What are the Statutes of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits in Massachusetts?
Posted on behalf of Janet, Jenner & Suggs on May 22, 2017 in Personal Injury
Every Massachusetts personal injury claim is governed by a statute of limitations that sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit.
Once the statute of limitations for your claim expires, you will not be allowed to file a lawsuit. This means you will lose possibly your only chance of pursuing compensation from the party whose negligence caused your injuries.
If you suffered a personal injury in Boston or lost a loved one due to another entity's negligence, you need to review the statute of limitations governing your claim to ensure you file a claim before the statute runs out.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Under state law, the Massachusetts statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident or alleged negligence that gave you cause for legal action.
This applies to many types of personal injury claims, such as:
However, there are certain situations where negligence occurred but the plaintiff was not aware of it until sometime later.
In these situations, courts will often apply the discovery rule. Under this rule, the statute of limitations does not start running until the plaintiff knows or there is a reasonable expectation that he or she would know that there is cause for legal action.
This means you would have three years from the date you discovered you may have been a victim of negligence to file a claim, not three years from the date when the accident or the alleged negligence occurred.
For example, it might take the victim of a slip and fall accident a few months to discover evidence about the accident indicating there are grounds for a lawsuit. In this case, the statute of limitations would start on the date the victim discovered the evidence, not the date of the accident.
Medical Malpractice and Product Liability Claims
Medical malpractice claims and product liability claims must be filed within three years of the date of the alleged malpractice, according to Massachusetts General Laws Part III Title V Chapter 260 Section 4.
The discovery rule also applies to these types of claims. However, you cannot file a claim more than seven years after discovering the alleged medical malpractice or product liability, no matter when you discover you may have been a victim of negligence.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful death claims must be filed within three years of the date of death or within three years of the date the executor or administrator of the deceased's estate knew, or should have known by exercising reasonable diligence, there was cause for legal action, according to the wrongful death statute.
Contact Our Boston Personal Injury Lawyers
The Boston personal injury attorneys at Janet, Jenner & Suggs have detailed knowledge of the statutes of limitations governing different types of personal injury claims. We know how to determine precisely how much time you have for filing a lawsuit to recover fair compensation.
Although three years may sound like a long time, it can pass quickly. This is why you should contact us as soon as you believe you have cause for legal action.
The more time our lawyers have for investigating your claim, the better chance we have of a developing a solid case that gives you a good chance of a favorable outcome.
We charge no upfront fee and do not recover legal fees unless you receive the compensation you deserve.
Complete our Free Case Evaluation form today to schedule a consultation.