How long you have to file a class action lawsuit depends on several factors, most importantly the state’s statute of limitations on the type of claim you need to file. Class action lawsuits can stem from a number of incident types, including defective product accidents, personal injuries, and fraud. Each of these types of cases may have a different time limit, depending on the state where we need to file the lawsuit.
Understanding Statutes of Limitations
Each state establishes its own deadlines for filing civil suits. Known as statutes of limitations, these time limits tell you how long you have to pursue legal action against the party who caused your injuries or financial losses. If you miss the deadline, the court will likely inform you that you will be unable to move forward unless there are extenuating circumstances and we can convince it to extend the deadline.
When the Countdown Begins
One of the most complicated parts of a statute of limitations is determining when the clock begins running in your case. For most, the countdown begins the day you suffer injuries or lose money because of the defendant.
Occasionally, though, you may not immediately know you suffered injuries or other harm. When this occurs, it may extend your deadline. If this is applicable in your case, the countdown may not begin until the date you discovered your injuries or when you should have known about the damages you suffered.
Examples of Statutes of Limitations and Exceptions to the Rule
We need to determine where we must file your class action lawsuit before we can know the time limit on filing your case. Then, we need to understand the type of case we are filing. Each type of case has its own deadline. For example, in New York, the statutes of limitations include:
- Two years for wrongful deaths
- Two and a half years for medical malpractice,
- Three years for personal injuries
- Three years for product liability cases
- Six years for fraud
There are also some situations where the state’s statutes of limitations do not apply, and we must act more quickly. For example, if a government agency is liable in your case, we need to file an administrative claim before we can pursue a class action or other lawsuit. The deadline to file this type of claim is often only a number of weeks.
The Role of
Your Class Action Attorney
Class action law is extremely complicated. The statute of limitations is not always straightforward, but we can help you understand the deadline that applies to your case. The best way to ensure your case reaches court in time is to get in touch with a class action attorney who knows the protocol for filing this type of claim as soon as possible.
If you believe you have a strong case for a class action lawsuit, call the legal team at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. today. You can reach us at 631-600-0000. We offer free consultations, and can evaluate the strength of your case today.