How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?

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The typical statute of limitations, meaning the time you have in which to file a lawsuit against the person responsible for your injuries, is two years from the date of the negligent event, the event that caused your injuries.

However, there are certain differences in these rules depending on the kind of a case that there is. For example, if you have a case against a city or a town, then the statute of limitations is effectively 180 days to file what’s called a tort claims notice. You have to file a notice putting that city or town on notice that you will be filing a lawsuit against them in the future, but you only have 180 days to do that. If you have a case against a state, for instance, you have 270 days to file that kind of a tort claims notice.

In the medical malpractice arena and in the product liability arena, there can also be changes to the two year statute of limitations depending on when you found that you were a victim of medical malpractice or when you realized that a defective or a dangerous product caused your injuries.

You don’t want to wait until the last minute, because the longer you wait, the more you run the risk of not properly naming everybody who needs to be named as a defendant in your case. The general rule is make a decision early how to go forward, but be aware that in all of these cases the various statute of limitations can be different depending on the kind of case you have and also depending on what state you need to file your lawsuit in.

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