There are time limits for filing a lawsuit or some other civil action called statutes of limitations, which differ from state to state. States also impose time limits for the state in regard to the filing of formal criminal charges, also referred to as the statute of limitations. States typically have different time limits for different kinds of civil actions, although the "clock" doesn't start ticking until the injury is discovered.
For instance, someone may not realize they have been the victim of fraud until several years after the incident, but he or she may file a claim after discovering the injury. The reasons for these limits are to prevent individuals from using the threat of a lawsuit indefinitely and to ensure the integrity of the evidence (including witness testimony, physical evidence, and other forms of discovery).
Louisiana Civil Statutes of Limitation at a Glance
The state of Louisiana is unique in that nearly all civil actions have a one-year statute of limitations (most states range from two to five years for more claims). The exceptions are the three-year limits on collections of rent and debts and a 10-year statute of limitations for contracts and judgments.
The main provisions of Louisiana's civil statute of limitations are detailed below. See FindLaw's Injury Law Basics section for more information about filing a lawsuit.
|Injury to Person||1 yr. Civ. Code §3492|
|Libel/Slander||1 yr. Civ. Code §3492|
|Fraud||1 yr. Civ. Code §3492|
|Injury to Personal Property||1 yr. Civ. Code §3492|
|Professional Malpractice||1 yr. Civ. Code §3492|
|Trespass||1 yrs. Civ. Code §3492|
|Collection of Rents||3 yrs. Civ. Code §3494(3)|
|Contracts||Written: 10 yrs. Civ. Code §3499; Oral: 10 yrs. Civ. Code §3499|
|Collection of Debt on Account||3 yrs. Civ. Code §3494(4)|
|Judgments||Monetary judgments: 10 yrs. Civ. Code §3501|
Note: State laws may change at a moment's notice, often through new legislation or case law. Make sure you contact a Louisiana torts and personal injury attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Louisiana Civil Statute of Limitations Law: Related Resources
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Trying to understand Louisiana's different civil lawsuit filing deadlines can be overwhelming. Louisiana's civil statute of limitations varies depending on the circumstances of the case and the type of claim involved. If you are dealing with a personal injury or business-related injury, it's in your best interests to contact a local injury attorney for a claim evaluation at no cost to you.
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