Personal injury cases do not only focus on injuries sustained by victims but also include property damage that occurs during the incident. When property damage occurs as a result of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, the owner of the property can receive compensation for their losses. This article will discuss the key element of the statute of limitations with regards to property damage in Alaska.
One key aspect to take into consideration when you intend on filing a lawsuit related to property damage is understanding the statute of limitations and how it can affect your case. To begin with the statute of limitations is defined [Statute of limitations | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)] as “any law that bars claims after a certain period of time passes after the injury [or property damage]”. Each state enforces this limit regarding how much time is allowed to pass before an individual can file their case. In the event that you miss the deadline it effectively means that you have lost the right to file your lawsuit. Every state has their own law in place regarding different time limits which are dependent on the type of case being filed in court.
In the state of Alaska, the statute of limitations applicable to property damage lawsuit is dependent upon whether the individual filing the lawsuit seeks to replace or repair the property damaged or lost. When it comes to real property, that is for example damages to a house, structure or land, the statute of limitations provided by the state of Alaska is six years from the date of the damage. The statute of limitations rule is fully explained in Alaska Statutes Section 09.10.050.
With regards to personal property damage in auto accident, including vehicle damage, Section 09.10.070 of the Alaska Statutes provides that a civil case must be filed within two years of the incident.
It must be noted that the statute of limitations deadline is applicable in any instance where the plaintiff is asking for compensation for damaged property in Alaska. This includes instances where the property damage lawsuit stands alone or is part of a larger lawsuit.
In the event that you miss a deadline set by the appropriate statute of limitations and file a lawsuit in court, the defendant will file a motion to dismiss the case. And the court’s response is more likely than not to dismiss the case; once that happens you have literally lost your right to any legal action for the property damage.
However, there are extremely rare circumstances that extend the statute of limitations deadline. For example, where the property owner is under 18 years of age or is deemed to be legally incompetent as a result of a mental illness or a mental disability. Therefore, only until the property owner turns 18 or is legally declared to be sane or competent then will the two years of the statute of limitation begin.
Another exception to the statute of limitations rule applies if the defendant in the case leaves the state of Alaska before the lawsuit is filed or conceals themselves in the state. During such a period the statute of limitations clock does not run.