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What is the personal injury statute of limitations?

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The statute of limitations is a very important factor in liability litigation since it determines the time period within which victims of a personal injury tort can file a personal injury claim in court. The statute of limitations specifies a period of time to report an accident starting the moment it has occurred or the moment the harmed person has discovered the personal injury.

Every state has their own specific legislation outlining the statute of limitations for personal injuries. The period to file a claim ranges from six months to six years, depending on the state (see Table 1).

If a personal injury claim is filed after the period set by the statute of limitations of the respective state, the lawsuit will be dismissed for being untimely.

State Period of Limitation
Alabama 2 years
Alaska 2 years
Arizona 2 years;
1 year for slander or libel
Arkansas 1 year for slander;
2 years for medical malpractice;
3 years for wrongful death or libel
California 1 year for libel or slander;
2 years for intentional torts
Colorado 1 year for slander or libel;
2 years for other personal injuries
Connecticut 2 years
Delaware 2 years
District of Columbia 3 years;
1 year for slander or libel
Florida 4 years;
2 years for slander, libel and medical malpractice
Georgia 2 years;
1 year for libel/slander
Hawaii 2 years
Idaho 2 years
Illinois 2 years;
1 year for defamation
Indiana 2 years
Iowa 2 years
Kansas 2 years;
1 year for libel or slander
Kentucky 1 year
Louisiana 1 year
Maine 6 years;
2 years for libel/slander
Maryland 3 years;
1 year for libel/slander
Massachusetts 3 years
Michigan 3 years;
1 year for libel/slander
Minnesota 2 years
Mississippi 3 years;
1 year for libel or slander;
2 years for malpractice
Missouri 5 years;
2 years for malpractice;
2 years for libel/slander
Montana 3 years;
2 years for libel/slander
Nebraska 4 years;
2 years for malpractice;
1 year for libel or slander
Nevada 2 years
New Hampshire 3 years
New Jersey 2 years;
1 year for libel or slander
New Mexico 3 years
New York 3 years;
1 year for libel or slander;
2 ½ years for malpractice
N. Carolina 3 years;
2 years for wrongful death;
1 year for libel/slander
N. Dakota 6 years;
2 years for wrongful death, libel or slander
Ohio 2 years
Oklahoma 2 years;
1 year for libel/slander
Oregon 1 year for libel/slander;
2 years for personal injury;
2 years for medical malpractice
Pennsylvania 2 years;
1 year for libel or slander
Rhode Island 3 years;
1 year for libel or slander
South Carolina 3 years;
2 years for libel/slander
South Dakota 3 years;
2 years for libel, slander, or medical malpractice
Tennessee 1 year;
6 months for libel/slander
Texas 2 years;
1 year for libel/slander
Utah 4 years;
1 year for libel/slander;
2 years for wrongful death
Vermont 3 years
Virginia 2 years;
1 year for libel or slander
Washington 3 years;
1 year for libel or slander
West Virginia 2 years
Wisconsin 3 years;
2 years for libel/slander
Wyoming 4 years;
1 year for libel/slander

Table 1. Personal Injury Statute of Limitations by State.

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