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. In addition, the limitation periods are extended for minors under the age of eighteen, for persons who are insane, etc. 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 Minnesota, an action for personal injury based on negligence generally must be brought within six years from the date when the cause of action accrues. This would apply in the case of an automobile accident involving simple negligence. However, shorter statutes of limitation may apply depending on the specific cause of action and facts surrounding the case. 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.

Wrongful death actions must be brought within three years of the date of death. Product liability actions must be commenced within four years of the date of injury. A shorter period can apply if the action is based on breach of warranty. You are also required to give the manufacturer notice of the claim well before the four­year statute of limitation. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims changed in 1999 from a two­year statute to a four­year statute. The date on which the four­year period commences can vary depending on the circumstances. Actions for intentional acts including assault and battery, libel, and slander must be commenced within two years.

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.

Additional Personal Injury Articles

Search LawInfo's Personal Injury Resources

Lead Counsel Rated Law Firm

Click Here to Learn More