Understanding That Statutory Limitation Periods for Starting a Lawsuit Are Deadlines After Which Rights Expire

Abstract Spiraling Clock Generally, where a potential defendant wrongfully conceals facts that would reveal a cause of action to a potential plaintiff, the running of the limitation period is suspended.  Similar to the rule in the discovery principle, if the potential plaintiff is unaware that a cause of action exists, the limitation period clock waits or is "tolled".  However, the key difference between the Suspension by Concealment rule and the Discovery Principle rule is that where a potential plaintiff becomes somewhat aware that a cause of action has occurred yet is impaired by the potential defendant's concealment from fully gathering the facts necessary to commence legal proceedings, all applicable limitation periods are suspended.  The reason for this rule is simply to prevent a potential defendant from using unjust concealment tactics to avoid, and eventually void, legal actions.

Summary Comment

With the principles applicable to limitation periods, the safest way to bring litigation is to avoid dancing with the limitations date.  By bringing litigation forward as diligently as possible; however, without such haste as to fail in preparation, the risk of losing a right of action is greatly reduced.

Page 1 - Limitation Statutes Page 2 - Discovery Principles Page 3 - Suspension By Concealment Page 4 - Cause of Action, continuous Page 5 - Settlement Negotiations

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