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Minnesota Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for personal injury & accidents in Minnesota is two (2) years (Ref: Minnesota Sec. 541.05, 541.07). 

What this means is that you (or your attorney) must file a lawsuit against a defendant within two years of the date of your accident. If you do not file a lawsuit within two years, generally you forfeit any potential claim against the defendant as a matter of law - meaning there will be no opportunity for a settlement, arbitration or trial. 

Disclaimer: Although the information presented on this page is generally true there are some exceptions to this information, and the Minnesota Statute of Limitations (and the exceptions) may change over time. If you or a family member was involved in an accident and considering seeking compensation for your injuries it is crucial that you speak to an Minnesota personal injury lawyer to discuss your claim and potential recovery.

Variations on Time Limits for Filing a Lawsuit in Minnesota

There are some variations & exceptions to the 2 years statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Minnesota. Because of this, it is critical you discuss your matter with a lawyer who is highly experienced in personal injury law. 

  • If the injured person is legally insane or under the age of 18 at the time of the underlying accident, the statute of limitations "clock" probably won't start running until the period of legal disability is over (meaning the injured person turns 18 or has their mental competence restored). But keep in mind that the filing deadline won't be extended more than five years based on insanity, and once the period of disability is over, the lawsuit must be filed within one year. 
  • Next, if at some point after the incident giving rise to the injury, and before a lawsuit can be filed, the potential defendant (the person responsible) "departs from and resides out of" Minnesota, and cannot be served with the lawsuit, the time of absence probably won't be counted as part of the two-year filing period (the "clock" won't run during this time, in other words).

What if You Miss the Deadline to File a Lawsuit?

If you miss the deadline to file a lawsuit and the Minnesota statute of limitations passes (barring any exceptions), the opposing party will almost surely move for case dismissal and it will likely be granted. This also means that nearly any hope of a settlement will also be forfeited because there is no leverage to potentially pursue a trial (since it would immediately be dismissed). 

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