Civil Crime Lawsuit Statute Of Limitations

Civil Crime Lawsuit Statute Of Limitations2018-11-09T15:06:49+00:00
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Crime victims and their families often struggle with several personal and financial setbacks during their recovery. These victims deserve to get the financial support they need. You may be here because you have questions like:

  • What are my options for financial compensation?
  • Could I have a case for a negligent security lawsuit?
  • Who can be held liable for enabling crime?
  • How can a victims' rights lawyer help me?

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While few people understand this, thousands of crime victims in the United States have another option. The civil justice system offers a potential solution. Victims of crime, along with their families, may have the right to file a civil lawsuit, pursuing financial compensation to cover a wide range of damages, including forms of harm that victims compensation funds and court-ordered restitution don’t consider at all.

Every State’s Statute Of Limitations For Civil Crime Lawsuits

Every state has a set of laws, collectively known as “statutes of limitation,” that restrict the amount of time victims and families are given to file lawsuits. Where criminal acts are concerned, most jurisdictions make a distinction between four separate claims, providing different legal protections to people who are suing over:

  • a third party’s negligent actions
  • an intentional assault
  • childhood sexual abuse
  • a wrongful death

In this guide, we'll cover the statutes of limitations that govern civil crime lawsuits in all 50 states, along with the District of Columbia.

Before we begin, you should be aware that any one of these laws could change in the near future. Statutes around childhood sexual abuse, in particular, are being reassessed across the country, so it's best to check your own state's laws to make sure that you have the latest information.

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Many Exceptions To The Rule

The second point you should note is that nearly every one of the laws we've cited contains numerous exceptions to account for specific circumstances. Alongside these nuanced exceptions, most states have a variety of "discovery rules," which extend the time limit when there was no reasonable way for a victim to know that they could file suit at an earlier date.

Discovery rules are especially common in cases when an abuse survivor repressed the memories of their mistreatment.

Find Your State Laws Here

To learn more about your own state's laws, click on the appropriate link below:

Alabama

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 6 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 2 years of the minor's 19th birthday
  • Wrongful death - within 2 years of the date of death

Alaska

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 2 years from the date of the crime
    • Sexual assault - no statute of limitations; victims of sexual assault can file a civil lawsuit at any time
  • Childhood sexual abuse - no statute of limitations; victims of childhood sexual abuse can file suit at any time
  • Wrongful death - within 2 years of the date of death

Arizona

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 2 years of the minor's 18th birthday
  • Wrongful death - within 2 years of the date of death

Arkansas

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 3 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 1 year from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 3 years of victims' 21st birthday, or within 3 years of the date the victim discovers their injuries
  • Wrongful death - within 3 years of the date of death

California

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 2 years from the date of the crime
    • Domestic violence - within 3 years of the last attack or abusive act
    • Felony crimes - within 1 year of a criminal judgment
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 8 years of the child's 18th birthday, or within 3 years of the discovery of childhood sex abuse
  • Wrongful death - within 2 years of the date of death

Colorado

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 1 year from the date of the crime
    • Sexual assault - within 6 years of the crime (significant exceptions can extend the statute of limitations further)
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 6 years of the victim's 18th birthday, or within 6 years of the date the victim discovers their injuries, whichever comes later
  • Wrongful death - within 2 years of the date of death
    • Wrongful death hit-and-run accidents - within 4 years of the date of death

Connecticut

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 2 years from the date of injury, or within 2 years of the injury's discovery; no later than 3 years after the crime
  • Intentional assault - 3 years from the date of the crime
    • Sexual assault - no statute of limitations (victims can file at any time) if offender is convicted of 1st degree sexual assault or 1st degree aggravated sexual assault); within 3 years of date of crime if suspect is not convicted
  • Childhood sexual abuse - no later than the victim's 48th birthday
  • Wrongful death - within 2 years of the date of death

