It should be noted that the parents of an underage victim may file a suit on the child's behalf at any time.
  3. Discovery of harm: Some victims are unaware of their injuries at first. This can occur through toxic exposure issues. Sometimes, the toxic substance slowly causes harm to the victim. Once the victim discovers the harm, the statute of limitations clock begins to tick.

Don't take the chance of running out of time. Speak to a personal injury lawyer in your area, such as Arrington Schelin, a Professional Corporation, as soon as possible, and get paid for the harm done to you.