Find out what steps you can take if you or a loved one experienced nursing home abuse.
What Is a Nursing Home Negligence Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time someone has to take legal action.
These 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.
Statutes of limitations for nursing home neglect and abuse vary from state to state. Some states, such as Kentucky and Tennessee, have a 1-year statute of limitations, while others, such as Maine and North Dakota, have a time frame of up to 6 years. Most states set their statute of limitations between 2- 3 years.
Once the statute of limitations has expired, you may not be able to pursue financial compensation or hold abusive nursing homes accountable. Because of this, it’s crucial to file your nursing home abuse claim or wrongful death claim as soon as possible.
Thankfully, you can work with a nursing home abuse attorney to make sure your negligence claim is filed within state deadlines. Skilled attorneys work with nursing home residents and their families to understand the statutes of limitations for neglect cases in each state.
Get a free case evaluation today to see if you can work with a lawyer.
Why Do Nursing Home Negligence Statutes of Limitations Exist?
Statutes of limitations were put in place to make sure claimants take legal action in a timely manner.
If too much time passes after an 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 tend to be older adults who may have pre-existing mental or physical health conditions.
Statutes of limitations also allow courts to keep things relatively fair for both the party suing (the plaintiff) and those being sued (the defendants).
To keep things fair for plaintiffs, statutes of limitations allow a case to be built and filed within enough time to establish the facts and collect time-sensitive evidence.
On the other hand, statutes of limitations prevent lawsuits from being filed against defendants (like a nursing home) decades later. Without these time limits, the defendant may not be able to gather witness statements or evidence to build a counterclaim.
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 but are listed to give a general idea about time limits.
Working with a lawyer is the only way to know if your case falls within the deadline. 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
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers & Statutes of Limitations
Generally, victims of nursing home neglect have at least 1 year to take legal action against the facility. However, it is critical to understand that the time you have to file a lawsuit depends on the laws in the state where the incident occurred.
Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you work with a skilled nursing home lawyer. Experienced nursing home lawyers will help to ensure your case is filed within the nursing home negligence statute of limitations.
While statutes of limitations are a key part of filing a lawsuit, they can be difficult to understand unless you are a legal professional. Nursing home abuse lawyers at top law firms are equipped to carefully track each state’s nursing home negligence statute of limitations.
Exceptions to Nursing Home Negligence Statute of Limitations
While every state has nursing home negligence statutes of limitations, there are exceptions in some cases.
For example, the statute of limitations for nursing home abuse cases in Florida is 4 years unless evidence or facts were concealed. In this case, 2 more years could be added to the usual limit.
Further, some states prevent government-run assisted living facilities from being sued more than 1 year after the negligence took place.
Exceptions to a nursing home negligence statute 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 a statute of limitations can vary from state to state. You can work with nursing home abuse attorneys to determine if any exceptions to the statutes of limitations will apply in your case.
Can I File a Lawsuit After the Statute of Limitations Has Passed?
You will not likely 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 run out, a lawyer can confirm if there is still time left to file your lawsuit.
Further, our skilled nursing home abuse attorneys may be able to help you even if your state’s statute of limitations has expired. Call (855) 264-6310 to learn more.
File Your Lawsuit Within Nursing Home Negligence Statute of Limitations
It’s critical to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit before the statute of limitations passes. You and your loved ones can only receive financial compensation through a lawsuit if it’s filed on time.
Key points about nursing home negligence statutes of limitations include:
- They range from 1-6 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 nursing home negligence statute of limitations. Skilled personal injury attorneys can also help represent your interests and pursue the compensation you may deserve.
Common Questions About Nursing Home Negligence Statutes of Limitations
How long do you have to file a lawsuit against a nursing home?
This depends on the laws in the state where the neglect occurred. Nursing home negligence statute of limitations generally range from 1-6 years. Working with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer is the best way to ensure you file before your deadline passes.
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, you should reach out to a lawyer to see when the statute of limitations starts in your case.
Personal injury lawyers with experience handling nursing home abuse cases can help you understand how long you have to file a claim.
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 worry. Skilled nursing home attorneys at top law firms can file your case within the current statute 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. Working with a nursing home abuse lawyer is the only way to know for sure.
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 vary — it depends on the state and other factors.