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Nursing Home Negligence Statute of Limitations

Understanding the Statute of Limitations

Quick Answer

If you want to take legal action for nursing home abuse and neglect, you’ll need to do so within your state’s statute of limitations. Nursing home negligence statute of limitations range from 1 to 6 years depending on the state. Statutes of limitations can be very hard to understand without legal help, so working with a nursing home abuse lawyer can ensure your case is filed on time.

What Are Statutes of Limitations?

Statutes of limitations are laws that set the amount of time someone has to take legal action.

Statutes are set by state governments and cover a wide range of case types, such as fraud, medical malpractice, personal injury, criminal cases, and wrongful death. They also affect how long you have to file a civil lawsuit in cases of nursing home abuse or neglect.

A person wearing a tie sits at a desk and fills out paperwork. A book and the scales of justice also sit on the desk.

Statutes of limitations on nursing home neglect and abuse vary from state to state. Some states such as Kentucky and Tennessee give 1 year to file a claim, but other states such as Maine and North Dakota give up to 6 years. Most states set their statute of limitations between 2 and 3 years.

Once the statute of limitations has expired, you may not be able to pursue legal compensation or hold abusive nursing homes accountable. Because of this, it’s crucial to file your nursing home abuse lawsuit as soon as possible — ideally, within 3 years or less.

Thankfully, you can work with a nursing home abuse attorney to make sure your case is filed within state deadlines. Skilled attorneys understand the statutes of limitations on nursing home neglect and abuse in every state. Get a free case evaluation to see if you can work with a lawyer today.

Why Do Nursing Home Negligence Statutes of Limitations Exist?

Statutes of limitations were put into place to make sure claimants take legal action in a speedy manner.

If decades go by after the incident, key witnesses may pass away or may not clearly remember details of the events. This is especially true in elder abuse cases, as victims are older adults who may have pre-existing mental or physical health problems.

“Statutes of limitations were put in place in part to discourage convictions based on ‘unreliable witness testimony,’ including memories of events that occurred years in the past.”

— Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

Statutes of limitations also allow courts to keep things relatively fair for both the people suing (the plaintiff) and those being sued (the defendants).

To keep things fair for plaintiffs, statutes of limitations force them to build and file a case when there is enough time to establish the facts and collect time-sensitive evidence.

In fairness to the defendant, statutes prevent lawsuits from being filed decades later. Without these time limits, defendants may not be able to gather witness statements or evidence to build a counterclaim.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers & Statutes of Limitations

In most cases, you need to work with a specialized nursing home lawyer if you want to file a case within nursing home negligence statute of limitations.

While statutes of limitations are a key part of filing a lawsuit, they are quite hard to understand unless you are a legal professional. Fortunately, nursing home abuse lawyers at top law firms keep track of the statutes for every state. They can help you file the case as soon as possible if you qualify for legal action.

ALERT! Time is running out: Get a free case review today to start your nursing home negligence claim.

Statutes of Limitations by State

Below are the statutes of limitations for personal injury claims in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia). They are not specific to nursing home abuse cases only, but are listed to give a general idea about time limits.

The only way to know for sure if your case falls within the deadline is to work with a lawyer. You may qualify even if your case is outside of the statute of limitations listed below.

Call (855) 264-6310 to see if your case falls within the statutes of limitations for nursing home abuse.

  • Alabama 2 years
  • Alaska 2 years
  • Arizona 2 years
  • Arkansas 2 years
  • California 2 years
  • Colorado 1 year
  • Connecticut 2 years
  • Delaware 2 years
  • Florida 4 years
  • Georgia 2 years
  • Hawaii 2 years
  • Idaho 2 years
  • Illinois 2 years
  • Indiana 2 years
  • Iowa 2 years
  • Kansas 2 years
  • Kentucky 1 year
  • Louisiana 1 year
  • Maine 6 years
  • Maryland 3 years
  • Massachusetts 3 years
  • Michigan 3 years
  • Minnesota 6 years
  • Mississippi 3 years
  • Missouri 5 years
  • Montana 3 years
  • Nebraska 4 years
  • Nevada 2 years
  • New Hampshire 3 years
  • New Jersey 2 years
  • New Mexico 3 years
  • New York 3 years
  • North Carolina 3 years
  • North Dakota 6 years
  • Ohio 2 years
  • Oklahoma 2 years
  • Oregon 2 years
  • Pennsylvania 2 years
  • Rhode Island 3 years
  • South Carolina 3 years
  • South Dakota 3 years
  • Tennessee 1 year
  • Texas 2 years
  • Utah 4 years
  • Vermont 3 years
  • Virginia 2 years
  • Washington 3 years
  • Washington, D.C. 3 years
  • West Virginia 2 years
  • Wisconsin 3 years
  • Wyoming 4 years

Exceptions to Nursing Home Negligence Statute of Limitations

While every state has nursing home negligence statutes of limitations, there are exceptions to them as well in some cases.

