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Connecticut Car Accident Statute of Limitations and other Connecticut Statutes of Limitation

Connecticut Car Accident Statute of Limitations

In Connecticut, the statute of limitation most commonly applicable to car accident claims is C.G.S. § 52-584 with regard to negligence. The tort statute of limitations, § 52-577 is also commonly applicable to car accident cases. This statute states:

  • 52-584. Limitation of action for injury to person or property caused by negligence, misconduct or malpractice

No action to recover damages for injury to the person, or to real or personal property, caused by negligence, or by reckless or wanton misconduct, or by malpractice of a physician, surgeon, dentist, podiatrist, chiropractor, hospital or sanatorium, shall be brought but within two years from the date when the injury is first sustained or discovered or in the exercise of reasonable care should have been discovered, and except that no such action may be brought more than three years from the date of the act or omission complained of, except that a counterclaim may be interposed in any such action any time before the pleadings in such action are finally closed.

Call a Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer about your Statute of Limitation issue now – do not delay

There are complex issues raised by the possible statute of limitations defense to your claim, which may force you into a situation where you lose the right to any compensation. Therefore, it is imperative that claims be filed in a timely manner to avoid this issue. Contact us now to discuss your situation.

Other Statutes of Limitation in Connecticut

Statutes of limitation commonly provide for the time period in which a tort action may be brought. In some jurisdictions, there are specific statutes of limitation that apply to tort claims of professional negligence or malpractice. Only certain professions may be subject to such statutes of limitation, such as attorneys and physicians, and an action will not be governed by such a limitation period where the occupation is not one that is considered professional. Statutes of limitation for professional malpractice actions apply only if the alleged tortious conduct arose from the practice of a vocation that qualifies as a profession at the moment in time when that conduct caused the completed injury or loss under recognized tort-law principles.

In Connecticut, there are multiple statutes of limitation. Which one is applicable will depend upon how the claim is framed and the nature of your accident or damages. Some of these are as follows:


Agreements to Sell Real Estate See C.G.S.A. § 47-33a
Enforce Recorded Restrictions 3 years C.G.S.A. § 52-575a
Action on Account 6 years C.G.S.A. § 52-576
Injury to Person or Property—Malpractice See C.G.S.A. § 52-584
Actions Against Architects or Engineers See C.G.S.A. § 52-584a
Adverse Possession (Ejectment) 15 years C.G.S.A. § 52-575
Simple or Implied Contracts 6 years (except U.S. Court Judgment) C.G.S.A. § 52-576
Tort (other than otherwise listed) 3 years C.G.S.A. § 52-577
Product Liability See C.G.S.A. § 52-577a
Wrongful Death See C.G.S.A. § 52-555
Highway—change in grade of 6 years C.G.S.A. § 52-578
Bond—Probate Suit on 6 years C.G.S.A. § 52-579
Partnership or Joint Accounts Since last settlement even though more than 6 years C.G.S.A. § 52-580
Contract—Oral 3 years C.G.S.A. § 52-581
New trial—Petition for 3 years C.G.S.A. § 52-582
Sheriff or Constable, action against 2 years C.G.S.A. § 52-583
Negligence, reckless or wanton misconduct, or malpractice 2 years C.G.S.A. § 52-584
Counterclaim Anytime before pleadings closed C.G.S.A. § 52-584
Forfeiture on penal Statute 1 year C.G.S.A. § 52-585
Scire facias against Garnishee 1 year C.G.S.A. § 52-586
Bond or recognizance for costs—Suit on 1 year C.G.S.A. § 52-587
Note obtained by fraud 1 year after notice or 6 months after due C.G.S.A. § 52-587
Forcible entry and Detainer 6 months after entry C.G.S.A. § 52-589
Time excluded while out of state Shall not exceed 7 years C.G.S.A. § 52-590
Executor, on action which survives 1 year from death C.G.S.A. § 52-594
Fraudulent concealment of cause of action Time commences to run when cause discovered C.G.S.A. § 52-595
Remuneration for Employment 2 years, but may be tolled by filing complaint with labor commissioner C.G.S.A. § 52-596
Defamation 2 years C.G.S.A. § 52-597
Judgment for money damages C.G.S.A. § 52-598
New Action, accidental failure 1 year C.G.S.A. § 52-592
New Action, after reversal 1 year C.G.S.A. § 52-591
New Action, wrong defendant 1 year C.G.S.A. § 52-593
42 U.S.C.A. § 1983 3 years See C.G.S.A. § 52-577 and Orticelli v. Powers, 197 Conn. 9, 495 A.2d 1023 (1985).
Asbestos-Related Injury C.G.S.A. § 52-577a(e).
CUTPA 3 years C.G.S.A. § 52-110g(f)
Indemnification See C.G.S.A. §§ 52-576 and 52-598a
Sexual Abuse of Minor 30 years from reaching age of majority C.G.S.A. § 52-577d


