Time limit for making a personal injury claim: statute of limitations

WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS?

The deadline for bringing a lawsuit is called the statute of limitations. Each state has their own statute of limitations and typically it’s a very strict deadline. Generally speaking, a statute of limitations is one that is designed to cut off or eliminate a potential cause of action or claim by the mere passage of time. While such statutes can arise in a number of circumstances, the area of personal injury can be used to illustrate how a statute of limitations works.

WHAT ARE THE PERSONAL INJURY STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IN IDAHO?

In Idaho, the general rule for personal injury is that unless a claim for injury is settled or a lawsuit filed within two years of the date such claim arose, the claim is barred by the running of the statute of limitations. For purposes of calculating the time, the day of the event does not count toward the calculation of time. If the two year anniversary of the date the claim arose falls on a weekend or a holiday (When court offices are closed), the last day will be the next business day after the weekend or holiday.

ARE THERE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT INTERRUPT THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS?

Other issues that may come up in calculating the statute of limitations involve mental capacity and age. For example, if a person is mentally incapacitated for a period of time and is unable to handle his or her affairs, the statute may be tolled or suspended for the period of time that the person was incapacitated. Also, the time is calculated differently for a minor child. No period of minority or mental incapacity can extend for more than six years from the time the cause of action or claim arose.

DOES THE RUNNING OF THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS DEADLINE END THE CLAIM?

As a practical matter, in the case of a personal injury claim, it makes no difference how badly a person is injured, it the statute of limitations runs, the claim is barred by the passage of time and there can be no recovery on the claim. That is why it is wise to consult with and get the help of an experienced personal injury attorney soon after a personal injury arises to help you handle an injury claim.

The Idaho Statute of Limitations for personal injury can be found at Idaho State Code 5-219 and 5-230.