Ohio Statutes of Limitations: The Basics

Statutes of Limitations: Learning the Basics
Statutes of Limitations: Learning the Basics

You may hear the term, “statutes of limitations,” quite often when the law is involved–but what exactly does this mean?

Basically, these are laws that set time limits on how long you have to file a civil lawsuit and vary by state. The time limits usually depend on the severity of the crime and on the legal claim of the case.

There are two main points to a statute of limitations:

  1. The time period begins to run on the date your claim arises or “accrues,” like the day of the car accident, or when a crime is committed
  2. Once the statute of limitations has expired or “run out,” you can’t file a lawsuit (or be prosecuted for a crime)

Here is a breakdown of the many common civil claims and crimes in the State of Ohio–but be sure to always stay updated on these statutes, as laws always change:

Civil Crimes

Crime Punishment
Medical Malpractice (depending on when it’s “discovered”) 1 or 4 years
Assault and Battery 2 years
Personal Injury 2 years
Wrongful Death 2 years
Fraud 4 years
Contract (verbal) 6 years
Contract (in writing) 15 years


Criminal Claims

Crime Punishment
Arson (depending on facts of the case) 1, 3, or 20 years
Assault (depending on facts of the case) 1, 3, or 20 years
Burglary 20 years
Kidnapping 20 years
Rape 20 years
Murder No time limit

For a more complete list of Ohio Statutes of Limitations, contact a Cleveland injury lawyer at our law firm to learn more.


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