Accident Statute of Limitations

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Statute of limitations is the period of time allowed by law for a claim to be brought against a culpable party for damages.  In other words, it is the statutory time limit placed on the right to bring civil legal action against the party responsible for the car accident.  Accident statutes of limitations vary by jurisdiction and different allotments of time apply to different forms of claims or actions. 

A victim of a car accident has to abide by the accident statute of limitations that apply in the state or jurisdiction where the car accident took place.  In most cases, the accident statute of limitations commences immediately after the car accident has occurred.  In some jurisdictions, the law allows time for the victim to discover the damage, harm, or fault of the culpable party. 

Accident statutes of limitations that govern personal injury and damage to personal property vary for each individual action.  Some jurisdictions allow for variations of the statute of limitations that apply to the individual action depending on certain conditions of the accident, injuries, or damage.  For the most part, accident statutes of limitation apply according to the following definitions by jurisdiction:


  • Kentucky: 1-year for personal injury/2-years for damage to personal property.
  • Tennessee: 1-year for personal injury/3-years for damage to personal property.
  • Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia: 2-years for both personal injury and damage to personal property.
  • California, Connecticut, Idaho, and Nevada: 2-years for personal injury/3-years for damage to personal property. 
  • Georgia: 2-years for personal injury/4-years for damage to personal property.
  • Illinois, Iowa, and Virginia: 2-years for personal injury/5-years for damage to personal property.
  • Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Oregon: 2-years for personal injury/6-years for damage to personal property.
  • Montana: 3-years for personal injury/2-years for damage to personal property.
  • Arkansas, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, and Washington DC: 3-years for both personal injury and damage to personal property.
  • New Mexico and Vermont: 3-years for personal injury/4-years for damage to personal property.
  • South Dakota and Wisconsin: 3-years for personal injury/6-years for damage to personal property.
  • Utah: 4-years for personal injury/3-years for damage to personal property.
  • Florida, Nebraska, and Wyoming: 4-years for both personal injury and damage to personal property.
  • Missouri: 5-years for personal injury/5-years for damage to personal property.
  • Maine and Minnesota: 6-years for both personal injury and damage to personal property.
  • Mississippi and Rhode Island: 3-years for personal injury

Accident statutes of limitations can be extended, altered, or tolled for certain circumstances such as in cases involving minors or delayed discovery. 

To avoid ineligibility to your claim due to expiration of accident statute of limitations in your car accident case you should contact a local car accident attorney immediately after motor vehicle crash.
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