Statutes of Limitations on Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse Cases
You may be able to take legal action after nursing home abuse and neglect occurs — but only for a limited time due to laws called statutes of limitations.
If you try to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit after the deadline, your case will be rejected.
Statutes can range between 1 and 6 years depending on the state. Most states set their statute of limitations at 2 or 3 years for personal injury cases. Statutes of limitations also can change over time as laws are updated.
For these reasons and others, you need to work with a lawyer to make sure your case is filed in time. Nursing home abuse attorneys keep track of the statutes of limitations on abuse and neglect cases in every state. These lawyers can also represent you and your loved ones in court as the case moves forward.
Get a free case review to see if you can file a lawsuit before time runs out.
Why Is There a Statute of Limitations?
While some might think that statutes of limitations are inconvenient, they play an important role in protecting legal rights. By limiting how long someone has to file a lawsuit, it ensures that enough evidence will still be available so a case can be fairly built.
If too much time passes, witnesses may not properly remember the events of a case and some may even pass away. This is very true in cases of nursing home abuse, as victims and witnesses are often older people.
Evidence may also get moved, cleaned up, destroyed, or otherwise lost as time goes on.
Navigating limitations can be confusing, but our specialists keep it simple. Call (800) 896-7040 and we can walk it through with you.
Nursing Home Statutes of Limitations by State
Our team has compiled recent statutes of limitations on personal injury claims for every state and Washington, D.C. below. They are listed to give a general idea of how long you have to take legal action.
However, statutes of limitations can vary in each case. Connect with a lawyer to see if you can file a lawsuit — even if you think the statute of limitations has passed.
- Alabama 2 years
- Alaska 2 years
- Arizona 2 years
- Arkansas 2 years
- California 2 years
- Colorado 1 year
- Connecticut 2 years
- Delaware 2 years
- Florida 4 years
- Georgia 2 years
- Hawaii 2 years
- Idaho 2 years
- Illinois 2 years
- Indiana 2 years
- Iowa 2 years
- Kansas 2 years
- Kentucky 1 year
- Louisiana 1 year
- Maine 6 years
- Maryland 3 years
- Massachusetts 3 years
- Michigan 3 years
- Minnesota 6 years
- Mississippi 3 years
- Missouri 5 years
- Montana 3 years
- Nebraska 4 years
- Nevada 2 years
- New Hampshire 3 years
- New Jersey 2 years
- New Mexico 3 years
- New York 3 years
- North Carolina 3 years
- North Dakota 6 years
- Ohio 2 years
- Oklahoma 2 years
- Oregon 2 years
- Pennsylvania 2 years
- Rhode Island 3 years
- South Carolina 3 years
- South Dakota 3 years
- Tennessee 1 year
- Texas 2 years
- Utah 4 years
- Vermont 3 years
- Virginia 2 years
- Washington 3 years
- Washington, D.C. 3 years
- West Virginia 2 years
- Wisconsin 3 years
- Wyoming 4 years
Exceptions to Nursing Home Negligence Statutes of Limitations
Statutes of limitations are not always set in stone. There may be exceptions that allow you to file even if the deadline has passed. Learn more about these exceptions below.
Some states set their statutes based on the day you learned an injury or death was related to nursing home abuse (discovery date), rather than the day the incident occurred.
This is helpful as you may not know how an older person was hurt until more time has passed.
Many states have provisions in their statutes of limitations specifically for the discovery rule.
The statute of limitations can vary in some states if someone died rather than if they were injured.
For example, the statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits in Florida is 2 years. For personal injury cases, the statute is 4 years.
That said, it’s still in your best interest to file a case as soon as possible after your loved one’s injuries or death. This will help you avoid complications that could prevent you from receiving compensation.
Civil lawsuits related to nursing home abuse are often considered personal injury cases. A personal injury case is when someone is hurt by another’s actions or neglect.
However, some types of nursing home abuse may be considered medical malpractice (such as failing to diagnose a life-threatening infection).
In these cases, a nursing home abuse lawsuit may be filed as a medical malpractice claim. These cases may have different statutes of limitations than general personal injury claims.
California’s statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims is 3 years after the incident occurred or 1 year after it was discovered. However, the statute on personal injury claims is 2 years.
Personal injury lawyers that specialize in nursing home abuse lawsuits can see if any exceptions apply in your case. Get a free case evaluation to see if you can work with a lawyer right now.
More exceptions may apply to statutes of limitations outside of varying case types.
Statutes may be extended if:
- Injuries from the abuse didn’t appear until later
- Those being sued (defendants) intentionally concealed evidence or facts
- Victims couldn’t sue due to physical or mental injuries caused by abuse or neglect
- Other state laws or special scenarios apply
Can I Take Legal Action After the Statute of Limitations Has Passed?
Possibly. It’s in your best interest to see if you can take legal action even if the time limits may have passed. There may be exceptions that allow you to file.
Always speak with a lawyer to make sure the statute of limitations has not expired in your case. Nursing home and elder abuse attorneys can tell you the correct statutes in your case and if any exceptions may apply.
File Your Lawsuit Within Nursing Home Statutes of Limitations
Assisted living facilities have a duty to keep elderly residents safe. If you or a loved one was harmed while living in a nursing home, see if you can take legal action today.
You need to make sure that your nursing home abuse lawsuit is filed within set statutes of limitations — usually within 3 years after your loved one was injured or died. Remember, you may not win any compensation if your case is not filed in time.
Since nursing home negligence statutes of limitations can be tricky to understand, work with a lawyer to make sure your case is filed in time. Top lawyers at national nursing home abuse law firms keep track of statutes in each state and can file a case on your behalf.
Don’t wait: get a free case review to get started. Our dedicated team can help you right now.
FAQs on Nursing Home Statutes of Limitations
Who needs to know nursing home negligence statutes of limitations?
Nursing home residents and their family members who want to take legal action should learn about statutes of limitations. Knowing the amount of time they have to file a claim can help them act quickly to get justice.
What can I do if the statute of limitations has passed in my case?
If you think the nursing home negligence statute of limitations has passed, be sure to consult with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer.
A lawyer can confirm whether you have time left to file a case. If the statute of limitations has run out, a lawyer can also recommend next steps to take.
Can the statute of limitations be extended?
Yes — but only in select cases. For example, Florida’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases can be extended if there is evidence that the defendants intentionally hid evidence to prevent the victim from filing a case.
Contact us to see if statutes of limitations could be extended in your case.
When does the nursing home negligence statute of limitations begin in my case?
Nursing home negligence statutes of limitations typically begin when the injury or death occurred or is discovered. Work with a nursing home abuse law firm to get a better idea of when the statutes of limitations begin in your case.
Most states set their statutes at 3 years or less. For best results, file your lawsuit as soon as possible after your loved one’s death or injury.
Will statutes of limitations affect my nursing home neglect settlement?
A nursing home settlement occurs when you agree to get compensation from someone you have sued, and in return the lawsuit won’t go to a trial in court.
Statutes of limitations may affect your settlement if you wait too long to file a case.
If the nursing home negligence statute of limitations passes, you can’t reach a settlement as you won’t be able to file a lawsuit in the first place. This is why it’s important to file your case with a lawyer’s help as soon as possible.
Don’t miss your chance to get compensation from a settlement or a trial verdict.