How Long Do I Have To Hire An Attorney?

The law requires that you file a lawsuit within a specified period of time depending on the nature of the claim and the entity that caused your injury. This is referred to as the statute of limitations. Failure to file suit within this time frame prevents you from filing suit at all. In some instances, there are various exceptions to the statutes of limitation that may extend or limit the limitation periods. There may be special claims presentation requirements for claims against state and local government. For these reasons, it is important to consult an attorney as early as possible to be sure you don't miss a crucial deadline.

In Maine, all civil actions must be commenced within six years after the cause of action accrues, except as otherwise specifically provided by statute. Maine statutes provide for a two­year statute of limitations for actions for wrongful death, assault and battery, false imprisonment, slander and libel, and for actions against governmental entities. An action for injury or death caused by medical malpractice must be brought within three years from the date of the alleged wrongful act. In most cases, the cause of action accrues on the date of the incident, but there may be exceptions when the injury could not have reasonably been discovered until a later date.

There are exceptions to the above limitation periods when the claimant is a minor, mentally ill or imprisoned. In most cases, when the disability exists at the time the cause of action accrues, the action may be brought within the above time limits after the disability is lifted.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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