Suffering a personal injury can lead to mounting expenses, including medical bills and lost wages from missing work. Filing a personal injury lawsuit offers you the chance to recover compensation for the costs you have incurred, along with other damages like physical pain and emotional suffering.
You should strongly consider working with a Cincinnati personal injury attorney to ensure your claim is filed before the relevant statute of limitations expires.
What Is A Statute Of Limitations?
This is a legal term that refers to the time frame during which an individual can file some type of legal action. If you do not file a claim within that time frame, you will no longer be allowed to file one.
Like other states, Ohio has statutes of limitations for a variety of personal injury lawsuits. These statutes generally start running on the date of the injury or the date you should have discovered you had grounds for a lawsuit through the exercise of reasonable care.
This allows some leeway for situations where the victim could not have discovered that his or her injury was caused by a negligent act on the date the injury occurred.
Ohio Personal Injury Statutes Of Limitations
In Ohio, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims varies depending on the manner in which you were injured.
General Personal Injury
Under Ohio Revised Code § 2305.10 (A), the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims, such as car accident lawsuits, is two years from the date when the cause of action accrues. This means the deadline is two years from the date when negligence occurred.
If your injury was caused by exposure to dangerous chemicals, drugs or medical devices, the claim must be filed within two years of the date you were diagnosed or the date you reasonably should have discovered the injury, whichever comes first.
Claims Filed By Minors Or Those Of Unsound Mind
Under Ohio Rev. Code § 2305.16, if the claimant is a minor or of unsound mind when the cause of action occurs, he or she must file a claim two years from his or her 18th birthday or the date the disability designation is removed.
In cases where an injury is caused by medical malpractice, claims must be filed within one year of the date the injury was discovered or should have been discovered or when the doctor/patient relationship ended, whichever comes later (Ohio Revised Code § 2305.113).
However, you cannot file a claim more than four years after the date of the alleged malpractice. This is also known as a statute of repose.
These types of claims are governed by the same two-year statute of limitations as most personal injury claims. However, the statute of repose for these claims is 10 years from the date you obtained the product.
If your injury took place on another’s property and was caused by a defective or unsafe condition of an improvement to the property, the statute of limitations is also two years.
The statute of repose for these types of premises liability claims is 10 years from the completion of the improvement to the property, according to Ohio Revised Code § 2305.131.
However, if you discover the defective or unsafe condition less than two years from the expiration of the statute of repose, you will have two years from your discovery to file a claim.
If a negligent act caused a loved one’s death, a wrongful death claim can be filed within two years of your loved one’s death, under Ohio Rev. Code § 2125.02(D).
Exceptions To The Personal Injury Statute Of Limitations
In certain situations, the statute of limitations will not toll, or run:
- Ohio Rev. Code § 2305.15(A) states that the time the defendant is outside of Ohio or in hiding will not count against the statute of limitations.
- Ohio Rev. Code § 2305.15(B) states that time the defendant spends in prison will not count toward the statute of limitations.
Do I Need An Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer?
The best way to determine when the statute of limitations for your claim began and to ensure the claim is filed before the statute expires is to work with an experienced Ohio personal injury lawyer.
The attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy know how to build a robust case to improve your chances of recovering all of the compensation you deserve.
We work on a contingency basis, so no legal fees are assessed unless we make a recovery of compensation on your behalf.