Tolling Negligence and Product Liability Claims Pending Identification of Tortfeasor

The court in Tarnowsky v. Socci, 75 Conn.App. 560, 570, 816 A.2d 728, 733 (2003) says that “Real life injury claims should not be governed by fictitious legal constructs.” But the Tarnowsky court at least makes a gesture in the direction indicated by its platitude, holding that the statute of limitations for negligence (C.G.S.A. § 52-584) [and in dictum, for product liability (C.G.S.A. § 52-577a)] does not begin to run until the plaintiff knows or should have known the identity of the person who caused the injury. That is, of course, unless three years have passed since an injury governed by C.G.S.A. § 52-584, in which case those “fictitious legal constructs” seem to apply after all. (Id, at 569.)

The Supreme Court held in Tarnowsky v. Socci, 271 Conn. 284, 856 A.2d 408 (2004) that “the two year statute of limitations set forth in § 52-584 does not begin to run until a plaintiff knows, or reasonably should have known, the identity of the tortfeasor.” However, the three-year statute of repose contained in that same section continues to bar actions brought more than three years after the act or omission complained of.

Expiration of Statute of Limitations Prior to Injury

C.G.S.A. § 52-584, the statute of limitations pertaining to medical malpractice, states that suit must be commenced within two years of the date when the injury was or should have been discovered. C.G.S.A. § 52-555, the statute of limitations in a wrongful death action, permits commencement of an action within two years of the date of death, but imposes an absolute limitation on commencement of a wrongful death action of within five years from the date of the act or omission complained of, whereas C.G.S.A. § 52-584 limits commencement of actions to within three years of the date or action complained of.

In McDonald v. Haynes Medical Laboratory, Inc., 192 Conn. 327, 471 A.2d 646 (1984), the defendant incorrectly diagnosed a woman’s RH blood factor in 1960. In 1973, she gave birth to a baby boy who died shortly thereafter due to RH factor incompatibility. The administrator sued on behalf of the child. The issue was whether the court would exclude from the ambit of §§ 52-555 and 52-584 situations where injury was inherently undiscoverable. The supreme court adhered to a strict reading of the statutes and denied the plaintiff’s claims. The constitutional problem posed in Chief Justice Speziale’s dissent (with regard to a statute of limitations that begins to run before the occurrence of an injury) was disposed of in favor of the McDonald court majority in Stein v. Katz, 213 Conn. 282, 567 A.2d 1183 (1989).

In limited instances, it may be possible for a plaintiff to toll the statute of limitations under the doctrines of “continuous treatment” and “continuing course of conduct.” See Blanchette v. Barrett, 229 Conn. 256, 640 A.2d 74 (1994); Starkweather v. Patel, 34 Conn.App. 395, 641 A.2d 809 (1994), cert. denied 230 Conn. 905, 644 A.2d 918 (1994); and Connell v. Colwell, 214 Conn. 242, 571 A.2d 116 (1990).