Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases
If you are injured as a result of another person’s negligence or wrongdoing, you only have a limited amount of time to bring a lawsuit based on personal injury. Discussing your case with an attorney as soon as possible is important to ensure that all statutory deadlines are met.
At Slater & Zurz, our Columbus personal injury lawyers help individuals who have suffered injuries or lost a loved one obtain compensation from a liable party. Our dedicated legal team will fight for you and your family to secure the largest recovery possible. If you have been injured by another person’s carelessness, contact our office at (614) 756-2714 to request a free consultation.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is the legal deadline for filing a lawsuit or bringing a cause of action. The statute of limitations is the maximum amount of time allowed by a jurisdiction to bring a lawsuit, and it differs by state. In a personal injury claim, the statute of limitations is the time you have to sue the party that caused your injury.
Why Do States Impose a Deadline for Personal Injury Claims?
States impose legal deadlines on the amount of time a person can bring a lawsuit to ensure that matters are dealt with in a timely manner. The more time passes, the more likely memories will fade, and evidence may become lost.
Allowing an infinite amount of time for a person to bring a lawsuit based on personal injury may result in an unfair disadvantage to the side being accused of wrongdoing. Statutes of limitations are usually based on the date of the injury or the date the injury was discovered.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Columbus?
According to the Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10, lawsuits based on bodily injury must be brought within two (2) years of the date of the injury. The vast majority of personal injury cases, such as those resulting from car accidents, will fall into this category.
Failure to bring a claim within the statutory deadline may result in your case being denied. You may be barred from recovery or unable to obtain compensation from a liable party. While there are exceptions to the two-year deadlines, it is vital to consult with an experienced attorney as early in the process as possible to ensure that you meet all legal requirements for filing a lawsuit.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Columbus, Ohio?
There are limited exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations in personal injury cases. For instance, a person whose injury was caused by exposure to hazardous or toxic chemicals has two years from the date they are informed of an injury related to the exposure or the date they reasonably should have discovered the injury.
The same is true for someone injured as a result of exposure to chromium or for a veteran who was injured due to exposure to “chemical defoliants, herbicides, or other causative agents including Agent Orange.”
Discussing your case with an attorney immediately after an injury is discovered is essential. You may lose your right to compensation if you do not bring a claim (cause of action) within the statute of limitations. A knowledgeable Columbus personal injury lawyer can help prove your case and show that you exercised reasonable diligence in discovering your injury.
What If I Was a Minor at the Time I Was Injured?
Pursuant to Section 2305.16, the statute of limitations is extended for persons “within the age of minority or of unsound mind” at the time of their injury. For individuals in these circumstances, the statute of limitations begins to run once the “disability is removed.”
In other words, a person who is injured when they are under the age of 18 has two years from the day they turn 18 to bring a lawsuit. A person injured who is of unsound mind has two years from the date they are found competent to bring a lawsuit based on personal injury.
What Is the Deadline for Bringing a Product Liability Claim in Columbus?
As with other claims based on bodily injury, there is a 2-year deadline for bringing a product liability claim. Product liability claims include when an individual is injured or killed because of a dangerous or defective product.
In Ohio, a product liability claim may be based on problems with the product:
Product liability claims are often complex, requiring a person to sue a manufacturer or supplier of goods with deep pockets and access to endless resources. Despite these complexities, if you are injured by an unsafe product, you only have two years to bring a lawsuit.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Medical Malpractice Claim in Columbus?
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is much narrower than other personal injury cases. Section 2305.113 of the Ohio Revised Code states that a medical malpractice claim must be brought within one (1) year.
The one-year deadline includes the following types of malpractice claims:
If you provide written notice to the person you allege committed the malpractice within one year, the deadline may be extended to 180 days beyond that date. The statute of limitations may also be extended if you could not have reasonably discovered the malpractice.
If a foreign object was left in your body, you have one year from the date you discovered the object or reasonably should have discovered it. However, no medical malpractice may be brought more than four (4) years after the alleged act or omission occurred.
What If I Was Injured on Someone Else’s Property?
You have two years to file a claim based on premises liability if you were injured on someone else’s property. One of the most common premises liability cases is slip and fall accidents.
While two years may seem like ample time to file a lawsuit for a slip and fall accident, it is critical to remember that collecting evidence, conducting an investigation, and building a strong case takes time. It is generally in your best interest to consult with an attorney as quickly as possible to ensure that you file your claim timely and meet all statutory requirements.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Columbus?
In the unimaginable event that you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you have two years from the date of their death to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit may include compensation for:
- The loss of support of your loved one (based on their expected earning capacity);
- Loss of services;
- Loss of society, including loss of companionship, consortium, care, and assistance;
- Loss of prospective inheritance; and
- Mental anguish is experienced by their survivors.
While we know that no amount of money could ever fully compensate you for the loss of your loved one, it may help alleviate the financial hardship often created after an unexpected death.
Do I Need an Attorney to File a Lawsuit?
Under Ohio law, you are not required to have legal representation to pursue a lawsuit against a negligent party. However, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney if you are injured as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing.
Too often, unrepresented injured parties end up settling their case for far less than it is worth, or worse, end up waiting too long and being unable to pursue compensation.
A lawyer can help make sure that you receive the maximum recovery allowed by law. They will fight for you to get compensation for all of your losses. In addition to advocating for you and your family, they can independently investigate what caused your injuries and help collect evidence to prove your case.
How We Can Help
At Slater & Zurz, we know Ohio law. With over a century of collective experience, we know what it takes to win personal injury cases. We have recovered over $500 million on behalf of our clients and will relentlessly pursue justice for you and your loved ones.
Let us help you today. We have the experience you need to get the results that you want. Do not settle for less. Contact our office immediately after your accident or injury to ensure we can meet all statutory timelines on your case. Our Columbus car accident lawyers are here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call (614) 756-2714 to get started with a free, no-obligation consultation.
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- The Deadline for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Columbus, Ohio.
- 8 Reasons Why You Need a Lawyer after an Accident in Columbus