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Massachusetts Civil Statute of Limitations Laws

Your fender bender on I-28 was couple months ago but your neck is still hurting. Or maybe it’s over a year after the accident and you’ve just now realized the repair shop didn’t fix your car right the first time around. Do you have a legal claim against either for damages? And, if so, what is the deadline for filing the case in court? Each state has their own laws limiting the available time between an incident and when you can file a civil suit. This is a brief overview of civil statute of limitation laws in Massachusetts.

Civil Statutes of Limitation

Plaintiffs have time limits for filing civil lawsuits, which differ by the type of claim (in most states). These time limits, referred to as the civil statute of limitations, are meant to help preserve the integrity of evidence and witness testimony. Massachusetts' civil statute of limitations laws provide a three-year time limit for most cases including personal injury, libel and fraud.

Statutes of Limitation in Massachusetts

Look at the following table for a complete list of Massachusetts' civil statute of limitations laws. See Time Limit Considerations in Medical Malpractice Claims for additional information.

Injury to Person

3 yrs. Ch. 260 §4

Libel/Slander

3 yrs. Ch. 260 §4

Fraud

3 yrs. Ch. 260 §2A

Injury to Personal Property

3 yrs. Ch. 260 §4

Professional Malpractice

3 yrs., max. 7 yrs. (personal injury) Ch. 260 §4

Trespass

3 yrs. Ch. 260 §2A

Collection of Rents

3 yrs. Ch. 260 §2A

Contracts

Written: 20 yrs. if under seal; 6 yrs. others Ch. 260 §§1, 2; Oral: 6 yrs. Ch. 260 §2

Collection of Debt on Account

6 yrs. Ch. 260 §2

Judgments

6 yrs. Ch. 260 §2

Statutes of limitation on civil cases are intended to create general fairness and reliability when it comes to filing lawsuits. Plaintiffs are required to decide whether to press a lawsuit or not in a timely matter. On the other hand, potential defendants should receive notice that they may have committed some harm against another party, but the limitation means they will not have a legal matter hanging over their head indefinitely.

Related Resources for Massachusetts Civil Statute of Limitations Laws:

You may have a very good legal claim for damages, but if you don’t file your lawsuit within the required statutory limit, it may not matter. If you would like legal advice with your case, you can contact a personal injury attorney in Massachusetts. You can also visit FindLaw’s section on Statute of Limitations in Civil Cases for more general information on this topic.

Injured in Massachusetts? Get a Free Claim Review Today

Injuries, whether physical, emotional, or contractual can be difficult to handle. If you aren't familiar the legal system, the process can seem even more overwhelming. Let an experienced attorney in Massachusetts walk you through the process including meeting important filing deadlines. A good first step is to have a consumer injury attorney review your case at no charge to you.

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