Statute of Limitations North Dakota: How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit After an Injury?
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Statute of Limitations North Dakota: How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit After an Injury?

11th December 2023

Statute of Limitations North Dakota - Sand Law


  • The purpose of the statute of limitations in North Dakota is to help maintain the efficiency of the legal system.
  • Most personal injury cases in our state have a statute of limitations of six years.
  • If you don’t file a lawsuit within six years from the date of your injury, you may not be eligible for compensation.
  • There are exceptions to the statute of limitations and many misconceptions.
  • An expert attorney will ensure you adhere to all time limits to get the money you deserve.

Suffering an injury in an accident caused by another’s negligence can lead to not only pain but also a lot of confusion. You’re unsure how to protect your rights and get your deserved compensation. While researching, you might run across some phrases you’re unfamiliar with, such as the statute of limitations in North Dakota.

This article will help you understand the statute of limitations in North Dakota personal injury cases and its importance. Sand Law attorneys can help you with all the complexities associated with taking legal action and work to help you get the money you have coming.

If you would like to schedule a free evaluation of your case, please contact us online or give us a call at 701-609-1510.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations in North Dakota

Think of the statute of limitations in North Dakota as a sort of deadline. The following sections will explain this deadline and why you need to know how it applies to your case.

Definition and Purpose of the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is a legal concept that establishes the maximum period an accident victim can initiate legal action. It safeguards both plaintiffs and defendants, ensuring that victims file lawsuits while evidence is still available and witnesses’ memories are relatively fresh.

This legal time limit also eliminates the threat of indefinite litigation, promoting fairness and efficiency in the legal system.

General Time Frame for Personal Injury Cases in North Dakota

In North Dakota, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases typically ranges from two to six years, depending on the nature of the injury and the circumstances surrounding the case.

Identifying the specific timeframe applicable to your situation is crucial. Please file within the prescribed period to avoid losing your right to pursue legal action.

The Significance of the Statute of Limitations in Legal Proceedings

The statute of limitations is a critical aspect of legal proceedings, shaping the timeline within which victims can seek compensation for injuries caused by another party’s negligence.

Beyond ensuring timely litigation, it encourages the fast resolution of disputes, preventing excessive delays of justice. If you’re considering filing a personal injury lawsuit in North Dakota, you must understand and adhere to the time limit that applies to your specific case.

Time Limits for Different Types of Personal Injury Cases

The time limits set by the statute of limitations can vary based on the type of personal injury case. The following is a quick look at some of the statutes of limitations for some of the more common personal injury cases:

  • Personal injury – Six years
  • Wrongful death – Two years
  • Personal property damage – Six years
  • Medical malpractice – Generally, the statute of limitations in North Dakota is two years from when the patient discovered their harm or should have reasonably discovered their injury. If a medical professional or hospital fraudulently prevented the discovery of the injury, the state can extend the statute of limitations up to six years.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

While the statute of limitations establishes clear timeframes for legal actions, some exceptions may extend or modify these limits. One such exception is the “discovery rule,” which postpones the commencement of the statute of limitations until the injured party discovers or should have discovered the injury.

For example, suppose your doctor botched your surgery, but you didn’t develop complications until a year afterward. Since you didn’t know the doctor harmed you, your statute of limitations will begin once you realize something was wrong.

In addition, the state may “toll,” or pause, the time limit in specific circumstances, such as when the injured party is a minor or has a legal disability.

Common Misconceptions About the Statute of Limitations in North Dakota

Like most legal issues, there are several misconceptions regarding North Dakota’s statute of limitations. The following are some of the most common:

Misconception 1: The Timeline Starts from the Date of Injury Discovery

There are instances where the statute of limitations won’t start until someone realizes they’re hurt. But in most cases, the “clock” starts ticking from the date of the accident leading to the injury.

While there are many reasons to hire a personal injury attorney immediately, the statute of limitations in North Dakota is one of the biggest. The faster you get legal help, the more likely you can file a lawsuit long before time runs out. You need to speak with a lawyer even if you’re unsure of the severity of your injury.

Misconception 2: All Personal Injury Cases Have the Same Time Limit

Another misconception is assuming that the statute of limitations in North Dakota is the same for all personal injury cases. In reality, the time frame varies based on the case type and the injury’s nature. Understanding these nuances is critical if you’re planning a lawsuit.

Misconception 3: Filing a Lawsuit Stops the Clock on the Statute of Limitations

Filing a lawsuit doesn’t stop the clock on the statute of limitations. Once you file a lawsuit, there’s still a chance that the clock could run again. Your case still has to progress. If something happens to stop it or you or your attorney fail to meet deadlines, the statute of limitations could still run out.

Steps to Take Immediately After an Injury

After sustaining an injury, taking immediate action is essential for protecting your legal rights. Try to keep the following in mind to protect your rights and health.

Consequences of Missing the Statute of Limitations Deadline

Missing the deadline imposed by the statute of limitations in North Dakota can have severe consequences. If the deadline elapses and you don’t file a lawsuit, you could lose the right to seek compensation forever. Courts are generally strict in enforcing these deadlines, so you must take timely and diligent legal action.

Contact an Experienced North Dakota Personal Injury Attorney

As you can see, the statute of limitations in North Dakota can profoundly impact your case. Getting in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney is critical to your chances of obtaining justice.

The lawyers with Sand Law will ensure compliance with time limits and pursue maximum compensation for your injuries. If someone else’s negligence harmed you or a loved one, don’t hesitate to call 701-609-1510 or use our online form for a free consultation.