Understanding the Connecticut Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Understanding the Connecticut Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

While the Connecticut personal injury statute of limitations is generally 2 years, it varies depending on if minors were involved, property damage, and if government vehicles/entities are part of the equation. 

Even so, understanding this statute is crucial for anyone who finds themselves in the unfortunate position of needing to seek justice for personal injuries. This guide aims to demystify the complexities surrounding the statute, ensuring that you are equipped with the knowledge to take timely and informed action.

What is the statute of limitations for personal injury in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is generally two years from the date of the injury. This means that you must file your personal injury lawsuit within two years of this date to be considered valid under the state’s laws.

However, there are exceptions to this rule depending on the type of injury and the circumstances surrounding it. For example, if the injury was caused by medical malpractice, the timeframe may be extended to three years from the time the injury was discovered or should have been reasonably discovered.

Nuances like the one described above highlight the importance of seeking legal advice from a Hartford personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following an injury to ensure that you are aware of any potential exceptions and timeframes specific to your case.

Need help navigating the statute of limitations on injury claims?

Facing the complexities of the statute of limitations for injury claims can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. At Chambers Law, our experienced personal injury attorneys understand the intricacies of Connecticut’s legal system and are dedicated to providing the personalized, compassionate support you need.

Don’t let the statute of limitations for injury claims expire before taking action. Reach out to Chambers Law today for a free consultation. Our team is ready to leverage their expertise to help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Time is of the essence, so contact us now to ensure your rights are protected.

Chambers Personal Injury Law Firm

Connecticut personal injury statute of limitations by injury type

In the state of Connecticut, the timeframe you have to file your claim can vary, depending on the circumstances… 

Assault, battery, and other intentional torts

It is detailed under Connecticut General Statutes Section 52-577 that an injury caused by an intentional act of another must be commenced within three years from when the injury occurred.

Note that this timeframe covers not only intentional physical harm but also any resulting emotional distress from the incident.

Bicycle accidents

Bicycle accidents fall under the ruling of two years to file a claim as outlined in Section 52-584 of Connecticut General Statutes.

This is the same negligence rule that is applied in auto accidents, which states that you must prove the defendant’s failure to exercise reasonable care caused your injuries.

Boating accidents

For boating accidents, victims must file a personal injury claim within a two-year period following the date of the accident.

This rule is stipulated under Connecticut General Statutes Section 52-584, ensuring a uniform timeframe for incidents involving vehicles, whether they occur on roadways or waterways.

Brain injuries

Brain injury claims, due to their complex nature, follow a specific deadline. Claimants have a two to three-year period from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit for injuries resulting from a brain injury.

Note that this timeframe falls under medical malpractice laws and is dependent on when the injury was discovered or should have been reasonably discovered. However, in cases where there is evidence of fraud, disability, or insanity, the statute may be extended.

    Burn injuries

    Burn injuries in Connecticut also adhere to the general statute of limitations for personal injury claims, which is a two-year period from the date of the accident.

    Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 52-584, individuals who have suffered from burn injuries due to negligence or an intentional act have exactly two years to initiate a lawsuit for compensation.

    Car accidents Connecticut Personal Injury

    Car accidents

    The Connecticut statute of limitations for car accidents states that you have a two-year window.

    If you have been involved in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, taking timely action against the person who caused your injury is essential for protecting your rights and seeking compensation for your damages.

    Construction accidents

    Construction accidents fall under the general two-year timeframe for personal claims. This means that victims have a period of two years from the date when the injury was discovered or the accident date, whichever was later, to lodge a lawsuit for compensation.

    However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as when injuries occur on a construction site due to defective equipment or machinery. In these cases, the time may be extended if the claim is for a defective product claim or a workers’ compensation claim.

    Drunk driving accidents

    For accidents involving a drunk driver in Connecticut, the statute of limitations follows the same two-year timeframe as other auto accidents.

    However, there are additional legal options available for victims, including filing a claim against the establishment that served alcohol to the intoxicated driver (known as a dram shop claim) or seeking punitive damages in addition to compensation for injuries and losses.

    Intentional infliction of emotional distress

    Intentional infliction of emotional distress is often overlooked but carries its own specific statute of limitations.

