The statute of limitations is the deadline for filing a lawsuit. Federal law or the laws of a state or territory establish the amount of time an individual has to commence their lawsuit by filing their complaint. If a party fails to file within the timeframe, in all but the rarest of instances, they will be barred from moving forward with their case, and it will be dismissed.
The amount of time that a person has to file suit also varies based upon the type of action. For example, the laws in the U.S. Virgin Islands provide that an action for breach of contract in a sale has to be initiated within four years after the cause of action has accrued (The statute states that the parties to the original agreement are permitted to reduce the period of limitation to not less than one year, but they can’t extend it.)
Accrual is from when the breach occurs, even if the aggrieved party’s did not know of it at that time. In a claim against a health care provider for the professional services or health care they provided or should have provided—whether in contract or tort—must be filed within two years from the date of the alleged act, omission or neglect.
The statute of limitations can be suspended or “tolled.” That is, the clock that’s running to the filing deadline is paused until the judge starts it again. Tolling can occur when a defendant is out of the jurisdiction, in prison, or incapacitated. The tolling of the statute of limitations can be a tricky thing to figure out. Just as knowing when the statute of limitations runs out on somone’s claim is not a simple task.
You should seek the advice and assistance of an experienced litigation attorney for calculating when the statute of limitations on potential claim will run out. The attorneys in the Litigation Practice Group at BoltNagi PC have the experience and resources to assist you. If you are faced with the prospect of litigation please don’t hesitate contact us today to discuss the case.