Personal Injury Statute of Limitations: State-By-State Guide


Jan Reburiano

If you were hurt due to the negligent or malicious actions of another party, you may be able to sue for compensation. In order to file your claim, you need to remember your state’s personal injury statute of limitations.

If you file outside your state’s deadline, the courts will dismiss your case and your losses will not be compensated.

You can find different types of statute of limitations below:

Despite this harsh penalty, there may be exceptions that toll the statute of limitations in your case. That’s why a personal injury attorney is crucial, because they know whether your case applies to one of these exceptions.

Talk to a lawyer in your area for more details about deadlines and relevant laws, including circumstances or new rules that might change the filing deadline.

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What is the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury?

The statute of limitations is the time limit you have on filing a personal injury claim. Each state’s deadline is different, and some cases like wrongful death, have separate deadlines you have to keep track of.

Even though your state gives you time to present your claim, you should still file as soon as possible with the assistance of an attorney. Evidence may be misplaced or potential witnesses may forget key information that is integral to your claim.

It is important to follow the statute of limitations to avoid your claim from getting barred in court. However, the sooner you present your claim, the higher chances of you getting a settlement amount that covers your injuries.

Personal Injury Statute of Limitations – By State

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StateStatutes Listed By StateDeadline to File Your Claim
AlabamaAla. Code § 6-2-382 Years
AlaskaAlaska State. § 9.10.070 (a)2 Years
ArizonaAriz. Rev. Stat. § 12-5422 Years
ArkansasArk. Code § 16-56-1053 Years
CaliforniaCCP § 335.12 Years
ColoradoColo. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-1022 Years
ConnecticutCT Gen Stat § 52-5842 Years
DelawareDel. Code tit. 10 § 81192 Years
FloridaFlorida Statutes Annotated section 95.11(3)2 Years
DCTitle 12, Chapter 3, § 12-3013 Years
GeorgiaGa. Code § 9-3-332 Years
HawaiiHawaii Revised Statute § 657.72 Years
IdahoTitle 5, Chapter 2, § 5-2192 Years
IllinoisChapter 110, § 13-2022 Years
IndianaInd. Code § 34-11-2-42 Years
IowaIA Code § 614.12 Years
KansasChapter 60, Art 5, § 60-5132 Years
KentuckyTitle 36, Chapter 413, § 413.1401 Year
LouisianaLa. Civ. Code art. 34921 Year
MaineMaine Revised Statutes Annotated Title 14, § 7526 Years
MarylandMd. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-1013 Years
MassachusettsTitle 5, Chapter 260, § 2A3 Years
MinnesotaMN Stat § 541.072 Years
MichiganMich. Comp. Laws § 418.3813 Yearsor

1 Year for Personal Injury Protect Claims

MississippiMS Code § 15-1-493 Years
MissouriMO Rev Stat § 516.1205 Years
MontanaMont. Code § 27-2-2043 Years
NebraskaNeb. Rev. Stat. § 25-2074 Years
NevadaChapter 11, Sec 11.190(4)(e)2 Years
New HampshireNH Rev Stat § 508:43 Years
New JerseyN.J. Stat. § 2A:14-22 Years
New MexicoNM Stat § 37-1-83 Years
New YorkNY CPLR § 2143 Years
North CarolinaTitle 1, § 1-523 Years
North DakotaN.D. Cent. Code § 28-01-166 Years
OhioTitle 23, Chapter 5, § 2305.102 Years
OklahomaOkla. Stat. tit. 12 § 952 Years
OregonORS § 12.1102 Years
Pennsylvania42 Pa. C.S. § 55242 Years
Rhode IslandRI Gen L § 9-1-143 Years
South CarolinaSC Code § 15-3-5303 Years
South DakotaS.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-143 Years
TennesseeTN Code § 28-3-1041 Year
TexasTex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.0032 Years
UtahTitle 78, Chapter 12, § 78-12-254 Years
VermontVt. Stat. tit. 12 § 5123 Years
VirginiaTitle 8.01, Chapter 4, § 8.01-2432 Years
WashingtonRCW §§ 4.16.0803 Years
West VirginiaTitle 55, Chapter 2, § 55-2-122 Years
WisconsinChapter 893, § 893.543 Years
WyomingWY Stat § 1-3-1054 Years


When Does the Statute of Limitations Start?

The statute of limitations usually starts at the date of the accident which caused your injuries.

If you suffer bodily injury in a Colorado car accident on August 1st, 2022 and the deadline is three years, the statute of limitations ends on August 1st, 2025.

There are exceptions to the statute of limitations rule that we discuss in the later sections of this article. Your case may apply to these exceptions, which is why a personal injury attorney is integral to organizing your case.

Exceptions to the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

There is a different deadline when filing personal injury claims involving minors, where the statute of limitations pauses until they turn of legal age.

This exception extends to plaintiffs suffering from temporary or permanent mental illness. Their deadline stops until they gain the legal capacity to make decisions or when a loved one files for them.

The statute of limitations also pauses when the defendant leaves the state. If they injure you in a car accident and flee the scene, the deadline to sue is extended until they return to your state. Only then will the statute of limitations clock begin to tick.

A separate statute of limitations exists if you get into an accident with a government entity. This deadline is usually faster than most statute of limitations, so file your claim as soon as possible if you feel the government unjustly hurt you in an accident.

If symptoms of personal injury develop years after the accident, the statute of limitations also changes. If you had no reasonable idea you suffered from this injury and symptoms develop, your deadline follows the Discovery Rule.

The Discovery Rule

The discovery rule applies if you unknowingly suffered from an injury and had no reasonable idea your injury was present.

If you were unjustly exposed to Benzene and gradually developed Leukemia as a result, your deadline doesn’t start at the date of exposure. Your deadline starts when you found out you developed Leukemia.

The Discovery Rule is integral to medical malpractice claims where a doctor’s misdiagnosis may affect you years after the accident.

Why the Statute of Limitations Exists

The statute of limitations exists to preserve the integrity of your evidence during a personal injury claim. Witnesses may forget crucial details that affect how liable you are for an accident. People may misplace pictures or other types of physical evidence that affects your claim.

The statute of limitations accelerates the process so plaintiffs and defendants can equally represent themselves in a court of law.

This time limit also prevents lawsuits for an accident that happened several years ago. Companies, governments, and individuals would act radically differently if the threat of a lawsuit hung on everyone’s head indefinitely.

Find a Personal Injury Lawyer to Analyze Your Case

The most important factor in raising your settlement amount is the legal representation in your corner. They organize the paperwork, represent you in a court of law, forming a plan so your case gets recognized.

The attorneys in our network work under contingency, meaning you won’t have to pay anything up-front until you win the case. The 500+ law firms associated with LegalASAP are spread throughout the United States. To connect with a legal specialist in your area, call 888-927-3080 or fill out this short evaluation form below:

Jan Reburiano is a content writer and SEO specialist for law firms focusing on personal injury, disability, employment law, among other practices. He has written and edited numerous articles and created commercial spots for broadcasters that you can find in his LinkedIn. Jan currently lives in Los Angeles, California while writing for clients from around the United States.