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Statutes of limitations in personal injury cases

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2023 | Personal Injury

The time period after an injury can pass in a blur. There are doctor appointments, medical treatments, and all the tasks that come with everyday life.

However, one thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is filing any necessary legal paperwork. There is often a time limit, and missing deadlines could affect the outcome of any personal injury claims.

A statute of limitations is the maximum period a person has to file a lawsuit after being injured. There are several reasons why courts impose these statutes, such as the preservation of evidence. It’s also a question of fairness as it removes holding the ongoing threat of litigation over someone’s head.

Ohio’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years

But what if someone doesn’t realize they were harmed? For example, a medical error might not cause immediate symptoms. It could take months or even years for the patient to realize they’ve been injured due to misdiagnosis, surgical errors, or incorrect medication.

In that event, a legal principle called delayed discovery states that the statute of limitations does not start until the person discovers the injury. Not only does this principle apply to medical malpractice, but it can also apply to environmental factors, such as chemical exposure, where it may take years for symptoms to develop.

Furthermore, if the injured person is a minor, the two-year rule doesn’t begin until they turn 18.

Given the complexities of personal injury lawsuits, it’s best to discuss your specific situation with someone knowledgeable about statutes of limitations. They can review your case and guide you through the process.