Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims
If you have suffered injuries due to the negligence of another, you have the right to make a claim for compensation. However, your right to pursue compensation won’t last forever. In every state, there is a limited amount of time to take legal action after suffering a personal injury, known as the “statute of limitations.”
As an attorney at Law Office of James A. Maniatis, I can help educate you on your rights while also helping you adhere to the applicable deadlines and follow other procedural requirements to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. With three offices in Massachusetts (Shrewsbury, Webster, and Southborough), I serve clients throughout the Commonwealth, including Dudley, Oxford, Westborough, Grafton, Upton, Boylston, and Northborough.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injuries in Massachusetts
In personal injury cases, the term “statute of limitations” refers to a legal deadline for an injured person to file a lawsuit. The deadline varies from one state to another and may also vary within the state depending on the type of the claim. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, all personal injury cases are subject to a three-year statute of limitations. The clock starts ticking on the date of the injury.
However, in medical malpractice cases, a lawsuit must be brought within three years from the date the injured party discovered or should have reasonably discovered the injury and its link to the alleged malpractice.
What Happens if You Miss the Filing Deadline?
Waiting too long to file a personal injury lawsuit and missing the filing deadline can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation. If the statute of limitations expires but you attempt to file a lawsuit anyway, the court will most likely dismiss your case unless you qualify for any of the exceptions I will discuss below.
While three years might seem like a long time, it is best to act on your claim sooner rather than later. You may not realize how much there is to do before your lawsuit is ready to be filed. Waiting until the deadline is approaching is a terrible idea, especially when your health and financial security are at stake. At Law Office of James A. Maniatis, I am ready to dedicate my time, energy, and attention to you and start working on your case immediately.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in Massachusetts
The laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts recognize three exceptions to the statute of limitations in personal injury cases:
Minors. When the injured victim is under the age of 18, the statute of limitations will be tolled until after that individual reaches the age of majority. In other words, the three-year dealing does not begin to run until after the victim’s 18th birthday. This exception does not apply to medical malpractice cases. The law requires the minor’s parents to bring a lawsuit within three years of the date they knew or should have known that the alleged malpractice had occurred.
Statute of repose. This statute terminates the injured person’s right to take legal action after a specific number of years have passed. The statute of repose cannot be tolled for any reason. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, medical malpractice cases have a seven-year statute of repose in addition to the standard three-year statute of limitations.
Fraudulent concealment. When the defendant fraudulently conceals their negligence or takes steps to prevent the plaintiff from filing a lawsuit, the statute of limitations can be tolled until after the date the plaintiff discovers fraudulent concealment. However, this exception is rarely used in personal injury cases.
As a personal injury attorney with more than 30 years of experience at Law Office of James A. Maniatis, I can evaluate the specifics of your case and help you understand what factors could affect the timeline of your case.
Learn What Compensation You Are Entitled To
If you or someone you love has been injured due to someone else’s negligence in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and would like to learn more about your legal rights, reach out to my office. At Law Office of James A. Maniatis, I strive to provide a thoughtful and personalized approach to every case I handle. I will take care of the legal matters so you can focus on recovery. Contact me now for a consultation.