Does Kentucky Have a Statute of Limitations?
What Is the Statute of Limitations in Kentucky?
The time limit on most civil cases in Kentucky varies from one year to ten years depending on the type of offense committed. For things like negligence, personal injury, malpractice, and wrongful death, the limit is only one year from the date the offending action occurred. However, criminal charges are governed by different statutes. For felony offenses, there is no statute of limitations in Kentucky, so those cases can be brought to court no matter how much time has passed.
“(1) The following actions shall be commenced within one (1) year after the cause of action accrued:
“(a) An action for an injury to the person of the plaintiff, or of her husband, his wife, child, ward, apprentice, or servant.” (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 413.140)
“An action for relief not provided for by statute can only be commenced within ten (10) years after the cause of action accrued.” (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 413.160)
Kentucky Statute of Repose for Product and Property Defects
- Construction Defects: Seven years from substantial completion of an improvement to real property (K.R.S. § 413.135)
- Product Defects: Five years from the sale date or eight years from the manufacture date (K.R.S. § 411.310)
“(1) If a person entitled to bring any action mentioned in KRS 413.090 to 413.160 dies before the expiration of the time limited for its commencement and the cause of action survives, the action may be brought by his personal representative after the expiration of that time, if commenced within one (1) year after the qualification of the representative.
“(2) If a person dies before the time at which the right to bring any action mentioned in KRS 413.090 to 413.160 would have accrued to him if he had continued alive, and there is an interval of more than one (1) year between his death and the qualification of his personal representative, that representative, for purposes of this chapter, shall be deemed to have qualified on the last day of the one-year period.” (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 413.180)
Kentucky Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
“Notwithstanding any other prescribed limitation of actions which might otherwise appear applicable, except those provided in KRS 413.140, a civil action, whether brought in tort or contract, arising out of any act or omission in rendering, or failing to render, professional services for others shall be brought within one (1) year from the date of the occurrence or from the date when the cause of action was, or reasonably should have been, discovered by the party injured. Time shall not commence against a party under legal disability until removal of the disability.” (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 413.245)
Kentucky Malpractice Statute of Limitations for Other Professions
Like the medical malpractice statute of limitations in Kentucky, the time limit for any form of malpractice is one year. The Kentucky malpractice statute of limitations includes legal malpractice, which occurs when a lawyer causes harm to a client via negligence, breach of fiduciary duty or breach of contract.
Product liability claims fall under the same statute as personal injury claims.
If an injury caused by a product defect is not immediately apparent, the clock on the statute of limitations begins to run when the injured person becomes aware or should have become aware of their injury.
Statute of Repose
“(1) In any product liability action, it shall be presumed, until rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence to the contrary, that the subject product was not defective if the injury, death or property damage occurred either more than five (5) years after the date of sale to the first consumer or more than eight (8) years after the date of manufacture.
“(2) In any product liability action, it shall be presumed, until rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence to the contrary, that the product was not defective if the design, methods of manufacture, and testing conformed to the generally recognized and prevailing standards or the state of the art in existence at the time the design was prepared, and the product was manufactured.” (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 411.310)
“The following actions shall be commenced within five (5) years after the cause of action accrued:
The statute of limitations is one year for any injury or death not covered by a specified longer limitation period.
Municipal Liability/Sovereign Immunity
Sovereign immunity is partially waived in Kentucky. Notice must be given to the Board of Claims within one year of injury, and damages are permitted up to $200,000 per individual and $350,000 per claim.
In Kentucky, a system of pure comparative negligence is used when calculating damage awards. A plaintiff may recover damages no matter how much their injuries were their own fault, but the amount awarded will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
Kentucky does not allow for charitable immunity.
In cases involving plaintiffs who are children, the statute of limitations runs from the date that this legal disability is removed, which is either their 18th birthday or the date of their marriage, whichever comes first.
Clear and convincing evidence must be presented to indicate that the defendant acted with malice, oppression or fraud in order for punitive damages to be awarded.
Kentucky is a no-fault state.
Consumer Fraud Complaints
Report cases of consumer fraud to the state attorney general online or by calling (888) 432-9257.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Difference Between a Statute of Repose and a Statute of Limitations?
How Do I Toll the Statute of Limitations?
A judge will need to make a ruling on whether the statute of limitations should be tolled. Common grounds for tolling include:
- The plaintiff was a minor when the action occurred.
- The plaintiff has been deemed mentally incompetent.
- The plaintiff has a current felony offense and is in prison.
- The defendant has filed a bankruptcy case.
- The defendant is outside the state or county’s jurisdiction.
- The parties were involved in negotiations to resolve the dispute when the statute expired.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Collecting a Debt in Kentucky?
How Long Does the State of Kentucky Have to Indict You?
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Felonies?
How Do I Find Court Records in Kentucky?
Are Police Records Public Records in Kentucky?
Yes, Kentucky police records are publicly available, and you can request them from the state Administrative Office of the Courts.