No injured accident victim in Idaho has an unlimited amount of time in which to file a damage claim. Idaho has laws called statutes of limitations that impose deadlines to file. Statutes of limitations vary according to the type of case. It is critical to file your personal injury case by its deadline if you wish to have a valid claim.
What Is the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in Idaho?
State lawmakers pass statutes of limitations to prevent injured parties from waiting too long to bring their claims. Excessive claim delays can clog the court system and make things less efficient for everyone. It could also be unjust to the defendant if a plaintiff has the power to wait until important evidence disappears to file a cause of action. In Idaho, your statute of limitations will depend on the type of claim you are bringing.
- Personal injury: Two years from the date of the accident.
- Wrongful death: Two years from the date of death.
- Medical malpractice: Two years from the date of the malpractice.
- Product liability: Two years within the useful safe life of the product.
- Property damage: Three years from the date of the damage.
Your statute of limitations will be one of the most important laws pertaining to your injury claim. If you fail to file your case against the defendant within the time limit, you will most likely forfeit your right to pursue damages. The courts in Idaho are strict in upholding statutes of limitations. They will refuse to hear most cases brought after the expiration of the time limit to file.
Are There Exceptions?
The statute of limitations on a claim may deviate from the standard if one of the state’s limited exceptions apply. During a medical malpractice claim involving a foreign object left behind in the body cavity, for example, a victim will have two years from the date he or she found out about the injury rather than the date of the malpractice. The discovery extension may also apply to other claims where the plaintiff does not recognize an injury until after the date of the accident. A product liability claim will have a statute of repose of 10 years from the time of delivery of the product.
Special rules also apply to cases in Idaho that involve child victims. If a child under the age of 18 is the injured victim, the victim or his or her family will have two years from the date of the minor’s 18th birthday rather than the date of the accident to file. If the victim was 5 years old at the time of the accident, for example, the plaintiff would have 15 years to file a claim. A plaintiff may also have more time to file if the defendant is simultaneously facing criminal charges for the same incident. In these cases, the courts may grant an extension to two years from the date of the resolution of the criminal case.
Claims Against the Government
You may have significantly less than two years to file a personal injury claim if the person or party that caused your injury works for the government. The doctrine of sovereign immunity protects government entities and changes the filing rules. If you are filing a lawsuit against a government agency or one of its employees in Idaho, you must file a notice of claim within just 180 days of the accident. After filing this notice, you will have two years to file your actual personal injury claim.
Contact an Attorney as Soon as Possible
Missing your statute of limitations could bar you from receiving financial recovery from a defendant. Give yourself the best odds of meeting the time limit by contacting a Meridian personal injury lawyer immediately after suffering an injury in Idaho. A lawyer can explain your statute of limitations and help you file quickly and efficiently.