When Is Tolling Of The Statute Of Limitations Applicable

The statute of limitations is the period within which you should bring a personal injury lawsuit. If you make a claim after this time lapses, your claim will be dismissed. However, tolling provisions can put this limitation period on hold temporarily. Here are some scenarios when tolling of the statute of limitations is applicable.

Discovery Rule

Your personal injury lawyer can make a claim to suspend the statute of limitation period based on the discovery rule. This means they may claim that you never knew you were injured until a specific time. For instance, a person exposed to asbestos may not realize they have mesothelioma until a few years after the incident.

Even in cases where the discovery rule is raised, there is a deadline beyond which you cannot file a lawsuit. For example, a state's statute for filing a personal injury claim may be set to two years after you discover that the defendant was responsible for your injuries. Therefore, you cannot file a claim after this limitation period.

Fraudulent Concealment

This occurs when a defendant misleads you into believing they were not responsible for your injuries. For example, the defendant may lie to you or fake documents to cause you to be unaware of what caused your injuries. In this case, the statute of limitation is tolled until you discover the fraud.

However, the statute will not toll if you fail to use intelligence to discover the fraud. Also, the limitation will not be tolled if you were aware of the facts required to support your case. Furthermore, if the defendant can prove to the court that you could still have discovered the cause of your injuries despite the fraudulent concealment, your claim for tolling will be dismissed.

Criminal Investigations

If you are injured and a victim of a crime, the statute of limitations will be tolled. In such cases, the statute will be tolled from when the crime was executed until the crime is prosecuted. This tolling applies to even minor crimes such as traffic offenses.

For example, for traffic offenses, the tolling will stop when a driver who is charged with an offense pays the fine, wins or loses their case, or when the prosecution dismisses the case. Therefore, if you are injured by a driver charged with a traffic offense or a person who has committed a criminal act, you have more time to make a personal injury claim. 

Contact a law firm, such as Carter & Fulton, P.S., to discuss your case.