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At the time of an accident or an injury, legal action is the last thing many people think of. If legal action against the offending party must be filed, it is imperative that it is done within the time period allowed by law. There is a statute of limitations in every state, a restrictive time limit, on when legal action can be taken. Statute of Limitations vary depending on the offense between criminal or civil. The variations from state to state can easily be found online, on the state legislature’s website, or articles and publications.

A time limit and determination of such depends on individual case type. Generally, the time limit begins at the time the incident occurred, or when the individual knew that they suffered harm. Generally, the chance to bring the claim to court expires after the state regulated statute of limitations runs out. The specific time limit in each state varies from one year up to ten years after the time of the incident or injury. Alternatively, some heinous crimes are not bound by a statute of limitation.

When filing a claim, the strict time limits that are enforced help to ensure the components of the potential case are relevant and admissible, such as physical evidence and the witness testimony that could be collected. In some cases, the statute of limitations begins when the injured party realizes they have been wronged or injured upon discovery instead of when the wrong was committed. This often happens with breach of contract, and fraud cases. In cases involving personal injury matter, the time limit begins on the date of incident.

In the criminal setting of statute of limitations, there are laws that keep prosecutors from charging an individual with a crime after the time limit has expired. Like the civil statute of limitations, there is a time limit in years that varies from state to state and it depends on the severity of the crime that was committed. These limits also help to ensure that criminal charges are not present and lingering with an individual indefinitely and that the case will be handled with efficiency and urgency to ensure that the litigation process and case facts are without error. There are, however, serious crimes that are not bound by statutes of limitations, such as murder and certain sexual assaults.

State laws are ever changing through state legislation, voting ballots, or court ruling precedent, so seeking an attorney, like a criminal defense lawyer Arlington TX trusts,  that is experienced in the area of law that pertains to your injury, or loss is important. When trying to decide if you should file a civil lawsuit, one of the most important factors to take into consideration is timing. It is imperative to make sure that action is taken within the time limits set in the state laws, or your claim may be barred forever.



Thanks to our friends and contributors from Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC for their insight into statute of limitations.