What is the Statute of Limitations for Connecticut Personal Injury Claims?

Posted on: May 2, 2019

A personal injury can be both physically and financially draining – make sure both areas can recover by not letting Connecticut’s statute of limitations stand in the way.

Statute of Limitations 

Statutes of limitations, time limits which control when lawsuits can be filed, exist as a social benefit so people are not worried about being sued every day. Statute of limitations also exists for practical reasons, such as helping preserve people’s memories and recollections of a particular event.

For personal injury claims in Connecticut, the relevant statute of limitations is an important practical consideration when commencing a lawsuit against another party. Understanding the relevant time limit is an important component of the entire lawsuit.

Connecticut’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims

Connecticut’s statute of limitations is usually two years. The General Statutes of Connecticut, which govern most personal injury lawsuits, require that an action must be brought within two years from the date when the injury is first sustained.  In other words, the clock starts running from the date of the injury.

In some instances, the important date could be the discovery of the injury.  In fact, in some situations, the date when the injury is first discovered or should have been discovered if properly taking care of oneself, is the start date of the two-year statute of limitations.

In these situations of a later date, the person arguing for the later time has the responsibility of convincing the court that this later date should be the date the clock starts, i.e. that the injury was not discoverable at that time.

Missing the Filing Deadline? 

In the vast majority of situations, when the two-year statute of limitations has expired, the court will dismiss the case. Only in the rarest circumstances will an exception apply to grant extra time.

Exceptions to Connecticut’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

A little more common is the possibility of a pause in the middle of the two-year statute of limitations.  A few situations apply which pause the statute of limitations, which has the added benefit of extending the filing deadline further than strictly two years after the start date.  

Option #1: Absence

If the person who caused the injuries leaves Connecticut for any period of time after the accident which caused the injury and before the lawsuit could be filed, the time spent away from Connecticut will count against the two-year statute of limitations.

This is due to the fact that Connecticut could not find them to serve the papers for the lawsuit.  For some people, this time away will be very advantageous. For others, not even the maximum period of seven years under this exception will allow them to file a legitimate lawsuit. 

Option #2: Fraud

If the person who caused the accident fraudulently conceals their responsibility for the accident, the statute of limitations will not begin until the discovery of the fraudulent behavior.  In other words, if a person attempts to cover up their wrongdoing in causing the accident, the statute of limitations will not further punish the injured party and prevent them from bringing a lawsuit.

On discovering the fraudulent behavior, the injured party should move quickly and bring a lawsuit.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with us, call our New Haven office at (203) 624-6115. Call Knight & Cerritelli today. NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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