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Know the Law – Statutes of Limitations

Posted at 9:00 AM, May 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-04 09:00:28-04

Tom Sinas, Grand Rapids personal injury attorney from Sinas Dramis Law Firm, explains the importance of statutes of limitations and their importance in lawsuits. He underscores the importance understanding this topic since it governs almost all legal matters.

The Basic Rule of Statutes of Limitations

A statute of limitations is essentially a deadline in which a legal proceeding has to move forward. If the lawsuit is not filed within the statute of limitations deadline, then the lawsuit cannot move forward. These deadlines apply to both civil and criminal cases, and the length will vary depending on the case. However, while most crimes do have a statute of limitations, there are some exceptions to the rule.

The Importance of Legal Deadlines

A statute of limitations is an important factor within the justice system. It encourages lawsuits to be filed within a timely manner. Even though the limitations set vary case to case, filing within the set time frame allows evidence and witnesses to have the information fresh in their minds. It also allows for some certainty and predictability with people who are involved in the case, when moving forward with life.

For Tom as a personal injury attorney, statutes of limitations apply to almost every type of case he handles. It’s important to understand these statutes and the amount of time you have to retain and attorney and file a suit. Even in personal injury, statutes of limitations vary by case. For example, following a car accident, the statute of limitations for suing the at-fault driver is three years whereas medical malpractice is two years.

When Statutes of Limitations Don’t Apply

While most cases have the timeline limitations, there a few exceptions to the rule. In most states, murder does not have a statute of limitation. There is no deadline for this criminal activity. State boundaries do not change the statutes of limitations either. Other exceptions to the rule include lawsuits that involve injured children.

Between varying statues of limitations and notice deadlines, the take away here is never take a chance and run the risk of running out of time to file suit. Contact an attorney early on to assist and make sure everything is filed within the appropriate deadlines.

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