Statute of Limitations

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Following is a chart of statute of limitation periods for four of the most common types of lawsuits. But you will probably need to do further legal research to learn about time limits that might affect your specific situation. Even the time limits specified in the following chart can be affected by things like the "discovery rule"–see "How the Discovery Rule Works," below. Also, the time limits in the chart may not cover every situation. For example, claims involving medical malpractice, eviction, child or spousal support, fraud, product liability, consumer sales contracts, or faulty work by builders may all have different statutes of limitations. And some states distinguish between different types of property (usually real and personal property) when establishing statutes of limitations.

View the Statutes of Limitations chart in PDF format.

You can find your state's laws online at
.cfm and on your state's Internet home page, and you will find a printed set at a law library or a large public library. (See Chapter 25 for more on how to do legal research.)

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