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 state of Hawaii for those actions related to personal injury, medical malpractice, and some products liability. Please contact a qualified Hawaii lawyer to find out how a statute of limitations applies to your situation.
Actions based on fraud must be filed within 2 years.
These types of actions must be filed within 2 years from the date of the action.
All actions against medical professionals must be filed within 2 years of the date the injured party discovers, or should have discovered the medical malpractice injury. However, in no case the limitations period be extended more than six years from the date of the action resulting in the injury. When the injured party is a minor under the age of ten, the suit must be by the minor’s 10th birthday or within six years, whichever is greater. The limitations period may also be tolled if the minor’s injury could not have been discovered through a reasonable amount of diligence.
Medical Malpractice Actions Based on Foreign Object Left in Body:
In cases where a health-care provider leaves an object in a person’s body, the person has one year from the date of discovery to file suit. However, no medical malpractice action may be brought more than six years after the date that act giving rise to the injury occurred.
Personal injury actions must be filed within 2 years from the date of the injury.
Product liability actions must be filed within 2 years from the date of the injury.
Wrongful death actions must be filed within 2 years 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 Hawaii, when the injured party is a minor the limitations period begins to run on that minor’s 18th birthday. This exception does not apply in medical malpractice cases. In those instances, please refer to the above information. If an injured party is deemed to be mentally incompetent or insane, that person may file a claim at any time while the disability is present or within the limitations period after the disability is removed.