Have you been injured in an accident in Arizona that someone else caused? If so, you may be thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve.
All personal injury lawsuits in Arizona are subject to a statute of limitations, which is a law that sets strict time limits on certain types of legal action. Contact the legal team at Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer to further discuss the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Arizona and how it could affect your case.
What Is Arizona’s Standard Time Limit to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The standard time limit to file personal injury lawsuits in Arizona is outlined in Arizona Revised Statutes § 12-542, which states that a party must bring any personal injury lawsuit within two years after the “cause of action accrues.” So if you wish to file a personal injury lawsuit in Arizona, you must file within two years of the date you suffered the injury.
This two-year deadline applies to most types of lawsuits involving injuries “to the person,” including car accidents, product liability cases, and medical malpractice.
One major difference however is if your lawsuit will be brought against a government entity (a city, county, or the State of Arizona for example). The statute of limitations for these sorts of cases is much less than two years and requires a “notice of claim” to be filed within 180 days after the cause of action accrues.
What Happens If You Miss the Filing Deadline?
If you attempt to file a personal injury lawsuit after the standard two-year deadline has passed, the party you are trying to sue can file a motion to dismiss, asking the court to toss out the case because the deadline has passed. Unless there is some specific exception, the judge will likely agree. If this happens, you will lose your right to demand compensation for your injuries and related losses through the civil courts.
The personal injury statute of limitations does not apply to filing insurance claims after an injury. However, the statutory filing deadline remains highly relevant to insurance claims during the settlement negotiation phase. Insurance adjusters make settlement offers based on what they believe could happen in court. So if you no longer have the ability to take the other side to court, you will have zero negotiating leverage. This is why it’s important to work with a local personal injury lawyer who can keep your case on track from the beginning.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations In Arizona
Several key exceptions can extend, or toll, the usual two-year deadline on personal injury cases set by the statute of limitations in Arizona, including when:
- The victim is a minor– If the victim is younger than 18 when the injury occurs, the two-year “clock” won’t begin counting down until they turn 18 and reach legal age. At that point, they can file suit.
- The injury was hidden– Sometimes, an injury isn’t found as soon as the accident occurs. In these cases, the two-year limit may begin on the day the injury was discovered.
- The defendant is absent– If the person allegedly responsible for the injury leaves Arizona before the two-year deadline expires, the countdown may be paused for the time they remain out of the state.
Contact Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer to File Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you suspect you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit in Arizona, don’t hesitate to act. Two years may sound like plenty of time, but it can pass quickly. Contact Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer today to learn more about your legal options in a free initial case review.