Important note: The material below is not legal advice and is not to be relied on in the absence of advice by an attorney. Only your attorney can advise you as to the applicable statute of limitations in your case. Please consult with an attorney before making any decision as to the statute of limitations in your case.
Arizona Statutes of Limitations
The statute of limitations dictates how long a person has to file a legal claim for compensation. The Arizona statute of limitations for personal injury cases can vary greatly depending on the specifics of a particular case, but familiarizing yourself with the broad rules can help to determine whether you’re eligible to pursue a lawsuit in Arizona’s courts.
How Long Is the Statute of Limitations in Arizona?
The statute of limitations in Arizona is two years for most civil lawsuits.
Construction Liability Statute of Repose
The statute of repose in construction liability cases is eight years from substantial completion of an improvement to real property or nine years if the defect is discovered in the eighth year. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 12-552)
Arizona Statute of Limitations for Negligence
Negligence cases in Arizona have a two-year statute of limitation. The discovery rule applies.
Arizona Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury
The AZ statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years: “Except as provided in § 12-551, there shall be commenced and prosecuted within two years after the cause of action accrues, and not afterward, the following actions: 1. For injuries done to the person of another including causes of action for medical malpractice as defined in § 12-561.” (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 12-542)
Arizona Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations in Arizona for medical malpractice is covered by the same section of state law as personal injury claims.
“Except as provided in § 12-551, there shall be commenced and prosecuted within two years after the cause of action accrues, and not afterward, the following actions: … 2. For injuries done to the person of another when death ensues from such injuries, which action shall be considered as accruing at the death of the party injured.” (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 12-542)
Malpractice (Other Professions)
The statute of limitations for other types of malpractice is two years.
Product liability cases are covered by the same statute as personal injury cases.
“The cause of action accrues when the plaintiff discovers or by the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered that he or she has been injured by a particular defendant’s negligent conduct.” (Lawhon v. L.B.J. Institutional Supply Inc., 765 P. 2d 1003, 1007 (Ct. App. 1988))
The statute of limitations for intentional torts is one year.
“There shall be commenced and prosecuted within three years after the cause of action accrues, and not afterward, the following actions: … 3. For relief on the ground of fraud or mistake, which cause of action shall not be deemed to have accrued until the discovery by the aggrieved party of the facts constituting the fraud or mistake.” (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 12-543)
The statute of limitations begins to run “when the defrauded party discovers or with reasonable diligence could have discovered the fraud.” (Mister Donut of America Inc. v. Harris, 723 P. 2d 670, 672 (Ariz. 1986))
Municipal Liability/Sovereign Immunity
Sovereign immunity applies but has been modified in certain situations by statute. In these cases, plaintiffs have 180 days to file a notice of claim and a one-year statute of limitations. .” (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 12-821)
The statute of limitations runs from when an injury or fraud is or should have been discovered.
What Crimes Have No Statute of Limitations in Arizona?
Arizona has no statute of limitations for murder or violent sexual assault.
What Are the Arizona Constitutional Limitations on Personal Injury Awards in Civil Court?
The Arizona constitution prohibits placing a cap on damages for a personal injury case in civil court. It is one of only five states that do not place a limit on the amount of compensation a civil court can award an injured person.
The rule of pure comparative negligence applies, with the exception that a defendant is not liable in cases where the plaintiff is under the influence of alcohol or drugs and is at least 50% responsible.
Arizona does not offer charitable immunity.
For those with a legal disability, the statute of limitations in Arizona does not run until the disability is removed. In cases of a minor plaintiff, the statute of limitations does not run until their 18th birthday. In cases of a plaintiff’s death, the statute of limitations is paused for a minimum of four months until a personal representative is appointed or one year elapses, whichever comes first. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 12-502)
Punitive damages are not allowed against a public entity or employee. They are otherwise permitted if the plaintiff proves that the defendant was guided by an evil mind, had spiteful motives or displayed outrageous, oppressive or intolerable conduct.
Future damages arising from a medical malpractice action are payable in periodic installments or discounted to present value.
Arizona is not a no-fault state.
How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Settle a Claim in Arizona?
Arizona requires that insurance companies acknowledge a claim within ten working days of the initial claim being brought up. The investigation of this claim must be completed within 30 working days of acknowledging the initial claim. Insurance companies have another 30 working days to settle and pay claimants.
Consumer Fraud Complaints
File consumer fraud complaints with the Arizona attorney general’s office online, print and submit a complaint form by mail or call for more information:
- Phoenix: (602) 542-5763
- Tucson: (520) 628-6648
- Toll-free: 1-800-352-8431
If you aren’t sure whether or not your lawsuit falls within Arizona’s statute of limitations, we can help answer your questions. Call Parker Waichman LLP today for a free consultation with one of the nation’s top lawyers.