The right to make a claim after a car accident does not last forever. Here is what you need to know about the statute of limitations in Ohio.
In Ohio, the time limit for bringing legal action for personal injury is controlled by section 2305.10 of the Ohio Revised Code which provides:
… an action for bodily injury or injuring personal property shall be brought within two years after the cause of action accrues.
For car accident cases, the action ‘accrues’ on the day of the accident, so a legal action must be properly filed in court within two years from the date of the accident.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. Most notably, the statute of limitation for minors does not start to run until the minor reaches age 18. The statute of limitations for a minor is said to be ‘tolled’ until the claimant reaches the age of adulthood. In most cases, a minor has until two years after they reach 18, their 20th birthday, to either settle their claim of file it in court.
Likewise, under some circumstances, the statute of limitation is tolled while the claimant is of ‘unsound mind’. See section 2305.16 of the Ohio Revised Code for the details.
It is important to remember that the statute of limitations may not be the only time limit facing a car accident victim. For example, if the person who causes an accident did not have insurance (or not enough insurance), the injured person may have an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim against his or her own insurance company. The time limit for bringing such a claim is usually written in the policy. In Ohio, most policies provide that uninsured motorists claims must be brought within three years of an accident, but reading the policy is the only way to be sure about time limits and other conditions which may apply.
Note: This page generally describes the law in Ohio. The statute of limitations in other states may be different.