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Arizona’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

By Karnas Law Firm |

All personal injury lawsuits in Arizona are subject to what is known as a statute of limitations, or a deadline by which claimants must file a legal action. To learn more about the statute of limitations in Arizona and how it could affect your own legal claim, reach out to our experienced Yuma personal injury lawyers today.

Time Limits for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In Arizona, accident victims who are injured because of someone else’s negligence can recover compensation for their medical bills and lost wages by filing a personal injury lawsuit in court. They must, however, take this step within a certain amount of time, known as a statute of limitations. Each state has its own statutes of limitations for different types of legal actions. In Arizona, for example, the standard time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the injury in question. This two year deadline applies to most types of lawsuits that involve physical injuries, including car accidents, product liability cases, and medical malpractice.

Exceptions to the Two Year Statute of Limitations

There are a few exceptions that give plaintiffs more than two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in Arizona. If, for instance, a plaintiff is filing suit against a government entity, like a city, county, or the state itself, then he or she will need to file notice of the claim within 180 days of the accident. There are also some other key instances that extend the usual two year deadline in Arizona, including when:

  • The accident victim was a minor at the time of the accident, in which case, the two year statute of limitations “clock” won’t start to run until the child reaches the age of 18 years old;
  • The accident victim doesn’t immediately discover the injury, which means that the statute of limitations won’t start to run until the injury is discovered; or
  • The person responsible for the victim’s injury leaves the state before the expiration of the two year deadline.

For help determining whether any of these exceptions apply to your own personal injury case, reach out to our legal team today.

What Happens if You Miss the Statute of Limitations

Injured claimants who attempt to file personal injury lawsuits after the two year deadline has passed risk having the defendant file a motion to dismiss. Unless there is a specific exception, judges almost always agree to dismiss the case in these instances, which means that the plaintiff will lose his or her right to demand compensation through the civil courts. It’s important to note that the personal injury statute of limitations doesn’t apply to filing insurance claims. The deadline does still remain relevant to insurance claims during the settlement process, as insurers will often use this as leverage to make lower settlement offers.

Contact Karnas Law Firm, PLLC for Help

While two years may sound like plenty of time to file a personal injury lawsuit, it can pass much more quickly than most people realize. Call Karnas Law Firm, PLLC at (520) 389-5225 for help ensuring that your own claim is filed on time.