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 Rhode Island for those actions related to personal injury, medical malpractice, and some products liability. Please contact a qualified Rhode Island lawyer to find out how a statute of limitations applies to your situation.
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, or within 3 years of the date the injury was, or should have been, discovered. Where the injured party is a minor, amedical malpractice action must be filed within 3 years of that minor’s 18th birthday.
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, but no longer than 10 years from the date of accrual.
All actions against legal, accounting, insurance, and real estate professionals must be filed within 3 years of the date of the act resulting in the injury.
Wrongful death actions must be filed within 3 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 Rhode Island, 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 or wrongful death cases, however. In those instances, please refer to the above information, or refer to the statute directly. If an injured party is deemed to be mentally incompetent or insane, the limitations period begins to run after the termination of the disability. Medical malpractice claims must be filed within 3 years after the disability has been terminated.