For example, the statute of limitations on nursing home abuse cases in Florida is 4 years unless evidence or facts were concealed. In this case, 2 more years are added to the limit in these cases.

Further, some states prevent government-run assisted living facilities from being sued more than 1 year after the incident took place.

Exceptions to statutes of limitations may apply if:

  • The defendant intentionally misrepresents or fraudulently conceals evidence/facts
  • The injury resulting from the abuse did not appear until a later time
  • The plaintiff had a mental or physical incapacity due to the injury or abuse and couldn’t file a claim

Of course, the exceptions for statute of limitations can vary from state to state. You need to work with nursing home abuse attorneys to see if exceptions to the statutes of limitations will apply.

Get a free consultation to see if you can work with a nursing home abuse lawyer right now.

Can I File a Lawsuit After the Statute of Limitations Has Passed?

It’s not likely that you’ll be able to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit after the statute of limitations has passed in your case. However, don’t assume anything until you connect with a lawyer.

Even if you think the statute of limitations has passed in your case, a lawyer can confirm if there is any time left to file a lawsuit.

Further, our skilled attorneys may be able to help you even if the statute of limitations has passed in your case. Call (855) 264-6310 to learn more.

File Your Lawsuit Within Nursing Home Negligence Statute of Limitations

It’s key to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out in your case. You and your loved ones can only receive financial compensation through a lawsuit if it’s filed on time.

Key points about statutes of limitations include:

  • They range from 1 to 6 years and vary by state
  • They prevent you from filing lawsuits if time runs out
  • A lawyer can help you file within your state’s statute of limitations

Get a free case review to see if you can work with a nursing home abuse lawyer and file your case within the statute of limitations. These skilled personal injury attorneys can also help you represent your interests in court and get the compensation you deserve.

Common Questions About Nursing Home Negligence Statutes of Limitations

When does the statute of limitations start in nursing home abuse cases?

The statute of limitations may start once the nursing home abuse either occurs or is discovered. But since every case is different, reach out to a lawyer to see when the statute of limitations starts in your case.

Personal injury lawyers that specialize in nursing home abuse cases can help you understand how long you’ll have to file a case.

Do nursing home negligence statutes of limitations change?

Yes. Since statutes of limitations are set by state laws, they may change over time. While this can make it harder for you and your family members to understand these limits, don’t fret. Skilled nursing home attorneys at top law firms can file your case within the latest statutes of limitations.

Can nursing home statutes of limitations be extended?

Statutes of limitations in nursing home neglect lawsuits may possibly be extended in some cases. The only way to know for sure is by working with a nursing home abuse lawyer.

Do statutes of limitations vary between civil and criminal cases?

The statutes of limitations listed above apply to civil nursing home abuse cases. However, nursing home abuse cases sometimes fall under criminal law where there is an act of violence, such as a physical or sexual assault.

Statutes of limitations for criminal nursing home abuse lawsuits may or may not vary — it depends on the state and other factors.

Nursing Home Abuse Support Team

The Nursing Home Abuse Center (NHAC) was founded to bring justice to those affected by nursing home and elder abuse. Our mission is to educate and empower victims of abuse and their families to take a stand against this unlawful mistreatment. We work to return dignity back to those who have been broken down by nursing home abuse and neglect.

View 3 Sources
  1. Cornell Law School. (n.d.). Statutes of limitations. Retrieved August 11, 2021, from
  2. Florida Senate. (2012). 2012 Florida Statutes Chapter 400: Nursing Homes and Related Health Care Facilities. Retrieved August 11, 2021, from
  3. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. (n.d.). Understanding statutes of limitations for sex crimes. Retrieved August 11, 2021, from
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