Most people have the heard the term statute of limitations before, but many people do not understand what statutes of limitations are, and the real world implications they may have.  Statutes of limitations are defined as “any law which fixes the time within which parties must take judicial action to enforce rights or else be thereafter barred from enforcing them.”  Barron’s Law Dictionary, 6th ed.

In other words, statutes of limitations are laws passed by a legislature that set time periods under which a person must take some legal action (such as commencing a lawsuit, filing a claim, etc.) to enforce their legal rights.  If the set time period passes and no legal action has been started, the action or claim can no longer be brought, and if the claim is brought, it will be dismissed by the court or agency as “untimely.”

The main purpose behind a statute of limitation is to force claims to be brought in a reasonably prudent period of time before physical evidence is lost or destroyed, witnesses’ memories have faded, and so people and businesses may get on with their affairs without the uncertainty of unknown claims still lingering about. The harsh consequence of losing the right to bring a claim is why it is absolutely critical for lawyers and claimants alike to know and understand which statutes of limitations apply to each specific claim, and when exactly, they begin.  Unfortunately, there is no uniform statute of limitations and each specific type of claim (negligence, medical malpractice, contract cases, products liability, wrongful death, etc.) may have its own unique statute of limitation.  Knowing what statute of limitation applies requires a careful analysis of the specific facts of a given situation, and the type of claim that can be pursued.

At Nelson Personal Injury, we devote our entire practice to representing individuals who have been injured and families of those who have been killed, as a result of the negligence of another.  Without timely action, claims for damages (medical expenses, wage loss, pain, suffering, and emotional distress) against your own insurance company and/or the insurance company for the “at-fault” party may be lost.   Because of the harsh consequence of not pursuing a claim within the statute of limitations, it is absolutely necessary that you consult with an experienced injury lawyer to make sure that your rights are protected.  If you or someone you know has been injured due to the fault of another, call us today for a free consultation…before it’s too late.