What is the Statute of Limitations?
If an individual is injured in an accident, there is a defined amount of time that they have to pursue a legal claim. This period of time is referred to as the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations keeps legal claims within a reasonable amount of time from the incident. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for most personal injury is two years. This means that an individual has two years from when the cause of action accruise, or more simply put, the date of the incident to file a personal injury claim. For example, if you have a car accident on August 20, 2014, you have to settle or file a claim by august 20, 2016.
Statute of Limitations: Medical Malpractice
You must be very careful regarding a medical malpractice claim because the Ohio legislature has reduced the statute of limitations to one year. In addition, it is sometimes complex to determine which date the time limit begins to run in a medical malpractice case. It could be measure from one of three dates:
- Date the malpractice occurs
- Date last treated with doctor who you believe committed malpractice
- When you discovered the malpractice or should have discovered
Statute of Limitations: Wrongful Death
If you believe your friend or loved one died because of negligence or fault of another, the estate of the deceased has two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit no matter how the death occurred.
Statute of Limitations for Minors
The statute of limitations differs somewhat for minors who are involved in injury accidents. If a child is injured in a personal injury accident, they have two years from their 18th birthday (20th birthday) to pursue a legal claim. It does not matter the age they were when the accident occurred, whether six years old or 17; they still have two years after their 18th birthday to file a personal injury claim.
Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer is able to file a claim immediately following the incident, allowing the process to begin and the resolution to ultimately come sooner. While the statute of limitations allows two years after an incident, our law office highly recommends contacting a personal injury soon after the incident occurs. Seeking legal guidance sooner rather than later will not only help to reduce the stress involved with the process, but also make the claims process easier for you.
To speak to a personal injury lawyer at Contrada & Associates, call 419.841.4400. You will have the opportunity learn more about your legal options and the steps to take toward filing a personal injury claim.