Many people have heard of the term “Statute of Limitations,” but they aren’t quite sure what this is, or how it might affect them if they’ve been injured in some kind of accident in Massachusetts. This post will hopefully clear up some of these questions for you.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
First, the point of a statute-of-limitations is to set a time limit, or deadline, within which a lawsuit to recover for damages must be brought (for any type of case, negligence & personal injury or otherwise). This purpose of the statute is not to prevent a lawsuit, but place a reasonable period of time within which either a formal lawsuit or some other kind of legal claim for injuries must be brought – if a case is going to be brought forward at all. In personal injury and accident cases, the person who commences the legal claim is called the plaintiff; the person or party against whom the claim is brought is called the defendant. It is important to note that the term “defendant” in civil cases means something very different than in a criminal case – a defendant in a criminal case has been charged with a crime against the state, and if found guilty can be imprisoned. In a civil case, a defendant is usually being sued for some type of monetary (financial) damages.