A Guide To The Massachusetts Statute of Limitations

Every time anyone finds themselves experiencing an accident that’s not their fault, it’s always clear that the proper course of action is to seek compensation.

Life can be difficult because of injuries, financial loss, and the like—even more so when it’s caused by someone else. If you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of experiencing a personal injury at the hands of someone else, then it’s crucial that you pursue legal action at all costs.

Whether you’re looking to have your medical bills paid, lost wages compensated for, or punitive damages ironed out, it’s always going to be best to take your concerns to court. However, it’s essential that you don’t rush into the whole process right away because there are mistakes that you’ll need to avoid.

This is especially true when it comes to the timeframe in which your lawsuit is filed. Coincidentally, such concerns also bring forth a question that is commonly asked by Boston natives whenever they pursue legal action against negligent parties: how much time do I have to file my personal injury as a result of someone else’s negligence?”

Well, this brings us to our topic of the day: the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits.

The Statute of Limitations

The best way to define the statute of limitations is that it is a legally prescribed timeframe in which complainants are both required and allowed to file lawsuits against parties.

Depending on the state where a crime is committed, affected parties will have until a certain number of months or years to pursue legal action. The moment you are injured by a negligent party, for example, is precisely when the statute of limitations begins. It runs until the moment a certain period elapses without any filing. Beyond that period, you cannot file complaints or lawsuits regarding the issue.

Given the way this legal concept works, it’s best to understand that cases that are filed beyond or after the statute of limitations will generally be dismissed. While the legal concept in question can be bypassed in certain conditions or situations, such instances rarely take place.

How It Works In Massachusetts

In the state of Massachusetts, the statute of limitations is set at three years. What this essentially means is that you have three years from the moment you experience an accident or injury caused by someone else’s negligence to file a lawsuit.

Beyond the standard three-year mark that applies to most personal injury cases, the statute of limitations can be four years if one is taking action against a sheriff for alleged misconduct or negligence. On the other hand, filing a case against the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority must be done within two years after an injury is sustained as a passenger on public transport based on Thomas v. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Apart from public transport and authoritative negligence, the Massachusetts statute of limitations is also different when it comes to hit and run accidents. Whenever such cases occur, pursuing parties looking to file a suit related to property damage, personal injury, or death must do so within six months of learning a defendant’s identity. Additionally, the case itself must be filed within three years of the accident (provided that the police and registrar of motor vehicles have proper notice of the details concerning the incident).

So, What Comes Next?

If you want to pursue a negligent party for restitution from your case, it’s crucial that you consult with a personal injury lawyer that can help you know your statute of limitations. Through the help of a professional—such as Bellotti Law Group, P.C.’s legal practitioners—you’ll be able to configure the validity of your case and carry out the right steps moving forward!


When you find yourself in an unfortunate position because of another party’s negligence, it’s crucial that you seek legal action right away. By knowing the statute of limitations for your case, you’ll be able to best ensure that you maximize your opportunities to seek justice and avoid making crucial mistakes along the way! Bellotti Law Group, P.C. is a team of personal injury lawyers that cover a variety of cases such as car accidents, slip and falls, defective products, etc. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services!

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