Statutes of limitation are important to be aware of and understand when you have been injured or otherwise harmed by someone’s negligence. A statute of limitation can impact a victim’s ability to pursue a claim for damages when injured in a car accident, for example. Likewise, because of the applicability of statutes of limitation, a statute of limitation can impact the ability of surviving family members of a loved one lost in a car accident to pursue a claim for damages as well.

The way statutes of limitation work is to bar, or preclude, claims for injury or harm after a certain period of time has passed. The type of claim typically determines when the statute of limitations “clock” begins to run and can vary based on the nature of the harm. Once the period of time provided by the statute of limitations has run, or passed, victims may not longer file a claim for the harm suffered.

In general, statutes of limitation for injury or harm suffered in an accident involving negligence begin running from the time of the injury, the time the injury was discovered or when the injury could have been discovered through reasonable efforts. If it important to note that many statutes of limitation are legislated by statute, however, others are established through common law which is considered law developed over time by judges and courts.

Because of the significance and seriousness of statutes of limitation, it is important, when harmed by the negligence of another party, to be aware of any relevant statute of limitation and what amount of time the statute of limitation in question provides for filing a claim. Being informed about statutes of limitation is important to preserving your claim and should be carefully considered whenever a victim has suffered damages because of another party’s negligence.

Source: Cornell University School of Law Legal Information Institute, “Statute of Limitations,” Accessed Dec. 8, 2014