personal injury claims

Understanding the Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Claims

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When it comes to personal injury claims, time is of the essence. One important factor that can significantly impact your case is the statute of limitations. Understanding this legal concept is necessary for anyone seeking compensation for injuries sustained due to someone else's negligence. At Forward Law Group, APC, our personal injury lawyers believe in empowering our clients with knowledge.

What is the Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations is the time limit within which a lawsuit must be filed after an incident occurs. Once it expires, the injured party may lose the right to seek legal action. Each statute of limitations depends on the type of case and jurisdiction.

Importance of Timely Action

Prompt action is key in personal injury cases. Failing to file within the statute of limitations results in the forfeiture of your right to compensation, regardless of the strength of your case. It's important to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney at Forward Law Group, APC as soon as possible after an injury to ensure compliance with these deadlines.

Factors Affecting the Statute of Limitations

Several factors can influence the statute of limitations in personal injury cases:

Type of Injury

Different types of injuries may have distinct statutes of limitations. For example, the time limit for filing a claim involving medical malpractice might differ from that of a slip and fall accident. The severity and nature of the injury can also impact the length of the statute of limitations, with more severe injuries often allowing for longer filing periods.


Each state establishes its own statutes of limitations for personal injury claims. Understanding the statute of limitations in your jurisdiction is imperative, as failure to follow these laws can result in the forfeiture of your right to seek compensation. 

Discovery of Injury

In some cases, the statute of limitations may begin from the date of the injury's discovery rather than the date it occurred. This is relevant for injuries with delayed symptoms, such as certain medical conditions, which result from exposure to harmful substances.

Defendant Identification

If the identity of the responsible party is unknown at the time of the injury, the statute of limitations may be extended. However, once the defendant is identified, the clock typically starts ticking from that point forward. Legal proceedings should promptly be initiated to ensure compliance with the applicable statute of limitations and protect your rights to compensation.

At Forward Law Group, APC, our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you to understand factors that affect the statute of limitations and to overcome any challenges that may occur.

Exceptions and Extensions

While statutes of limitations provide clear deadlines for filing lawsuits, there are exceptions and circumstances that may warrant an extension of the time limit:

  • Minority: This exception acknowledges that minors may not have the capacity to file lawsuits immediately after an injury due to negligence. It allows them to wait until they reach the age of majority to file a lawsuit, which is generally fair and recognizes the distinctive circumstances of minors.
  • Mental Incapacity: This exception includes situations where the injured party is unable to pursue legal action because of mental incapacity. Tolling the statute of limitations until the individual regains capacity is a provision to ensure that those who are temporarily unable to engage in legal proceedings are not at a disadvantage.
  • Fraudulent Concealment: This exception recognizes that defendants may actively conceal information relevant to a potential lawsuit. It prevents the injured party from discovering their cause of action within the standard statute of limitations period.
  • Military Service: It is acknowledged that active duty military personnel may not have the opportunity to pursue legal action while serving their country. Tolling the statute of limitations during military service is a practical measure to ensure that service members are not disadvantaged by their commitment to the military.

The Guidance You Need

The statute of limitations is a critical aspect of personal injury law that should not be overlooked. Failing to file a claim within the specified time frame can result in you losing the right to seek compensation. If you've been injured due to someone else's negligence, don't delay – contact Forward Law Group, APC today to discuss your case and ensure that your rights are protected. Our team of personal injury lawyers is here to help you pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.