limitations of actions


Also found in: Legal.

limitations of actions

Rules for the time limits after which one may not file a lawsuit on particular theories of recovery. Also called statutes of limitations, all states have legislation specifying the time limits. As an example, one state may say that claims for negligence must be brought within 1 year of accrual of the cause of action,claims for fraud within 1 year of discovery of the fraud,claims for breach of contract within 6 years of the breach,and claims for the recovery of land within 10 years of the trespass or other wrong to land. A cause of action accrues when the wrongful conduct has occurred and you have suffered a harm.

Example: A carpenter does a poor job building some stairs, but you have no way of knowing until the stairs collapse 5 years later. Then the cause of action for negligence accrued when the stairs fell, causing injury to you or to your property. In this situation, you would have one year from that date to file a suit. If you discover the problem earlier, your cause of action is for breach of contract, for breach of the warranty to perform in a good and workmanlike manner.

References in periodicals archive ?
Joosse said he believes the Alberta Limitations of Actions Act allows for exemptions to the time limitations if the alleged victim has been incapacitated.
To approach the subject more substantively, state laws and judicial decisions differ widely on the subject of limitations of actions.