7th Jun 2018
How long do I have to file a claim?
The question, “How long do I have to file a claim?” is an important question. The time limitation to file a claim is called a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is the final date you can file a lawsuit if you wait longer than the time limit you are barred from filing a claim.
You might initially think this is a simple question, but it’s not. How long do you have to file a claim will depend on many factors. First , the lawyer will decide which states law applies to your case. The lawyer must consider which state law applies in your situation. There is an entire set of law dealing with which states law to apply. Each state has their own set of time limitations. The time limit for even a simple claim of negligence varies from state to state. For example, some states have a certain time limit for negligence but a shorter period if a death was involved. In some states, the negligence claim is shorter if you are claiming there is professional malpractice. If the Federal law applies, then the lawyer must consider special time limits imposed by federal statutes.
The next step is to decide which specific legal theory you will use to pursue your claim. Each legal theory has a different time limitation. In Kansas, for example, you have one year for defamation, two years for negligence, three years for oral contract breaches and five years for violating a written contract. Statutory rights are often on a faster track with some claims barred after just a few days if certain actions are not taken to protect your rights.
It is even more complex because you must know when to start counting, in other words, when does the time limit start to run? In accident claims it is often the date of injury but not always. In some types of negligence claims, you go back to the wrongful act. A wide variety of exceptions might apply such as disability which may toll the time limit or stop the time limit for a while.
You can see it is not simple so be sure to us and find out. Don’t guess.
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