    This again falls under Section 52-577 of the Connecticut General Statutes, which gives individuals three years from the date of the incident to file a claim for any intentional emotional distress caused by another person’s actions.

    Libel, slander, and defamation

    Libel, slander, and defamation claims follow the same three-year window as intentional infliction of emotional distress. This timeframe gives victims the opportunity to seek compensation for any false and damaging statements made about them.

    These claims fall under the umbrella of personal injury law as they can cause significant harm and damage to an individual’s reputation and livelihood.

    Mass tort

    Mass tort claims pertain to action taken against a company or entity for harm caused by their defective products, drugs, or environmental hazards. These types of cases are complex and often involve numerous victims, making the statute of limitations more complicated.

    Typically, these claims fall under the general two-year statute for personal injury cases. However, there may be variations depending on the specific circumstances of the case.

    Medical malpractice

    Medical malpractice claims are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. However, this timeframe can be extended under certain circumstances, such as when the injury was not immediately discovered or if it involves a minor.

    For example, if a child is injured due to medical malpractice, the statute of limitations does not begin until they turn 18 years old. In other cases, the discovery rule may apply, extending the two-year period from when the injury was discovered or should have been reasonably discovered.

    10 best law firm
    Motorcycle accidents Connecticut Personal Injury

    Motorcycle accidents

    Motorcycle accidents are subject to the general two-year rule. Like car accidents, motorcycle accidents can result in serious injuries and damages, making it essential for victims to take immediate legal action within this timeframe.

    It’s also important to note that Connecticut follows a modified comparative negligence rule, meaning that if the victim is found partially at fault for the accident, their compensation may be reduced accordingly.


    Negligence is a broad area of law that applies to various personal injury claims in Connecticut. It refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm or damage to another person.

    In these cases, the Connecticut negligence statute of limitations is two years from the date of the incident. This includes negligence claims against individuals, companies, and government entities.

    Nursing home abuse/neglect

    Nursing home abuse and neglect cases are considered personal injury claims and fall under the two-year statute of limitations. This includes physical, emotional, and financial abuse or neglect by nursing home staff.

    It’s important for family members to closely monitor their loved ones in these facilities and take immediate legal action if any signs of abuse or neglect are detected.

    Pedestrian accidents

    Pedestrian accidents are also subject to the general two-year window for claims.

    These types of accidents often result in severe injuries or fatalities for pedestrians, making it crucial to seek compensation for your injuries within two years.

    Product liability

    Product liability claims are governed by a three-year timeframe for personal injury cases. This includes injuries caused by defective products, such as faulty machinery or dangerous pharmaceutical drugs.

    It’s important to note that product liability claims also involve strict liability, meaning that victims do not have to prove negligence on behalf of the manufacturer or seller but simply show that their product caused harm.

    Slips and falls

    If you fail to file a negligence or recklessness case for a slip or fall accident against the property owner within two years, you won’t be able to seek damages.

    This includes injuries sustained on a property owner’s premises due to their negligent act or failure to maintain safe conditions. It is important for victims to document the incident and gather evidence as soon as possible to ensure a strong case.

    Spinal cord injuries

    Spinal cord injuries are life-changing and often require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. You have two years to file your claim, and it’s vital that you seek legal representation immediately following a spinal cord injury to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve within this limited timeframe.

    Truck accidents

    As with motorcycle accidents, if you’ve been injured in Connecticut as a result of a collision with a truck, the time to file a claim is two years. However, truck accident cases tend to be more complex due to the multiple parties involved and stricter regulations on commercial vehicles.

    For example, a trucking company may also be held liable for the actions of its driver, and strict federal regulations govern the operation of commercial trucks. These factors can potentially impact the timeframe in these cases.

    Vaccine injuries

    Vaccines are important for public health, but in rare cases, they can cause serious injuries or illness. In these instances, individuals may be able to seek compensation through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

    In the US, claims through VICP must be filed within three years of the first symptom or significant aggravation of the injury. However, there are exceptions to this rule for certain vaccine-related injuries or disabilities.

    Work injuries

    Work injuries, also known as workers’ compensation claims in Connecticut, have a one-year statute of limitations. This applies to both physical and mental injuries sustained on the job.

