What Is a Statute of Limitations and How Does It Affect My Case?

I tell my staff that I can fix almost any mistake, except a missed Statute of limitations. A missed statute of limitations is like a bullet to the head. It is a case killer, and there's usually no mercy for somebody who misses the deadline, even by one day.  

The statute of limitations is the deadline that the legislature has set to get your case on file.  

In personal injury cases it's usually 2 years, but not always, and it would be a mistake to always assume you have 2 years. It depends on the kind of case you have, and sometimes against who the defendant is.

For example, if the person that caused your injury is a government employee, you frequently have 90 days to give them written notice of your claim and a lot of detail about what your case is about. If you have a discrimination case it would be 300 days to get your claim on file with the EEOC, and if you don't do that, then you can't file a  lawsuit later.  

If it is a medical malpractice case, there are special rules.  There are special rules if it’s a minor, a child, or incapacitated person. There are special rules if you case is undiscoverable, like for example, in an asbestos case, or mesh case where you didn't know you were injured until much later, and you couldn't have learned it sooner.

So the bottom line is this: If you have an injury or legal rights, it would be a mistake to wait just before the 2 years runs and then contact an attorney to see what can be done. You could miss your deadline if you do that, so contact an attorney, find out what the deadlines are, let them explain the lay of the land, and then you can make a decision about what you want to do. Of course, you're welcome to call us, we're happy to answer your questions, or you can contact us online.