What is a Statute of Limitations?

  • By interactive
  • 14 Jul, 2016
Statute Of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a law that designates the amount of time a person or entity has to bring a lawsuit or file a legal claim against another person or entity. Once the designated amount of time has passed (this varies from state to state as well as by type of case), the ability to file a claim or lawsuit also passes.  As a general rule, most statutes of limitations range from one to six years depending upon the type of claim. Claims against the government (state and federal) are governed by a separate set of rules and procedures which are set forth in what is typically known as the Tort Claims Act . Each state, including the federal government, has its own specific Tort Claims Act that governs claims against the state government as well as local governmental entities (municipalities, counties and governmental subdivisions).

While most statutes of limitations refer to civil litigation cases, there is also a set time in which criminal charges can be filed.  Most crimes (felonies and misdemeanors) are governed by a specific state mandated statute of limitation period but some crimes are so serious, such as homicide, that they can be prosecuted at any time.

The various categories of legal claims are very broad and the type of claim or suit you file will determine the specific amount of time you have to file a suit or legal claim. Some of the most common legal situations include:

  • Debts
  • Breach of contract
  • Medical malpractice
  • Sexual abuse of a child
  • Personal injury
  • Slander/Libel  
  • Fraud or misrepresentation
  • Property damage

So, when does a statute of limitation period begin to run? While there are special cases in which the start date is different than the date of occurrence, in general, the clock starts ticking as soon as the incident in question takes place.  This means if you or someone you know is in a serious accident as the result of someone else’s negligence, the date of the accident marks the start of the time period to file a claim or suit against the negligent party.

Understanding the statute of limitations for your specific legal matter and the rules of the state in which the event occurred is critical to making sure that your rights are protected.   If you believe that you have a legal claim against another person, entity or the government, one of the first things you need to do is determine what the limitation period is for your specific case. Determining the amount of time you have to file suit or give notice of a claim is key to the success of your case. A good case can be lost if too much time passes before you bring suit or properly give notice of your claim.

If you are considering pursuing a legal claim in Iowa or Nebraska, contact the professionals at Fitch & Stahle .

Fitch & Stahle Law Firm Blog

By interactive 07 Nov, 2017

After you’ve survived an injury-causing accident that was not your fault, the main job of a personal injury attorney is to prove that the other party was wholly responsible for what occurred.

But how exactly does a lawyer make that case?

In other words, what is the process that a personal injury lawyer takes to help prove that his or her client did not cause the accident?

By interactive 07 Nov, 2017

An accident of any kind, whether it involves a motor vehicle, or a slip-and-fall at the workplace can impact your life in ways you never expected, especially if you suffered serious injuries. And after this type of event occurs, the question often arises:

How long should you wait before you contact a legal advisor?

Most personal injury lawyers would answer with one word: immediately.

And that’s true, but what’s more important is for you to understand why contacting an attorney as quickly as possible can positively affect your legal claim.

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