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What is a Statute of Limitations?

STATUTES OF LIMITATION LIMIT THE TIME A PERSON HAS TO BRING A LEGAL CLAIM OR ACTION

Generally speaking, the law favors certainty. For this reason, the law disfavors people being required to defend a lawsuit after too much time has expired. When lawsuits are not brought within a reasonable time, it becomes more difficult to determine the truth (and, in some cases, to collect a judgment).

For this reason, the law often limits the amount of time people have to bring a claim against a person, corporation, or other defendant. These legal limitations periods are created by statutes (laws, usually passed by a legislature rather than established in a judge’s ruling), which is why they are called statutes of limitation.

 

THE “STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS” IS ACTUALLY MORE THAN A SINGLE LAW

The term “statute of limitations” refers to a statute–a law–that limits the time a person has to bring a lawsuit or legal claim. In reality, state and federal codes of law contain numerous statues of limitations, which apply to different types of claims.

 

DIFFERENT STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS APPLY TO DIFFERENT KINDS OF CLAIMS

Statutes of limitation vary, depending on the type of claim. Waiting beyond the period mentioned in the relevant statute usually results in loss of the claim – in simple terms: if you wait too long to sue, or to make a claim for damages, you may lose the right to bring any claim at all. This is why it’s critical for people to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible after suffering injury or damages, or when a person believes (s)he may have a legal claim.

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Disclaimer: THIS ARTICLE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE OR CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE AUTHOR OR ROSS LAW AND ANY PERSON. Your rights and experiences may vary. Never use an online article (including this one) to evaluate your legal claims. Speak with an experienced lawyer promptly to obtain a personalized evaluation of your claims, possible damages, and options. You may lose or compromise your rights if you delay in consulting legal counsel. Most legal claims (and defenses) are complicated and fact-dependent. If you believe you have a claim against someone who injured you, a lawyer who represented you in a previous lawsuit, or any other type of legal claim, consult an experienced lawyer immediately for an evaluation of your personal rights and claims.

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