Zevan Davidson Roman Law Firm Articles Statute of Limitations 101: When to File a Case

Statute of Limitations 101: When to File a Case

By David Zevan  Jul. 9, 2012 9:55a

Understanding the Statute of Limitations

The Statute of Limitations is a rule that provides a deadline or a time limit for you, the injured party, to bring a valid cause of action to court or to seek redress for your injuries. As a general rule, after a lapse of a particular period, your case cannot prosper no matter how strong your cause of action is against the defendant.

This rule is based on the legal presumption that after a time, human memory fades, details are blurred and it becomes almost impossible to render a fair decision. The law protects those who are vigilant of their rights, never those who sleep on them. Hence, it is very important to bring your case to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

The rule, however, is not cast in stone. It admits certain exceptions and the period varies, depending on the nature of your case. The legislature also enacts repeals from time to time, so these periods may change.

Construing the Statute of Limitations

In applying the rule, the point of reckoning is generally the moment of discovery of the injury by the aggrieved party or the agents of the law. If you are injured by a faulty design in a coffee maker, for instance, the period to bring your case to court begins at that moment.

If your employee commits fraud on you but you discovered it long after he has left the country, the period to bring your case to court begins at the moment you find out about the embezzlement. This rule is known as the Discovery Rule.

Some cases of personal injury can drag on for years. Fortunately, the period is tolled, or in simpler terms, paused when a case is filed. The rule is likewise suspended when a complaint is amended, particularly in cases of mistaken identity.

GET IMMEDIATE HELP! If you feel that you or someone you love has a personal injury case, contact the St. Louis personal injury lawyers of Zevan and Davidson Law Firm today. Schedule a free consultation by calling (314) 588-7200.

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