Skip to main content

North Dakota Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases

One of the most important factors to consider when filing a personal injury claim is the statute of limitations. Under North Dakota law, injury victims have a specific time frame they must adhere to when filing–after this time limit is up, they lose their right of action.

The best way to ensure that the statute of limitations for your case does not pass you by is to contact a personal injury attorney. Your North Dakota attorney can help you understand state laws and make sure your claim is filed in time.

How Do Statutes of Limitations Work?

Nearly all legal actions–both civil claims and criminal charges–have a statute of limitations. These statutes serve as a time limit, ensuring that legal claims are pursued in a timely manner.

Statutes of limitations keep the courts systems running efficiently and help make sure that the evidence in a case is still fresh when the claim is filed.

The length of the statute of limitations period depends on the type of case and the jurisdiction where it is filed. In the state of North Dakota, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is generally six years. This is not a hard-and-fast rule, however. There are a number of factors that can impact how long you have to file.

Statute of Limitations Laws in North Dakota

Below is a general reference table for the statutes of limitations in various civil actions in North Dakota. Please note that there are many factors which can shorten or lengthen the period of time you have to file. A personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal options.


Type of CaseStatute of LimitationsNorth Dakota Century Code (N.D.C.C.) Reference
Motor vehicle accidents (car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, etc.)6 yearsN.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 28-01-16(4)
Slip-and-fall accidents6 yearsN.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 28-01-16(4)
Dog bite injuries6 yearsN.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 28-01-16(4)
Product liability casesCan vary; typically 10-11 years (6 for asbestos claims)N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 28-01.3-08
Damage to personal property6 yearsN.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 28-01-16(4)
Wrongful death2 yearsN.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 28-01-18(4)
Medical malpractice2 yearsN.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 28-01-18(3)


Variables that Can Impact Your Time Limit

While the above statutes represent the general rule, there are exceptions and tolling factors that may affect the statute of limitations in specific situations. 

Discovery Rule

In most cases, the “clock” starts to run on the statute of limitations on the date the harm occurs. Sometimes, though, an injury victim will not realize they are injured until months or even years later.

In this case, the time does not begin until the date the injury or illness is discovered or should have been discovered. 


When the injury victim is a minor or is mentally incapacitated, the statute of limitations may be “tolled,” or delayed, until that person reached adulthood or is deemed mentally competent.

For example, if a 16-year-old is involved in a car accident, the six-year limitation for their potential claim will not begin until they reach the age of majority. A legal guardian may file on their behalf before they turn 18.

Government Entities

Bringing legal action against a government entity or employee comes with special rules. In general, the statute of limitations for these cases is three years, but a notice of claim must be filed with the agency within 180 days of the cause of action.

Contact The North Dakota Advocates for a Free Case Evaluation

No two personal injury cases are exactly alike, so it is impossible for one article to accurately identify the statute of limitations for every claim. The best way to understand how much time you have to file is to speak with an experienced North Dakota attorney.

The injury attorneys with The Advocates law firm have been helping accident victims since 1993, and we can help you too. We will help you understand your rights, build your case, and negotiate with insurance companies to get the settlement you deserve.

Contact us today for a free consultation. You deserve fierce legal representation for your injury claim. You deserve an Advocate.