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Statute of Limitations

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Statute of Limitations Defined
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Most civil claims are governed by a statute of limitation. This means that the claim must be filed in the Courthouse within that period of time. Otherwise the claim is forever barred. In regards to many injury claims, the statute of limitation is either two (2) or three (3) years depending on the jurisdiction. Property damage claims may be governed by different statute of limitations. In some states the rule about actually filing your suit papers within the statute of limitations may vary. That is some states allow for the statute to be tolled (stop from running) by the mere service of the suit papers on the other party without filing them at the courthouse.

Statute of Limitations Defined As To When Does It Begin

A tricky question arises as to when does the statute of limitations begin to run. In a fraud case it begins to run when the plaintiff knew or should have known of the fraud. In a medical malpractice case it may not begin to run until the treatment ends. This assumes the treatment has been continuous for the same condition that is the subject of the claim.

Whatever statute of limitations exist it is purely arbitrary. It is set by the state legislative body. Minors generally are governed by different rules as far as the statute of limitations. Likewise people that are deemed to be either permanently or temporarily incompetent are governed by a different statute of limitations.

Statute Of Limitations Defined As Different From Statute Of Repose

There is also what is known as statutes of repose. These may set a specific time for bringing claims that is totally dependent on the occurrence of a specific act. This act has nothing to do with when the plaintiff was injured. For instance in regards to new construction there may be a statute of repose. Any claims that arise after the designated number of years after the completion of that building are time barred. It makes no difference who the injured party is or the severity of the injury.

For more info on limitation matters see the other pages on this site. Also see the page on Wikipedia dealing with statute of limitations.

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