Did you know that there is a time limit by which you can sue someone for their wrongful conduct?
The law that applies to the time limits that apply to various kinds of lawsuits is called a Statute of Limitations. Each state has different laws and time frames and each kind of lawsuit also has it’s own time frames. In Arizona, the Statute of Limitations can generally be found at Arizona Revised Statutes 12-501 and further. Even with various laws that apply to the time limits, there are sometimes exceptions and tolling provisions, so it is advisable to see the advice of an attorney as quickly as possible after the injury or loss occurs.
The start time for when the clock starts ticking is generally when the injury or event occurs. For example, in a motor vehicle collision, the start date for the application of the Statute of Limitations is two years from the actual collision. However, there are occasions when the start time is when the injury or loss is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. For example, in a medical malpractice action, the injured person may not realize immediately after a medical procedure that they have suffered injuries as a result of a doctors negligence. The start time for the Statute of Limitations then becomes the date of discovery or when the negligence should reasonably have been discovered.
There are occasions when the Statute of Limitations is much shorter depending on who/what caused the injury or loss. The time frames change for most types of lawsuits if the wrong doer or tortfeasor works for or is a governmental entity. In those instances, a Notice of Claim must be made within 180 days of the injury or its discovery.
Generally, and not fully inclusive, the time limits that apply to different causes of action are as follows:
- Personal Injury – 2 years
- Medical Malpractice – 2 years
- Written Contracts – 6 years
- Oral Contracts – 3 years
- Products Liability – 2 years
- Injury to Property – 2 years
If you have suffered a loss or injury, please do not wait to consult with an attorney! Find out what time frames apply and begin investigating whether you have a claim against someone for your losses.