Insight into Ohio’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims

Experiencing a personal injury can be a life-altering event. Whether it results from a slip and fall, a traffic accident, or any other situation where someone else’s conduct harms you, the path to recovery often includes pursuing legal action to recover damages. In Ohio, it’s essential to act swiftly due to the statute of limitations that places a strict time limit on your right to file a lawsuit.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is essentially a deadline for filing a lawsuit in Ohio’s civil courts. The Ohio personal injury statute of limitations, located explicitly in Ohio Revised Code section 2305.10, mandates that any lawsuit for an “injury to the person” must be initiated within two years. This standard timeframe applies nearly universally to personal injury cases, whether driven by negligence or intentional torts such as assault and battery.

When Does the Clock Start Ticking?

For personal injury cases in Ohio, the two-year “clock” starts on the injury’s date—the date of the underlying accident that caused the harm. The promptness ensures that cases are dealt with while evidence is fresh and factual memories remain intact, facilitating a fair process for all parties involved.

Failing to file within the two-year window typically results in the court dismissing the case summarily. Once rejected, you lose the right to request the court award damages for your injuries, no matter the severity of the harm or the clear liability of the defendant. This makes missing the deadline more than just a procedural faux pas—it can be a significant legal handicap, undermining your capability to obtain compensation through court actions and settlement negotiations. If the deadline passes, your threat to take legal action becomes powerless, severely weakening your negotiating position.

Exceptions to the Rule

Ohio law acknowledges certain circumstances where the statute limitations clock might be delayed or paused. Key exceptions include:

Legal Disability: If the injured party is a minor under 18 or is legally deemed “of unsound mind,” the two-year clock might not start until this legal disability is lifted (i.e., the person turns 18 or is declared competent).

Absence or Concealment of the Defendant: If the defendant leaves the state of Ohio, conceals themselves, or absconds after the accident and before the lawsuit is filed, the period of their absence typically does not count towards the two-year filing limit.

Exceptional Cases Involving Product Liability: Different statutes and timelines may apply in cases connected to injuries caused by a defective product, especially those involving consumer fraud or a breach of product warranty.

Navigating Your Personal Injury Claim

Understanding and navigating the statute of limitations in Ohio is complex, and serious risks are associated with delaying action after an injury. If you or someone you know is dealing with injuries from an accident and considering legal action, it’s advisable to consult promptly with an experienced Ohio personal injury attorney.

At David Dick LPA, we specialize in deciphering these delicate timelines and ensuring that your claim is filed accurately and timely. Reach out today to ensure your claim does not fall outside the critical window allowed by Ohio law, securing your right to the compensation you deserve.

This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Always consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.