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Civil Statutes of Limitation laws

Information on the law about Civil Statutes of LimitationHow Long?

The lengths of time for statutes of limitation correspond roughly to the amount of notice that both parties have regarding the underlying injury or wrong. The more notice both parties have that there is a problem and the more likely it is that the injured party will sue, the longer the statute of limitation. The less likely it is that the offending party will be aware of his wrong or the more inconsequential it is likely to be, the shorter the statute of limitation.

The longest statutes of limitation are generally those regarding the recovery of judgments after a lawsuit. Obviously, the parties are clearly on notice in this situation. If the losing party refuses to pay his judgment, it should come as no surprise that he will be sued, even if it is as many as ten years later. On the other hand, if one person is physically injured by another person but does not sue within a year or two, it is reasonable to expect that the plaintiff either forgot about the injury or it was not as serious as originally suspected. In this case, the potential defendant is protected from a lawsuit that he may not even be aware is pending, especially more than a year or two after the accident that caused the injury occurred.

Where no statute is listed on the following chart, it is probable that there is simply not a specific statute governing the situation. In these cases, a general civil statute of limitation most likely applies. For example, in cases of medical malpractice, the statute of limitation may just as easily be covered by the statute governing personal injury.

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