Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Arizona
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Jun 05, 2017 in Personal Injury
A statute of limitations is a time limit used by courts to determine when a person can bring a civil claim. If you miss this important deadline, your claim will likely be dismissed.
This guide will inform you of the statutes of limitations that apply to personal injury lawsuits in Arizona that you will need to follow in order to bring a valid claim.
If you have any questions, schedule a free, no obligation consultation with the Phillips Law Group’s Phoenix personal injury attorneys. We will ensure your claim is filed correctly and meets Arizona’s statute of limitations.
How Long Do I Have to File an Arizona Personal Injury Claim?
Arizona imposes several statutes of limitations on various personal injury civil actions. It is imperative that you understand the time frame designated for each claim to pursue civil action and recover damages.
General Personal Injury Claim
If you are pursuing damages for an injury caused by another’s negligence, you must file your claim within Arizona’s two-year statute of limitations.
The two-year deadline to file a personal injury claim begins on the date in which the injury occurred. However, there is an exception that extends the statute of limitations called the “rule of discovery.”
The rule of discovery dictates that if the victim was unaware of his or her injury, the statute of limitations will begin on the date in which the victim discovered the injury, or should have discovered it.
Wrongful Death Claim
In Arizona, a wrongful death is one that was caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default. This type of civil action is reserved for situations where the victim would have been able to file a personal injury claim had he or she survived.
Arizona only entitles a few parties the ability to bring a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party:
- The surviving spouse of the decedent
- Any surviving children of the decedent
- The surviving parent or guardian of the decedent
- The personal representative of a deceased spouse, child, parent or guardian
- The personal representative of the decedent’s personal estate
- The parents or legal guardian of the decedent, if the decedent is a child under the age of 18
These parties have a two-year statute of limitations to bring a wrongful death claim to pursue damages on behalf of the deceased victim.
Medical Malpractice Claim
If you were subjected to substandard medical treatment and were injured as a result, you may be entitled to damages through a medical malpractice claim.
The statute of limitations for an Arizona medical malpractice claim is two years from the date in which you discovered your injury was caused by medical negligence.
Although the discovery rule applies to medical malpractice claims, the burden of proof falls upon the victim to provide evidence showing that you could not have known your injury existed until the time you took initiative.
Claims involving an injury caused by a product are handled slightly differently under Arizona’s product liability law.
You have two years to bring a product liability claim in court against the dangerous product’s manufacturer, designer or retailer for an injury suffered by an inherently defective or dangerous product.
However, you must bring the claim within 12 years of when the product was initially sold for use or consumption based upon the manufacturer’s negligence or seller of a breach of warranty.
Claims Involving Children Under the Age of 18
Arizona’s statute of limitations will be delayed in personal injury claims involving a child under the age of 18 or an individual found mentally incompetent or impaired, according to A.R.S. § 12-821.01.
The statute of limitation does not begin to run with claims involving children until the victim reaches his or her 18th birthday.
Similarly, the statute of limitations for a victim the court considers unsound, meaning he or she lacks the cognitive ability to understand and make rational decisions, is delayed until the removal of the disability. The individual will then be granted a two-year period to file a personal injury claim.
Personal Injury Claims Against Government
If one of Arizona’s public institutions or public employees is liable for causing your injury, you have 180 days after the action occurred to file a claim.
The cause of action accrues when the damaged party realizes he or she has been injured and knows the public entity or employee is the source of this damage.
Any claim filed against a public entity or employee in Arizona must clearly state the facts of the claim to show liability. The claim should also contain a specific amount you are willing to accept as a settlement, as well as a reasonable conclusion for how you reached that amount.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
One of the most common reasons for a claim to be denied is failing to meet the statute of limitations.
Most people are unaware of the deadlines imposed on personal injury claims and are often focused on recovering from a serious injury or loss of income to follow this important detail.
At Phillips Law Group, our personal injury lawyers have helped numerous victims properly file claims within the statute of limitations to recover the damages they deserved.
We will help you to bring a claim against the at-fault party for no upfront cost. All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if we help you recover damages for your claim.
Call or text 1-800-706-3000 to speak with a personal injury lawyer