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What is the Statute of Limitations for my injury, contract, accident, or other civil case?

What is the Statute of Limitations for my injury, contract, accident, or other civil case?

Civil actions must be brought timely or the case may be dismissed with prejudice (meaning it cannot be refiled).

What is a Statute of Limitations? A statute created by the legislature which sets a time limit upon the length of time which may pass before a lawsuit is initiated. Generally, the statute begins to run on the day the cause of action arose or the day the injured party became aware of the cause of action; however, there are some ways in which the clock can be stopped. The advice of an experienced attorney is necessary to determine when the statute began to run and whether the statute of limitations has run out. In some cases, your attorney will be able to extend the statute of limitations.

When does the Statute of Limitations Expire?

An easy example is a personal injury (motorcycle accident, truck accident, or auto accident), the statute of limitations starts running on the day of the accident, and the case must be filed within two (2) years of the date of the accident.

Here is a quick summary of some Ohio Statutes of Limitations (See R.C. 2305 and R.C. 1302):

  • Assault / Battery
    • 1 Year
  • False Imprisonment
    • 1 Year
  • Medical / Legal Malpractice
    • 1 Year
  • Slander / Libel
    • 1 Year
  • Personal Injury (i.e. motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, car crashes)
    • 2 Years
  • Product Liability
    • 2 Years
  • Property Damage
    • 2 Years
  • Wrongful Death
    • 2 Years
  • Trespass
    • 4 Years
  • Fraud
    • 4-5 Years
  • Contract (oral)
    • 4-6 Years
  • Contract (in writing)
    • 4-8 Years

The Complaint is the initial document filed in a civil action. Its filing announces the claims of the Plaintiff (person suing) to the Court and to the opposing party. The Complaint in a civil action must be filed before the expiration of the Statute of Limitations.

If you are concerned that your statute of limitations has expired or is about to expire, please contact us immediately, so an attorney can help you to identify your timeline and determine what can be done to save the time or extend the time.


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