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How Long Do I Have To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in AZ?

Posted on February 8, 2021 in

If you believe you qualify for a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to act quickly. Like all states, Arizona sets a statute of limitations for filing lawsuits in civil court—and if you fail to file your claim before the state-defined deadline, you will lose your chance at collecting compensation altogether.

While there are some exceptions to the statute of limitations for Arizona personal injury claims, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to preserve your right to recovery.

Arizona’s Statute of Limitations

Statutes of limitations are laws that set a deadline for filing lawsuits. States are responsible for establishing these laws based on the type of case and legal claim plaintiffs intend to file. The statute of limitations ensures that plaintiffs bring claims when evidence is fresh and available. This rule also protects defendants from the ongoing threat of litigation.

According to Arizona Revised Statutes section 12-542, injury victims have two years from the date their accident occurred to file a lawsuit in Arizona civil court. This statute of limitations applies to wrongful death claims as well as personal injury lawsuits.

It is very important to begin the personal injury filing process as soon as you realize you may qualify for a lawsuit. If you do not file your claim within the two-year filing period, the court will likely dismiss your lawsuit.

Are There Any Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?

There are certain exceptions to the Arizona personal injury statute of limitations.

  • If you suffer your injury while you were under the age of 18 or of unsound mind, the court will not begin the two-year clock until you turn 18 or regain your sanity.
  • If the defendant in your case leaves Arizona during the two-year statute of limitations, the court will not count his or her absence against your claim.
  • If you did not or could not have reasonably discovered your injury until a later date, the court may begin the two-year statute of limitations on the date of discovery. This is most common in medical malpractice cases.

While the court could extend your statute of limitations in certain circumstances, these exceptions are quite rare and may not be present in your case. To ensure you meet your filing deadline, contact an Prescott personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Should You Hire an Attorney for Your Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If you suffer injuries due to someone else’s negligence, time is a very important factor. Hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent your claim not only helps you identify your filing deadline, but also reduces errors and unnecessary delays that could arise if you handled your claim on your own. Personal injury lawyers can provide several benefits throughout the litigation process, including the following.

  • Your attorney can evaluate your claim to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit and the estimated settlement you need to recover.
  • Your lawyer will have access to expert witnesses who can support and validate your claim.
  • Negotiations are a major component of personal injury litigation. Your attorney will have the skills and experience necessary to advocate for your best interests in these discussions.
  • Your lawyer will complete all paperwork on your behalf, allowing you to focus on recovery instead of complex court processes.

To preserve your right to compensation, contact a Prescott Valley personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following your accident. Your attorney can support you and your claim in several ways, from access to expert witnesses to connecting you with specialized medical resources. Speak to an Arizona injury attorney today to discuss your pathway to recovery.