What is a Statute of Limitations in an Arizona Personal Injury case?
– In today’s video we’re talking about a very important concept in personal injury cases, accident cases. It’s called the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a concept in the law that says you have a certain amount of time to bring your claim, to bring your case forward.
Otherwise if you don’t do it within the time frame, you lose your right to do so. So it’s is very important in any personal injury case. This is one of the most important dates that we remember. We calendar multiple reminders for it.
We always have this date in the back of our mind, because if you miss it, you may not have a case anymore. It’s a big, big problem. So let’s take a look at what the law says. You can see here there are different statutes for the different types of accident cases or the different types of loss.
And we’ll just run through these and we’ll see which ones have what limitations. So first and foremost, we have the personal injury cases. So these are things like car accidents, if somebody slips and falls.
There’s different types of injuries. But those are governed by ARS 12-542, and the law says you have to file a lawsuit or you have to bring your claim within two years of the date of the loss. So you have two years to do it. You can go get medical treatment, but if you wait past the two years and you don’t at least file a lawsuit before that two years is up, you lose your right to do so.
Same thing with wrongful death. You can see here the same statute 12-542 also two years from the death, two years from that loss from the person dying. You have two years to bring that claim. If it’s a minor, it’s also two years, but it’s from the time they turn 18.
So it’s a little bit different statute 12-502. So it’s 18 plus two years. So if somebody’s 17, the two years doesn’t start until they turn 18. Then the two years starts. When we’re talking about claims against the government, so there are certain situations where the government is at fault, the government did something negligent.
They failed to maintain a roadway. They caused something that caused somebody serious injury. If the government is going to be somebody who you’re filing a claim against, you want to recover from them, you believe they’re at fault, they have liability, it’s very important.
This is much shorter than the others. You have to do that within, you have to file what’s called a notice of claim within 180 days. So it’s six months. It’s a lot shorter than these others at two years. That notice of claim needs to be filed within six months.
The government doesn’t want these things laying around forever. They want to processes these things quickly. A lot of the times people miss that, because they’re just not aware of it. Of course the government escapes liability in that situation.
If you have a potential claim against the government, make sure that you’re speaking with an attorney. Make sure you’re making that claim within 180 days of the date of the injury, the date of the loss.
When we’re talking about workers’ compensation, so workers’ comp is going to be responsible for covering this, for your loss. It’s under ARS 23-1023. So it’s a different section here. And that’s one year.
Same thing with dram shop cases. Any type of liability that results in terms of finding a bar, finding a restaurant, finding some entity that was over-serving somebody and then that person got in their car and drive and hit somebody or killed somebody, the liability to file a claim you have to do that again within one year.
So if you miss that, that one year window, you may lose your right to go and try to get liability or try to get some recovery from that original establishment. The other thing that, this is final, but the other thing is UM or UIM cases, so that stands for uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist.
So this when you’re involved in an accident and the person who injured you, the person who is responsible for the accident, either does not have any insurance or they didn’t have enough insurance to cover your loss.
So let’s say they only had $15,000 of coverage, but your injuries were much more serious. So you had $100,000 worth of damages, but they can only pay you for $15,000 of that. Well now, what you do? You want to go file an underinsured motorist claim.
You want to go to your own insurance company and say, I was injured, I need recovery that’s why I have insurance. And this is a three-year window. So there are some more specific rules on this, because you have to either know that the insurance company from the party who was at fault is not able to cover your costs, or that insurance company went insolvent, or that person didn’t have insurance.
So it’s three years from the date that you knew these things. So it may be different from the date of the actual accident. It may be different because you go through the claims process and you find out that they are not able to cover your loss, and now you need to file a claim against your own insurance company.
So it’s three years from the time that you know or you should have known about it. So they give you a little bit more time, so obviously you’re paying for the insurance. It’s a benefit for you.
They can’t raise your rates if you file a claim or anything. So it is important that you focus on your recovery, focus on your well-being, focus on your health, your body. You only have one of those, and so you want to get compensated for that.
This UM/UIM coverage, three years. You can see here the different statutes that are all involved. If you or somebody that you know or love has been involved in an accident, especially anything on this board here, you want to speak with our team about it.
Give us a call, we offer free case evaluations.
In most situations we charge no fee whatsoever unless we’re able to recover, meaning we are able to substantially recover and put you in a much better position, make sure that you get this medical treatment, the medical services you need, make sure you’re properly compensated for your pain and suffering, make sure you’re compensated from your time off work, fix all your property, all of that stuff.
We are able to definitely help. We’ll make sure that none of these deadlines are missed. Like I said at the beginning of the video, it’s critical, so give us a call.
We look forward to speaking with you soon.
And as always, thanks for watching.
What is a Statute of Limitations in an Arizona Personal Injury case?
A Statute of Limitations is a concept in the law that limits the amount of time you have to bring a claim forward after a loss. The window of time available for you to file a claim varies depending on the type of accident or loss. Here are a few important Statues of Limitations that apply to accident cases:
Personal Injury – The Statute of Limitations for personal injury in Arizona, according to A.R.S. § 12-542, is two years. This means that if you are injured in an accident, you have two years from the date of the loss to bring your claim forward. This gives you time to get medical treatment and take care of other issues associated with the accident. However, if you do not file your claim within the two-year time frame, you will lose your right to do so.
Wrongful Death – This type of claim is also under A.R.S. § 12-542, and also limits your window to file a claim to two years from the date of occurrence.
If a minor was involved in the accident, according to A.R.S. § 12-502, the Statute of Limitations is two years from the date they turn eighteen.
Claims Against the Government – This is a claim where the government would be liable. An example would be failure to maintain a roadway that caused someone injury. The window of time on these claims are much shorter than others. According to A.R.S. § 12-821, you must file what is called a “Notice of Claim” within 180 days, which is about six months. The government doesn’t want possible liabilities hanging around forever and wants to process things quickly. Many people miss the window simply because they were not aware of the Statute of Limitations, and the government often escapes liability.
Workers Compensation – The Statute of Limitations for workers comp claims, per A.R.S. § 23-1023, is one year.
Dram Shop – A Dram Shop claim is when a bar, restaurant, or other entity over-serves someone and they then cause damage or injury to someone else. This applies if the liability traces back to the entity originally overserving the party who caused the damage. Under A.R.S. § 12-555, the Statute of Limitations for Dram Shop claims is one year.
UM/UIM – UM/UIM stands for Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist. This type of claim applies if you are involved in an accident, and the person responsible either does not have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your loss. According to A.R.S. § 12-555, the Statute of Limitations for this type of claim is three years from the time that you knew the other party was uninsured or underinsured. Hence, the window to file a claim is not necessarily three years from the date of the accident. Very often, you won’t find out the other party is uninsured or underinsured until you’ve already gone through the initial claim process. This is why the Statute of Limitations is three years from the date that you know, or should have known, that the other insurance company cannot cover your loss.