Personal Injury Claims Have a Statute of Limitations

personal injury statute of limitations in Arizona

Personal Injury Claims Have a Statute of Limitations

If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, you are entitled to seek compensation for the damages you have suffered. However, you should be aware that your case needs to be filed before the statute of limitations expires. If the deadline passes, you lose your right to file for a claim through the courts. 

A statute of limitations is a set amount of time between when the crime or injury occurred and the last possible date you may file a lawsuit. Statutes exist for both criminal and civil cases, and the limits range depending on the circumstances of each case. 

Arizona’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases

The most common types of personal injury cases are motor vehicles accidents, dog bites, slip-and-fall accidents, and wrongful deaths. The statute of limitations begins on the date of the injury, death, or accident. 

In Arizona, you typically have two years to file a personal injury claim. However, there are some exceptions.

With Cases Against a Public Entity There Is Less Time to File

Arizona’s Tort Claims Act allows for some personal injury cases to be filed against the government. Cases may be brought against a government entity if the actions would have been considered negligent in a private capacity. However, a claim must be filed against government entities within 180 days of the injury. 

The Statute of Limitations Is Different for Minors 

If the personal injury lawsuit involves a minor, the statute of limitations is slightly different. People under the age of 18 do not have the legal ability to file a lawsuit. Therefore, the statute of limitations for an injury sustained by a minor will not start until their 18th birthday.  

However, a parent may file a lawsuit on behalf of their minor child. Waiting until the child’s 18th birthday is not always in their best interest, so consulting a personal injury attorney is especially important in these cases. 

The Discovery Rule Lengthens Your Time 

The statute of limitations does not begin until the person knows, or should have reasonably known, about an injury. Under Arizona’s Discovery Rule, the two-year clock does not start once the injury is discovered. Sometimes injuries might not become apparent right away, and because of this if an injury is found later than the statutes of limitations, and it can be proven to be from the incent, then the case may be presented to the courts outside of the typical Arizona statutes of limitations. 

Why Are There Limitations on Filing Personal Injury Cases? 

Arizona has a statute of limitations for several reasons. Deadlines ensure that disputes are settled while the evidence is fresh and encourage prompt settlements. They also prevent people from using the courts to harass others over past events. These deadlines are usually beneficial for all parties involved. 

Unless an exception applies, the court will automatically dismiss all lawsuits filed after the statute of limitations has expired. This is why it is important to consult a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident or injury. 

Consulting a Lawyer Can Help Your Case

Personal injury claims can get complicated. Different factors may affect the steps you need to take to claim compensation for your injuries. A lawyer can advise you on which types of damages to claim, and lay out the best course of action. 

With a lawyer, you have a better chance of winning your case, because you’ll have someone on your side who will fight for your right to fair compensation. A good personal injury lawyer understands which laws impact your case, keeps track of deadlines, and helps you collect the evidence you need to build a strong case.

At Van Norman Law, we fight to win. If you plan to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, we will be with you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.




Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/30/24). Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash.