How Long You Have To File a Car Accident Lawsuit

If you were recently in a car accident caused by someone else, and you did not receive the compensation you are owed, you are probably considering filing a lawsuit against the responsible person. However, you also probably have a lot on your mind right now, between fixing your vehicle, figuring out your situation, and potentially even recovering from injuries. This raises the question of how long you have to file a lawsuit. Do you have time to wait before filing? This guide will answer this question.

The Statute of Limitations

The legal name of the time limit you have to file is the statute of limitations. The exact length of the statute of limitations depends on the type of lawsuit filed and what state you live in. There are two different types of lawsuits you might have on your hands: a damage to property suit or a personal injury suit. Usually, the statute of limitations is either two or three years. This list has all the states where the statute of limitations is longer or shorter than two or three years.

  • Florida – Four years
  • Georgia – Four years for property damage cases
  • Illinois – Five years for property damage cases
  • Iowa – Five years for property damage cases
  • Kentucky – One year for personal injury cases
  • Louisiana – One year
  • Maine – Six years
  • Minnesota – Six years for property damage cases
  • Missouri – Five years
  • Nebraska – Four years
  • New Jersey – Six years
  • New Mexico – Four years for property damage cases
  • North Dakota – Six years
  • Ohio – Four years
  • Oregon – Six years for property damage cases
  • Rhode Island – 10 years for property damage cases
  • South Dakota – Six years for property damage cases
  • Tennessee – One year for personal injury cases
  • Utah – Four years for personal injury cases
  • Virginia – Five years for property damage cases
  • Wisconsin – Six years for property damage cases
  • Wyoming – Four years

If you do not see the state and type of lawsuit that matches your situation, you should research whether you have two or three years, or simply plan on filing before two years have gone by. Remember, the very first step toward filing a lawsuit is to speak with an attorney, like a Central Phoenix, Arizona car accident lawyer from Kamper Estrada, LLP, who specializes in car accident cases. Your attorney will be able to officially file for you and answer all your questions about your case, including how long it will take, your chances of winning your case, and how much you should expect to receive. It takes time to file, however, so do not wait until the last minute.