How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a car accident?

In the State of Ohio, an individual involved in a vehicle accident that occurs as a result of driver negligence typically has two years from the date of the car accident to file a lawsuit.  There may be facts specific to your case which could extend this deadline, but generally, the limitation is two years.  This deadline is known as the “statute of limitations”, however, there may be more than one “statute of limitations” that applies to your case.


Jurisdiction and limitation of actions is defined in Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.  Specifically, as to motor vehicle accidents, Section 2305.10 sets forth a two-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver that causes an accident.  The two-year time limitation begins on the day after the accident and ends on the two-year anniversary of the accident, unless the last day falls on a weekend or legal holiday defined in Section 1.14.


However, if the vehicle accident was caused by an intentional act, that is if another driver hits a car with the intent to cause physical harm to the driver or a passenger, then there could be a claim for vehicular assault.  In this instance, the statute of limitation as to the assault claim could be limited to one year, as defined by Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.111.


The issue regarding the statute of limitations can become complex and varies according to the facts of each case.  If you do not file a lawsuit within the applicable limitation period, your claims are lost forever, regardless of their merit.  Do not delay.  Contact a personal injury attorney in Cleveland, Ohio today!