What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a law that prescribes the time period in which a plaintiff may file a lawsuit. If the plaintiff files their lawsuit after the statute of limitations for their claims has expired, their case will be dismissed, and they will have no remedy for their injuries. In personal injury cases, the statute of limitations typically begins to run on the date the plaintiff was injured. In some cases, the statute of limitations will begin to run on the date the plaintiff discovered or should have discovered their injury. Statutes of limitations vary from state to state and by the type of case, so it is important that you check your state’s statute of limitations if you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit.
There are, however, a few ways to extend, or toll, the statute of limitations past the number of years prescribed by the statute.
A court will toll the statute of limitations applicable to a plaintiff’s claims if an extenuating circumstance makes it unfair to bar the plaintiff’s case. The doctrine of equitable tolling allows a court to extend the statute of limitations if the plaintiff did not discover their injury until after the statute of limitations expired, despite having exercised all reasonable care and dili