Every state has time limits for filing a civil action, measured from the date of the incident, called "statutes of limitation." They are intended to both prevent a party from threatening a lawsuit indefinitely and ensure the integrity of the evidence (both physical evidence and witness testimony). These time limits usually differ for different types of claims, such as personal injury or medical malpractice.
Overview of Minnesota's Civil Statute of Limitations
The time limits for civil claims and other actions in Minnesota vary from two years for personal injury claims to 10 years for judgments. Fraud, injury to personal property, and trespassing claims have a six-year statute of limitations, as do both written and oral contracts.
The following chart summarizes Minnesota's time limits for civil actions, as set forth by statute. See Time Limit Considerations in Medical Malpractice Claims for related information.
|Injury to Person||2 yrs. §541.07(1)|
|Libel/Slander||2 yrs. §541.07(1)|
|Fraud||6 yrs. §541.05(6)|
|Injury to Personal Property||6 yrs. §541.05(4)|
|Professional Malpractice||Medical and veterinary: 2 yrs. §541.07(1)|
|Trespass||6 yrs. §541.05(3)|
|Collection of Rents||-|
|Contracts||Written: 6 yrs. §541.05(1); Oral: 6 yrs. §541.05(1)|
|Collection of Debt on Account||-|
|Judgments||10 yrs. §541.04|
Note: State laws are constantly changing, either through ballot initiative, legislation, or case law. We do our best to make sure these pages are up-to-date, but you may also want to contact a Minnesota attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
What if I Miss the Deadline? Are There Any Exceptions?
For the most part, you lose your right to recover damages for injuries if the statute of limitation has expired. But there are some very limited cases where time limits may be extended. Also keep in mind that because of the discovery rule, the "clock" doesn't start tolling until the injured party discovers the injury or reasonably should have discovered it. For example, this may apply in a wrongful death suit if the injured party didn't know her water was contaminated until after the time limit has passed.
Research the Law
Minnesota Civil Statute of Limitations Laws: Related Resources
Questions About Minnesota Civil Statute of Limitations Laws? Talk to a Lawyer
Minnesota's civil statute of limitations varies depending on the circumstances of the case and the type of claim involved. A good attorney can find the right cause of action and make sure it's filed within the required time limits. If you're dealing with a personal injury matter in Minnesota, it's a good idea to contact a local litigation attorney to receive legal advice based on your specific situation.
Contact a qualified attorney.