Arizona Auto Accident Law: Understanding The Statute Of Limitations For Filing A Lawsuit

Every state has its own statutes of limitations for filing lawsuits – and those statutes are different depending upon the situation. One of the biggest mistakes potential plaintiffs make is letting the statute of limitations pass before taking appropriate action. Dave Wattel, an Arizona attorney who has been handling plaintiffs' cases exclusively for over 20 years, explained how they work in Arizona.
  • Standard automobile accident: When dealing with a standard automobile accident and not a public entity, it’s a two-year statute of limitations.
  • Uninsured / underinsured claim: When dealing with an uninsured motorist claim or an underinsured motorist claim, it’s a three year statute of limitations.
  • Public entity: If you’re dealing with a public entity, that is you’re struck while driving your vehicle by a police officer that’s on the job or another public employee, then you have six months with which to serve your claim form upon the appropriate entity and one year with which to file your lawsuit. Many people are unaware of this specific requirement in Arizona.
  • Workers' compensation: If you are injured while on the job and workers’ compensation is paying your benefits, you must get a re-assignment of your workers’ compensation claim – that is, you must get an assignment of your personal injury claim from the workers' compensation carrier by the one year anniversary of the loss. Otherwise, you have to file the lawsuit within the one year. So if you’re injured on the job and cannot get a reassignment of your workers' compensation, the statute of limitations for that claim is also one year.
  • Minors: A minor's statute of limitations doesn't start to run until after their 18th birthday. However, their claim for medical expenses while they’re a minor is not really their claim. It’s their parents’ claim – and that still has the same previous statute of limitations. But for the minor to pursue their own personal injury claim, they have two years to file from their 18th birthday.

If you've been injured in an automobile accident, contact an experienced Arizona car accident attorney to discuss your situation, evaluate your options and make sure that your case is filed within the appropriate statute of limitations time frame.