Typically, people can only bring a lawsuit within a certain time period after the incident that caused them harm. A state will impose these time limits through statutes of limitations. For example, if the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is three years, a person cannot bring a lawsuit more than three years after the accident at issue.
What Are the Statutes of Limitations in New Hampshire?
Most civil actions in New Hampshire have a three-year statute of limitations, including for personal injury lawsuits. Consequently, New Hampshire plaintiffs often must bring a personal injury lawsuit within three years of their accident. The statute of limitations is also three years for libel and slander, fraud, injury to personal property, and professional malpractice. New Hampshire codifies these statutes at Section 508:4. On the other hand, not all civil actions in New Hampshire have a three-year limit.
For example, New Hampshire plaintiffs must bring trespassing actions within two years per Section 539:8. Additionally, New Hampshire law imposes a four-year limit for rent collection actions (Section 382-A:2A-506); a twenty-year limit for written contracts (Section 508:5); and a three-year limit for verbal contracts (Section 508:4). To seek a collection on debt, the statute of limitations is twenty years for written deals (Section 508:5) and three years for verbal deals (Section 508:4). Finally, a New Hampshire plaintiff must bring a lawsuit seeking enforcement of a judgment within twenty years of the judgment according to Section 508:5. In addition to these civil actions, criminal law also has statutes of limitations. In a criminal case, a prosecutor must bring a criminal charge within a certain period after the alleged crime.