A statute of limitations is a statute, or law, that restricts the period of time, after certain events, that a person may initiate legal proceedings. These time limits vary depending on the type of case and the state where the particular cause of action occurred. After the time limit has passed, the injured person no longer has the right to sue to recovery money damages, unless a legal exception applies. The following provides a brief summary, in alphabetical order, of some of the limitations periods for the District of Columbia for those actions related to personal injury, medical malpractice, and some products liability. Please contact a qualified District of Columbia lawyer to find out how a statute of limitations applies to your situation.
Wrongful death actions based on asbestos exposure must be filed within one year from the date of the death, or from the date the plaintiff knew, or should have reasonably known, that the asbestos exposure caused the death.
Actions based on fraud must be filed within 3 years.
These types of actions must be filed within 1 year from the date of the action.
All actions against medical professionals must be filed within 3 years of the date of the act resulting in the injury.
Personal injury actions must be filed within 3 years from the date of the injury.
Product liability actions must be filed within 3 years from the date of the injury.
Wrongful death actions must be filed within 1 year of the date of death.
Special Rules Tolling the Statute of Limitations:
A statute of limitations is tolled when certain conditions are present. When a statute is tolled, the limitations period is essentially put on hold for a period of time. Some typical reasons that a statute is tolled include situations when the victim of the injury was a minor at the time of the injury (minority), when the victim of the injury was mentally incompetent at the time of the injury (mental incompetence), and when the defendant has filed bankruptcy.
In the District of Columbia, when the injured party is a minor the limitations period begins to run on that minor’s 18th birthday, except for in wrongful death cases.