    It’s important for employees to report their work-related injury or illness immediately and seek medical attention within this timeframe to ensure they are covered by workers’ compensation benefits. However, there may be exceptions to this rule for certain occupational diseases or injuries that were not immediately apparent.

    Wrongful death

    Wrongful death claims have a two-year window from the date of the deceased person’s passing. This includes deaths caused by any type of injury, such as car accidents, medical malpractice, or product liability.

    Note that this time can be extended if there is evidence of fraud or wrongful concealment by the at-fault party. For example, if a doctor knew their actions resulted in a patient’s death but hid this information, the statute of limitations may be extended.

    Connecticut statutory “notice” provisions

    A critical but often overlooked requirement for initiating certain types of lawsuits, especially those against municipal entities or regarding defective roadways, is the necessity of filing a “notice” with the appropriate entity. This notice must typically be filed within a very specific timeframe prior to filing a lawsuit, usually ranging from as short as 90 days up to 6 months after the incident.

    The purpose of this notice is to formally inform the entity involved about the potential claim, giving them an opportunity to investigate the matter and possibly settle it before a lawsuit is officially filed.

    Failure to adhere to this notice requirement can severely impact a claimant’s ability to pursue action. For instance, claims against municipal entities for injuries due to issues like potholes or unattended public property necessitate this preliminary step. This process ensures that municipalities have adequate notice to address the claim and correct any issues if necessary.

    Exceptions to the personal injury statute of limitations in Connecticut

    In certain scenarios, CT law allows for exceptions to the standard limitations for personal injury claims, providing potential avenues for claimants to seek damages even after the typical deadline has passed. These exceptions are crucial for victims and their families to understand, as they can significantly impact the viability of a case.

    Here are some common exceptions:

    • Discovery rule: In cases where the injury was not immediately apparent or could not have reasonably been discovered, the statute of limitations may be extended. This is known as the “discovery rule” and is often applied in medical malpractice cases.
    • Minority tolling: For minors under the age of 18, the clock doesn’t start ticking until they turn 18. This means that if a minor is injured, they have until their 20th birthday to file a personal injury claim.
    • Mental incapacity: Applies if the victim is mentally incapacitated at the time of the injury. This applies to individuals who are physically or mentally unable to make legal decisions.
    • Fraud or concealment: If the at-fault party fraudulently conceals information related to the injury — this is important in cases where critical evidence or information is hidden by the at-fault party.
    • Claims against the Government: Caims against government entities must be filed within 6 months.
    Practical advice on legal representation

    Practical advice on legal representation

      Seeking the advice of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible cannot be overstated. Personal injury law is fraught with complexity. An attorney’s expertise becomes invaluable, especially in cases where an injury or its full impact may not be immediately apparent.

      An experienced lawyer can provide critical insights into how the law applies to your specific situation, including any exceptions that might extend your deadline. They can also conduct a thorough investigation into your case, ensuring that all relevant facts are uncovered and documented before the statute of limitations expires.

      Furthermore, having legal representation can strengthen your position when negotiating with insurance companies or defendants, aiming for a settlement that truly reflects the extent of your injuries and losses.

      Additional reading: negotiating medical bills after an accident

      Case studies

      To further illustrate the importance of adhering to the statute of limitations in personal injury cases, here are real-life examples from Connecticut:

      • In 2018, John, a CT resident, had surgery and then suffered ongoing pain. Initially thought to be normal post-surgery discomfort, it wasn’t until 2020 that an independent review discovered a surgical instrument had been left inside him. Normally, the law would bar John from suing two years after the surgery, but thanks to the discovery rule, he could take legal action after finding the mistake.
      • Sophia, 16, was hurt in a 2019 car crash due to another driver’s negligence. While personal injury claims have a 2-year limit, the minor tolling provision gives her extra time. Sophia could file a lawsuit until she turned 20 in 2023.
      • In 2021, Michael hit a severe pothole while biking on a city road, resulting in significant injuries. Claims against municipal entities must be made within a shorter period, with notices required within 90 days of the incident. Michael filed his notice within two months, meeting the strict deadline. This timely action allowed him to pursue legal steps for claiming damages for his injuries.

