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Montana Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for personal injury & accidents in Montana is three (3) years (Ref: Mont. Code § 27-2-204). 

What this means is that you (or your attorney) must file a lawsuit against a defendant within three years of the date of your accident. If you do not file a lawsuit within three 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 Montana 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 a Montana personal injury lawyer to discuss your claim and potential recovery.

Variations on Time Limits for Filing a Lawsuit in Montana

There are some variations & exceptions to the 3 years statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Montana. Because of this, it is critical you discuss your matter with a lawyer who is highly experienced in personal injury law. 

  • Special rules usually apply if, at the time of the incident, the person is under the age of 18 or is suffering from a mental disorder requiring his or her commitment to an institution. In those situations, the person is considered to be under a "legal disability," and once the period of disability ends -- meaning the person turns 18 or is declared mentally competent -- he or she will have the full two years to get the lawsuit filed. (Note: The period of limitations can't be extended more than five years based on a commitment to an institution.)
  • If the person who is alleged to have caused the damage/injury leaves the state of Montana before the lawsuit can be filed, and he or she can't be served with "process" (meaning the lawsuit and the summons as required by the court), the period of absence probably won't be counted as part of the two-year time limit for filing suit.

What if You Miss the Deadline to File a Lawsuit?

If you miss the deadline to file a lawsuit and the Montana 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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