How Long Does a Person Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Ohio?
If you or a loved one is injured by another’s negligence, you need to strongly consider whether or not you should file a personal injury lawsuit. If someone else injures you and they had a duty to behave in a reasonable way in avoiding the injury, you likely have an injury case. Liability is imposed based on a breach of that duty. The elements of a typical injury case are duty, breach, causation, and damages. If these elements are met and the case cannot be settled for an adequate amount of compensation, a lawsuit may be required. It is important to know, however, that you must file this lawsuit within a specific time frame or the case could be dismissed.
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Personal Injury Lawsuits in Ohio
Personal injury lawsuits are designed to take the evidence and establish these required elements to have the court impose liability on the person who injured you. It is critical to remember, however, that all personal injury lawsuits have a time frame within which they must be filed called the statute of limitations. This legal concept is designed to encourage those who will pursue compensation with an injury lawsuit to do so promptly.
How Long You Have to File An Injury Lawsuit in Ohio
A statute of limitations is a State law that sets a time frame within which a lawsuit based on a certain type of claim must be filed. If the case is not filed within the time frame, it can be used as a defense to dismiss the lawsuit before the merits of the claims are heard by the court. Every State has its own statutes that provide these timeframes for a large number of potential claims – including personal injury cases. Ohio is no different.
The time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Ohio is governed by Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10. Under this statute, an action based on product liability claims and actions for bodily injury or injuring personal property shall be brought within two years after the cause of action accrues.
Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injuries in Ohio?
While the statute of limitations for injuries in Ohio is 2 years, there can be some gray area that requires the analysis by a qualified personal injury lawyer. For example, there are certain cases where the exact date of the discovery of the injury is in question. In such instances, the statute of limitations may not have begun tolling until the discovery of the injury or the date whereby the injury “should” have been discovered. This is a very fact specific inquiry, however, and should be analyzed by an experienced injury lawyer. There may also be certain exceptions that apply to the statute of limitations for cases where the injury was caused by malicious or intentional conduct. You should never try to determine when the statute of limitations will expire for your specific case and should always consult an injury attorney for this important aspect of your injury claim.
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About the Authors: Sawan & Sawan is a multi-generational, family owned law firm practicing law in the areas of car accidents, truck accidents, insurance claims, personal injury, and more. Our firm practices law in Ohio (Toledo, Columbus), Georgia, and Michigan.
Dennis P. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Georgia
Christopher A. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Michigan