Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
Every state restricts how long you have to bring a lawsuit in court and these time periods are known as statutes of limitations. The longer you wait to file a claim, the greater potential there is to lose crucial evidence, particularly if a part of your argument relies on a person’s memory. It benefits you to file your suit within a certain period of time. To learn more about the statute of limitations for your claim, contact the Ohio personal injury lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW.
If you do not file your lawsuit within the appropriate time period, the court will refuse to hear your claim. You will no longer have the right to recover compensation from the other party. This is why it is crucial to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after you are injured so that you understand when your clock starts running and when your time will run out.
Ohio’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10 states that all lawsuits based on bodily injury, product liability, or damaged personal property must be brought within two years from the date the cause of action accrues. A cause of action is your legal claim. It is the problem that gives you a valid reason to file a lawsuit. The date your cause of action accrues is the day you were injured and that you knew or reasonably should have known you had a right to seek compensation. This date is almost always the day of the accident that resulted in your injuries, such as a car accident or slip and fall.
There are situations in which the date your legal claim arises may not be obvious because your injury was not obvious or visible yet. You may not have known you were significantly injured for days or weeks following an accident because you had no symptoms right away or reasonably attributed signs to another issue.
Ohio law recognizes that there are unusual circumstances in which you do not know you are injured or that you have a right to sue until a date after you were actually harmed. Section 2305.10(B) includes provisions for when the cause of action accrues in certain situations. You may not immediately know you’re injured if your bodily injury was caused by exposure to:
- toxic or hazardous chemicals, ethical drugs, or ethical medical devices,
- chromium or its chemical forms,
- chemical defoliants, herbicides, or other causative agents and you are a veteran,
- diethylstilbestrol or other nonsteroidal synthetic estrogens, including exposure before birth, or
In those situations, your cause of action accrues either on the date you are informed by a physician or other competent medical professional that you have been injured due to this exposure or the date you reasonably should have known you were injured from exposure, whichever comes first.
Tolling the Statute of Limitations
Ohio also recognizes that there are times when it is fair to delay the start of the clock for a person’s right to sue. When the beginning of the time limitation is delayed, this is known as tolling. Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.16 allows the statute of limitations to be tolled when you are a minor or deemed mentally incompetent. The clock will begin when you turn 18 years old or when you are determined to be mentally fit.
Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.15 allows for tolling based on the alleged at-fault party’s absence, concealment, or imprisonment. This means if you have a cause of action against a person who is out of the state, has fled, or is in hiding, then the statute of limitations does not run until that person returns or is found. Also, the time the defendant spends in prison does not count against your clock.
Contact Our Ohio Personal Injury Lawyers for Help
If you were clearly injured in an accident, then Ohio’s personal injury statute of limitations is straight forward. You have two years from the date of this accident to file a lawsuit based on your injuries. However, if your situation is not so clear-cut, you may have longer. In either situation, you should speak with an attorney from Kisling, Nestico & Redick as soon as possible. The last thing you want is to find out you are running up against a deadline or have you passed it.
Call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule a free consultation and learn more about filing a personal injury claim.