Delaware

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - no statute of limitations; victims of childhood sexual abuse can file suit at any time
  • Wrongful death - within 2 years of the date of death

Florida

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 4 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 4 years from the date of injury
  • Childhood sexual abuse - victims who suffered sexual abuse before the age of 16 can file a lawsuit at any time; victims abused between the ages of 16 and 18 have within 7 years of their 18th birthday, or within 4 years of the discovery of their injuries, whichever comes later
  • Wrongful death - within 2 years of the date of death
    • Wrongful death lawsuits against individual offenders can be filed at any time

Georgia

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - no later than the victim's 53rd birthday (for abuse committed on or after July 1, 2015); no later than the victim's 23rd birthday (for abuse committed prior to July 1, 2015)
  • Wrongful death - within 2 years of the date of death

Hawaii

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 8 years of the victim's 18th birthday, or within 8 years of the offender's 18th birthday, or within 3 years of the date the victim discovered their injuries, whichever comes later
  • Wrongful death - within 2 years of the date of death

Idaho

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 5 years from the victim's 18th birthday, or within 5 years from the date the victim discovers their injuries
  • Wrongful death - within 2 years of the date of death

Illinois

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - no statute of limitations; victims of childhood sexual abuse can file a lawsuit at any time
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

Indiana

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 2 years from the date of the crime
    • Rape - within 5 years of the time that prosecutors discover DNA evidence sufficient to charge the suspect, the suspect confesses or prosecutors find a recording sufficient to charge the suspect; in all other cases, within 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 7 years from the date the victim discovers their injuries, or within 4 years from ceasing to be a dependent of the abuser, whichever comes later
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

Iowa

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 4 years of the date the victim discovers their injuries, or within 5 years if the abuse was committed by a school counselor, therapist, teacher or employee
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

Kansas

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 1 year from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 3 years of the victim's 18th birthday, or 3 years from the date the victim discovers their injuries, whichever comes later
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

Kentucky

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 1 year from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 1 year from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 5 years of the crime or the last in a series of abusive crimes, or within 5 years from the date the victim discovers their injuries, or within 5 years of the victim's 18th birthday, whichever comes later
  • Wrongful death - 1 year from the date of death

Louisiana

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 1 year of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 1 year of the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 10 years from the victim's 18th birthday
  • Wrongful death - 1 year from the date of death

Maine

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 6 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 2 years of the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - no statute of limitations; victims of childhood sexual abuse can file suit at any time
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

Maryland

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 3 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 1 year of the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 7 years of the victim's 18th birthday
  • Wrongful death - 3 years from the date of death

Massachusetts

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 3 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 3 years of the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 35 years of the abusive act(s), or within 7 years of the victim's discovery of their injuries, whichever comes later
  • Wrongful death - 3 years from the date of death

Michigan

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 3 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 3 years from the date of the crime
    • Assault and battery - within 2 years of the date of the crime
    • Domestic violence - within 5 years of the date of the crime, if the victim lived with the perpetrator
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within the victim's 19th birthday, within 3 years of the date of the crime, or within 5 years if the victim lived with the offender
  • Wrongful death - within 3 years from the date of death

Minnesota

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 2 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 2 years of the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - no later than the victim's 25th birthday, or within 6 years of the date the victim discovers their injuries
  • Wrongful death - 3 years from the date of death

Mississippi

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 3 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 1 year of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 3 years of the victim's 18th birthday
  • Wrongful death - 3 years from the date of death

Missouri

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 5 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 10 years of the victim's 21st birthday, or within 3 years of the date the victim discovers their injuries (for cases filed against perpetrators); in all other cases, within 5 years of the victim's 21st birthday
  • Wrongful death - 3 years from the date of death

Montana

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 3 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 3 years from the date of the crime, or within 3 years from the date the victim discovers their injuries
  • Wrongful death - 3 years from the date of death

Nebraska

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 4 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 1 year from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - no later than the victim's 33rd birthday
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

