The law places limits on how long after something happens it can go to court. This is for everyone’s protection. It happens in criminal and civil law. This is known as the statute of limitations. Essentially, it means that after a certain amount of time, you nor the state of Ohio no longer has the right to bring a case to court. This is important for you to know and understand when it comes to personal injury cases because you want to be sure that your case makes it to court before the statute of limitations runs out. If you were to go to court after the allowed time period, the judge would have to throw out the case.
For most personal injury cases, the Ohio Revised Code explains you have two years from the date of the injury to file your case. For example, a typical personal injury case involving a car accident that occurred on January 13, 2018 would have a statute of limitations that lasts until January 13, 2020.
There are always exceptions to the general law and when it comes to the statute of limitations for personal injury cases this remains true. The biggest exception is for any injury related to exposure to a substance. You probably didn’t know right away about your injury. It often takes time for exposure injuries to show symptoms. For this reason, the law does not start the clock on these types of injuries until you discover the injury. So, for example, if you were exposed to asbestos 30 years ago and just had a diagnosis of an illness due to that exposure in 2019, then the clock just started and you have until 2021 to file a claim.
Another exception is for product liability. The law allows product liability cases a statute of limitations of ten years after the product was first sold. This information is for education and is not legal advice.