      Guidance on early action

        The imperative of taking prompt and decisive action in the wake of a personal injury cannot be overly stressed. Early action is not merely a strategy; it’s a necessary safeguard to ensure that your rights are protected and that your claim remains viable under state laws.

        Procrastination or delays in initiating the claims process can jeopardize the strength and legitimacy of your case, risking the possibility of being barred from seeking compensation due to statutory deadlines.

        One of the most effective strategies to uphold the integrity of your claim is to meticulously document every aspect of your injuries and the damages incurred. This includes acquiring medical reports, doctor’s notes, and keeping a personal diary that chronologically notes your physical and emotional state post-accident. Photographs of your injuries, the accident scene, and any relevant property damage serve as hard evidence to corroborate your claim.

        In addition, negotiating medical bills after accident-related injuries presents another challenge. Medical bills continue to amass even while the statute of limitations runs out. Skilled personal injury attorneys can help negotiate with healthcare providers and insurance companies, ensuring that such claims are resolved as effectively and efficiently as possible.

          A brief comment on legislative changes

          In response to growing public awareness and advocacy efforts, the Connecticut Legislature has been deliberating on reforms to the statute of limitations, specifically concerning cases of sexual assault.

          These proposed changes reflect a nationwide trend toward extending or eliminating time limits for the prosecution of such offenses, thereby allowing victims more time to come forward with their claims. This movement has gained significant momentum, spurred by high-profile cases and the #MeToo movement, highlighting the urgent need for more victim-friendly legislation.

          While specific details of the proposed legislative changes in Connecticut were not available at the time of writing, it’s clear that any amendment aiming to extend the statute of limitations for sexual assault cases would profoundly impact survivors’ ability to seek justice. This legislative shift acknowledges the complex nature of trauma and the time it may take for survivors to report their experiences.

          As this legal landscape evolves, it is crucial for survivors, their families, and legal professionals to stay informed about these critical changes, ensuring that the rights and needs of survivors are appropriately recognized and addressed in the justice system.

          Need guidance on statute of limitations injury claims?

          If you or someone you know is navigating the complexities of a personal injury case, understanding the statute of limitation for personal injury in Connecticut is crucial.

          At the office of Michael L. Chambers Jr, we are dedicated to providing expert legal guidance and support to ensure your rights are protected every step of the way.

          Don’t wait until it’s too late — call us today at (860) 231-9535 for a free consultation and take the first step towards safeguarding your legal rights.

          Chambers Personal Injury Law Firm

          Key takeaways on the CT personal injury statute of limitations

          The statute of limitations for personal injury in Connecticut is a crucial factor to consider when pursuing legal action. While the deadlines may seem restrictive, exceptions such as the discovery rule and minor tolling provision offer potential avenues for seeking justice even after the typical time limits have passed. Early action is imperative in ensuring the viability of your claim and securing rightful compensation.

          As legislative changes continue to evolve, it’s essential to stay informed and seek expert legal guidance to protect your rights in the justice system. At Chambers Law, we are here to assist you every step of the way in your pursuit of justice and fair compensation.


          What crimes have no statute of limitations in CT?

          In Connecticut, certain serious crimes, such as murder, felony murder, arson murder, and first-degree sexual assault, have no statute of limitations. This allows for the prosecution of these crimes regardless of how much time has passed since they were committed and serves to ensure justice for victims.

          Can you claim personal injury after 3 years?

          In Connecticut, the typical statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the injury. However, exceptions exist, such as the discovery rule, which may extend this period. Thus, filing a claim after three years could be challenging unless an exception applies.

          What is Connecticut’s Dead Man’s statute?

          Connecticut’s Dead Man’s Statute bars individuals from testifying about the statements, actions, or promises made by a deceased person in certain legal proceedings, particularly if it pertains to a matter in dispute and the testimony would benefit the estate of the deceased which they represent.

          We’re Experts in Personal Injury, Real Estate Law and Criminal Defense

          Our diverse legal team has years of experience working both in and out of Hartford, New Britain, Enfield, Manchester, Rockville, and New Haven courtrooms with clients of all backgrounds, ethnicities and ages. We focus on personal injury, real estate law and criminal defense, but we have handled cases of all types. We’re happy to discuss your case with you to see if we’re a fit.

          Personal Injury

          Real Estate Law

          Criminal Defense