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As there are in every other state, you will find that there are Idaho personal injury statutes of limitations.  The term statute of limitations refers to the amount of time the law allows for you to bring legal action against the person or business responsible for your injury. In fact there are statutes of limitations that apply to not just injury cases but to most other types civil claims and even criminal actions. The idea behind a statute of limitations is to ensure that legal disputes get resolved in a timely fashion.  It is thought that the quality of evidence relevant to a case deteriorates over time.

Idaho Statutes of Limitations

The time limit that applies to a statute of limitations for a particular legal issue varies significantly state to state . In Idaho, most personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death cases, and product liability cases have a two-year statute of limitations. The two-year countdown typically begins on the day of the accident that caused your injury or the day of a person’s death caused by the wrongful act.

The moment you suffer “some damages” the time starts running.   The legislature created a special rule for a medical negligence (“malpractice”) claim related to a foreign object left in the body. In that situation, the two-year clock begins on the date you found out about or should have known of your injury. If you are pursuing a product liability action, the two-year time limit must be within the useful safe life of the product.  There is a presumption that the useful safe life of the product has ended if the action is brought after ten years from the time of delivery of the product.

Special Rules for Cases Involving Children

The most notable exception to the two-year rule under Idaho law is if the accident involves a minor child (or person under a disablity) If a minor child was injured, the two-year statute of limitations begins on the minor’s eighteenth birthday. However, the statute of limitations may not be delayed more than six years due to the injured person’s minority status.

If you are a parent, guardian, or other eligible party wishing to file a wrongful death claim relating to the death of a minor child, the standard two-year statute of limitations applies. There is no extension given due to the age of the deceased.

Special Rules Relating to Claims Against Government Entities

If your case involves a local, state, or federal government or its employee or representative, there are restrictions that require notice to the government of the claims being filed. Failing to provide notice of the claim can mean that you lose your right to sue. The specifics of the Idaho tort claim rules are discussed in this post.  Your attorney can explain this matter in greater detail.

Hepworth Holzer Can Help

If you do not file your case within the appropriate deadline, you lose your right to take the matter to court at all. Therefore, it’s essential that you speak with a qualified attorney to explore your options as soon as possible. The experienced attorneys at Hepworth Holzer are dedicated to representing Idaho residents who have been injured due to the negligence of others. Please call (208) 343-7510 for a free case review and consultation.