Statute of Limitations

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Definition of 'Statute of Limitations'

A statute of limitations is a law that sets a time limit on how long a person can sue someone for a particular type of wrong. The purpose of a statute of limitations is to prevent people from bringing lawsuits after too much time has passed, when it may be difficult to find evidence or witnesses.

Statutes of limitations vary depending on the type of claim and the state in which the lawsuit is filed. For example, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is typically two years, while the statute of limitations for breach of contract claims is typically four years.

If a lawsuit is filed after the statute of limitations has expired, the defendant can file a motion to dismiss the case. If the motion is granted, the case will be dismissed and the plaintiff will not be able to recover any damages.

It is important to note that the statute of limitations does not start running until the plaintiff knows or should have known about the wrong. For example, if someone is injured in a car accident, the statute of limitations does not start running until the person knows that they have been injured.

If you are considering filing a lawsuit, it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible to make sure that your claim is still within the statute of limitations.

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