Nevada

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 2 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 2 years of the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 10 years of the victim's 18th birthday, or within 10 years of the date the victim discovers their injuries, whichever comes later
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

New Hampshire

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 3 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 3 years of the date of crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 12 years of the victim's 18th birthday, or within 3 years of the date the victim discovered their injuries
  • Wrongful death - 6 years from the date of death

New Jersey

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 2 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 2 years of the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 2 years of the date of the crime, or within 2 years of the date the victim discovers their injuries
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

New Mexico

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 3 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 3 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - no later than the victim's 24th birthday, or 3 years from the date the victim discovers their injuries
  • Wrongful death - 3 years from the date of death

New York

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 3 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 1 year from the date of the crime
    • within 7 years of the date of the crime, or 1 year from the entry of a criminal judgment, in the case of an offender's conviction
  • Childhood sexual abuse - no later than the victim's 23rd birthday
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

North Carolina

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 3 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 3 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 3 years of the victim's 18th birthday, or 3 years from the date the victim discovers their injuries
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

North Dakota

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 6 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 2 years of the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 10 years from the date the victim discovers their injuries
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

Ohio

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 2 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 1 year from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 12 years of the child's 18th birthday
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

Oklahoma

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 2 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 1 year of the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 2 years of the victim's 18th birthday, or within 2 years from the date the victim discovered their injuries
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

Oregon

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - no later than the victim's 40th birthday; victims over 40 may be allowed an extra 5 years to file suit by Oregon's discovery rule
  • Wrongful death - 3 years from the date of death

Pennsylvania

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 12 years of the victim's 18th birthday
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

Rhode Island

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 3 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 3 years of the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 7 years of the victim's 18th birthday, or within 7 years of the date the victim discovers their injuries
  • Wrongful death - 3 years from the date of death

South Carolina

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 3 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 3 years of the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 6 years of the victim's 21st birthday, or within 3 years from the date the victim discovers their injuries
  • Wrongful death - 3 years from the date of death

South Dakota

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - 3 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 3 years of the crime, or within 3 years of the victim's 18th birthday, or within 3 years from the date the victim discovers their injuries
  • Wrongful death - 3 years from the date of death

Tennessee

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 1 year of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 1 year of the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 3 years of the date the victim discovered their injuries
  • Wrongful death - 1 year from the date of death

Texas

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 2 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 2 years of the date of the crime
    • Sexual assault - within 5 years of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 15 years of the victim's 18th birthday
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

Utah

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 4 years of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 4 years of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - no statute of limitations; victims of childhood sexual abuse may file a lawsuit at any time
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

Vermont

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 3 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 3 years of the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 6 years of the victim's birthday, or within 6 years of the date the victim discovers their injuries, whichever comes later
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death, or from the date of the death's discovery

Virginia

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 2 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 2 years of the victim's 18th birthday, or within 2 years from the date the victim discovers their injuries; no later than 20 years after the crime
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

Washington State

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 3 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 3 years of the victim's 18th birthday, or within 3 years of the date the victim discovers their injuries
  • Wrongful death - 3 years from the date of death

Washington, D.C.

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 3 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 1 year of the date of the crime
    • Sexual assault - within 3 years from the crime's discovery
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 7 years of the victim's 18th birthday, or within 3 years of the date the victim discovered their injuries, whichever comes first
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

West Virginia

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 2 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 2 years from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - 2 years from the victim's 18th birthday
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

Wisconsin

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 3 years of the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 3 years of the date of injury
  • Childhood sexual abuse - no later than the victim's 35th birthday
  • Wrongful death - 3 years from the date of death

Wyoming

  • Third-party liability (negligent security) - within 4 years from the date of injury
  • Intentional assault - within 1 year from the date of the crime
  • Childhood sexual abuse - within 8 years from the victim's 18th birthday, or within 3 years from the date the victim discovers their injuries
  • Wrongful death - 2 years from the date of death

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