What You Need to Know About the Minnesota Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Victims in a personal injury lawsuit may have difficulty navigating the various complex standards in a personal injury lawsuit. Here is what you need to know about the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Minnesota.

What is a Personal Injury Case?

There are circumstances in which an individual may be injured due to the negligence of another individual. Sometimes, someone may be hurt because someone else acted in a negligent manner. Other times, someone may be hurt because someone else was negligent in that they refused to act in a situation in which they are required to act. Regardless, these cases fall into a category called “personal injury,” and victims in personal injury cases may find recourse and/or compensation through civil lawsuits. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Minnesota is two years. This means that any individual who is injured in a case that would qualify as a personal injury case has two years from the date of the incident to file a motion for a case in court before their claim expires.

How To Make a Personal Injury Claim

Any individual hurt by either negligent action or negligent inaction may qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit and get compensated for their injuries. It is important to note that injuries in a personal injury case are not just limited to physical injuries. Rather, injuries may also refer to emotional injuries or injuries to an individual’s reputation as well.

Any personal injury case must meet three comprehensive legal standards:

1. Negligence

An action is negligent if it is not within a degree of legal care which would be expected of an individual in a certain field. Legal care would refer to both action as well as inaction, for example, if an individual failed to stop at a stop sign they would be negligent in inaction.

Related: Age of Consent in Minnesota

2. Strict Liability

Strict liability is a standard referring specifically to defective products. In these cases, manufacturers would be held directly liable for their products. In cases involving strict liability, manufacturers do not have to be negligent in order for victims to file personal injury lawsuits, rather the victims only need to demonstrate that the product was dangerous when used as intended.

3. Intentional Wrongs

An act is considered an intentional wrong when, as the name implies, a party injures another party on purpose. While many cases involving intentional wrongs may be charged as criminal cases, victims may also seek justice through civil lawsuits as well. In addition, not all personal injury cases would qualify as criminal charges, for example, if someone hit another person as a joke, they may be civilly but not criminally charged.

How does the Statute of Limitations Work?

For nearly every crime in the United States, there is a statute of limitations. This protection ensures fairness, as evidence and/or memories may be distorted or fade over time. The statute of limitations outlines a period of time in which an individual may file a claim for a crime. Following the time allotted, an individual may not be held accountable since the statute has expired. This statute of limitations incentivizes that trials be held in a quick and timely manner.

Exceptions for Minnesota’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury

Typically, Minnesota’s statute of limitations for personal injury is two years. However, there are cases in which this time may be extended:

Mental Illness

A party may not be either competent to file a lawsuit or may still be a minor. In the event that the injured party is either mentally ill or are under the age of 18, they may have a longer time period than is allotted in normal circumstances. Any individual who is under 18 and is victim to a personal injury is entitled two years from when they turn 18 to file a lawsuit. In the same spirit, individuals who are mentally ill have two years from when they regain mental competency to file a lawsuit. It is important to note that in the event that the case was delayed due to mental illness, the deadline to file for a personal injury case will not be extended beyond five years after the incident.

Related: Benefits of Settling a Personal Injury Case


In the event that the defendant “departs from and resides outside of” the state in which the incident occurred but prior to the filing of the personal injury case, the period in which the individual is absent from the state will not count as part of the three years. In other words, the clock does not run during the time in which the perpetrator is outside of the state.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Minnesota Personal Injury Statute of Limitations, get connected to an attorney with one of our Personal Injury Attorneys in Minnesota today!