What is a Statute of Limitations

What is a Statute of Limitations

In both criminal and civil cases Statutes of Limitation must be observed.

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A Statute of Limitation is a time period defined by statute or law which requires legal proceedings to be initiated within a certain time period.  If the action is not initiated within the prescribed time period it will be barred, no recovery can be gained.  For instance in criminal law the State of Tennessee must begin prosecution within so many years from the time that the crime was committed.  Some crimes typically do not have a limitation period, such as homicide.

Statutes of Limitations Differ Depending on Case

In civil law there are many different limitation periods depending on the type of type of law suit.  For example a law suit for personal injury (auto accident, slip and fall, etc.) must be initiated within one (1) year from the date of the accident.  Breach of contract cases have variable statutes of limitations depending on the type of contract.  Breach of contract includes collections on medical bills, credit cards, etc.

If you have been injured, or someone owes you money, or otherwise breaches a contract consult with an attorney immediately.  If a creditor is attempting to collect an old debt have an attorney review the debt and collection activity to determine if it outside the statute of limitations.

There are limited situations when the statute of limitations my be tolled (stopped) from running for a period of time.   Speak with a lawyer about statute of limitations and tolling provisions.

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