While you might have heard the term before, many people are confused about what a statute of limitations means to them. Each state as well as federal agencies place different statutes of limitations on various offenses. These refer to the specific period of time that a person has in which to pursue a legal action. If you wait too long after an incident to pursue legal action, you might be forever barred from receiving compensation for your losses. For this reason, if you are interested in pursuing any type of personal injury lawsuit in Ohio, you should not hesitate.
The law in Ohio grants most lawsuits involving bodily injury, personal property damage, or product liability a two-year window from the cause of action in which to initiate a legal action. In this context, cause of action refers to the event that led to the injury, or the time at which you discovered the injury. Sometimes the date of the cause of action is not readily apparent because a person might not be immediately aware that he or she was injured. Some of the most common examples of this include exposure to hazardous substances like asbestos and some types of medical malpractice. In these situations, the cause of action is considered to be when you are informed by a medical professional about your condition or when you should reasonably know that you were harmed due to exposure.
In some situations, it is possible to delay the start of the statute limitations time window, which is referred to as tolling. Ohio law permits the tolling of statute of limitations if you are a minor or declared to be mentally incompetent by a court of law. In situations in which a person is a minor, the statute of limitations window will commence at the time that the minor turns 18. When a person is declared mentally incompetent, the statute of limitations window will begin when he or she is declared to be mentally fit. Other laws in Ohio allow tolling when the person against whom you are pursuing legal action has either fled the area, is in hiding, or is out of the state. In these situations, the statute of limitations window will not commence until a person is located or returns to the area.
If you were injured in a car accident, or have suffered a different type of injury, you should not hesitate to pursue legal action because you will usually only have two years from the date of the accident in which to pursue a claim. In more complicated situations, it can be much more difficult to determine how long you have in which to pursue your claim. In either situation, contact a personal injury lawyer at Kruger & Hodges today so that we can begin to take the steps necessary to ensure that you do not forever lose your right to pursue compensation after an accident.