Nursing Home Statute of Limitations: State-By-State Guide


Laura Schaefer

If either you or someone you love has experienced a nursing home injury, help is available near you. A legal professional can tell you the nursing home abuse statute of limitations for your state. Your case is important, and you deserve expert counsel from a lawyer who specializes in this kind of case.

You may be concerned that you are running out of time, and acting promptly is important to file a successful claim. The reason for this is simple: States have laws that prevent cases from being brought forth after too much time has passed. These are called “statutes of limitation” laws. However, these laws can vary significantly from state to state. Here are examples of civil suits that abide by their state’s statute of limitations below:

The shortest statute of limitation that may apply for some nursing home injury cases is one year. The timing of your case usually begins either on the day of the accident or injury, or on the day your injury becomes apparent. Don’t wait until it’s already too late to find legal assistance!

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What is a Nursing Home Lawyer?

Nursing home lawyers are personal injury attorneys who focus on elder abuse cases. They are experts at both the state and federal laws enacted to protect vulnerable nursing home residents. These lawyers operate under the same filing deadlines as other personal injury cases, but it is important to understand that many states passed tort litigation limits last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, you should speak to a lawyer within one year of the incident or injury.

Your case may stem from neglect, abuse, a mistake with medication, or other dangerous circumstance at your loved one’s nursing home. Your state of residence is the key variable when it comes to finding out how long you have to potentially receive a sizeable cash settlement for your loved one’s case.

States with a 1 or 2-Year Statute of Limitations

Some states have only a one-year statute of limitations for nursing home injury claims. These include Kentucky and Louisiana as well as Tennessee.

Two years is the most common statute of limitations on a nursing home injury case. States with a two-year deadline to file your claim include:

States with a 3-Year Deadline for Nursing Home Injury Cases

States With 4-to 6-Year Limits on Nursing Home Injury Claims

States with a four to six-year statute of limitations include:

  • Nebraska
  • Utah
  • Wyoming
  • Maine
  • Missouri
  • North Dakota

Once more, a reminder: The statute of limitations is a law that puts a specific time limit on your right to file your nursing home injury case. Unless you file a claim before this deadline passes, then you cannot secure justice or compensation through any U.S. court.

This is a situation where filing sooner rather than later is nearly always your best bet.

If you live in a state with at least a three-year deadline, you may feel you and your family can wait to have a lawyer file a claim. While that makes sense, your case will be stronger if you call a legal expert as soon as possible. This is especially true in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as some states are changing laws. Furthermore, evidence and testimony are easier to gather when the incident or injury at the center of your case is relatively recent.

A lawyer with experience filing nursing home injury claims such as yours can review your case for free. They’ll work to understand what happened to you or your loved one, which laws are relevant to the case, then give you an exact deadline to claim your cash settlement.

The Nursing Home Statute of Limitations is Important

States use different time limits based on the specific claims you make against a nursing home defendant. The statute of limitations may vary, for example, in cases that involve negligence or other extenuating circumstances. There are also special timelines for claims against the government. Talk to a nursing home lawyer in your area for more details about deadlines and relevant laws, including circumstances or new rules that might change the filing deadline. Until you speak with a nursing home injury attorney in your state, you should only use the time limits listed here as basic guidelines.

Remember, it is always in your best interest to file within a year, since that’s shortest deadline to file in any state.

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Laura Schaefer

Laura Schaefer is the author of The Teashop Girls, The Secret Ingredient, and Littler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at and