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 North Dakota, most actions for personal injury based on a negligence cause of action must be brought within six years from the date when the cause of action accrues. 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. A medical malpractice action must be brought within two years from the date of injury or from the date of discovery, but never more than six years from the date of injury. For intentional acts such as libel, slander, assault and battery, the statute of limitations is two years. A wrongful death action must be commenced within two years from the date of death. Suits against political subdivisions must be brought within three years from accrual of the cause of action.

The limitation periods are tolled for persons who are under the age of 18, insane or imprisoned at the time of accrual of the cause of action. However, the period within which the action must be brought cannot be extended more than five years by any such disability except infancy, nor can it be extended in any case longer than one year after the disability ceases. In cases alleging malpractice, the extension of the limitation due to infancy is limited to twelve 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.

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