How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Arizona?
Filing a personal injury lawsuit is often the last thing on your to-do list following a car crash, an injury at work or on vacation, or some other personal injury accident. In many instances, personal injury victims are more concerned with starting appropriate treatment or therapy, returning to work, and providing for their family’s basic needs more than rushing off to a lawyer’s office to file suit against the responsible party.
Yet if you have been injured because of another person’s actions and you delay too long in seeking legal assistance, you may find yourself unable to pursue monetary damages to assist you in paying for the costs and expenses brought about because of your injury.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our Arizona personal injury attorneys.
Statute of Limitations
Arizona, like every other state, has enacted a statute of limitations that states how long personal injury victims have to file lawsuits against the party or parties believed to be responsible for their injuries. Statutes of limitations encourage injury victims to file their claims for compensation quickly, when evidence to support their claims can be easily found and the memories of witnesses are still fresh.
Generally speaking, Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) Section 12-542 requires a personal injury lawsuit against another private individual to be filed within two years of the date the car crash or other personal injury accident occurred. There are other statutes of limitations, however:
- A personal injury lawsuit filed against a public entity or public employee must be filed within one year of the date of the incident. A.R.S. Section 12-821. Additionally, and before a lawsuit can be filed, a claim for compensation must initially be presented to the appropriate public entity within 180 days of the incident. R.S. Section 12-821.01.
- Lawsuits alleging medical malpractice, wrongful death or arising out of an injury caused by a defective product must be filed within two years. This time period may begin running on the date of the victim’s death or the date the product-related injury occurred, or (in the case of medical malpractice cases) the time period may begin running when the injured patient should have known he or she suffered a medical-related injury. See A.R.S. Sections 12-542(1), 12-542(2), and 12-551.
If the applicable statute of limitations expires and no lawsuit has been initiated, then your ability to recover compensation for your accident-related injuries and expenses is permanently extinguished.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
Arizona’s statute of limitations should encourage you to file your personal injury lawsuit as soon as possible following an injury incident. In certain cases, though, the statute of limitations period may be extended.
If there was no reason you would have known that you had suffered an injury or loss until some later time, or if the allegedly at-fault party cannot be located and served, then the statute of limitations period may be tolled, or stopped, during the time that such a condition exists.
Therefore, even if the statute of limitations period may appear to have expired in your case, it is still worth talking with a personal injury attorney about whether any exceptions or extensions to the statute of limitations applies.
Speak with an Experienced Arizona Personal Injury Law Firm Today
At Zinda Law Group, our knowledgeable Arizona injury attorneys are here to help provide you with the experienced legal counsel and dedicated representation you need in order to prevail and obtain monetary damages following a personal injury accident.
Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free, no-obligation consultation with a skilled Arizona personal injury lawyer. Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.