Idaho Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Guide

Each state in the U.S. has its own rules about how long you have to file a lawsuit after an incident. This time limit is called the statute of limitations, and it varies a lot from state to state. In this post, we’re going to focus on Idaho’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases. We’ll break down the time limits for different kinds of civil lawsuits in Idaho and also talk about when there might be exceptions to these rules. It’s important to know these deadlines if you’re thinking about taking legal action in Idaho, to make sure you do it within the allowed time. 

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Idaho Statute of Limitations 

Idaho statutes of limitations set clear deadlines for when legal actions can be initiated following an incident or discovery of harm. This is crucial for maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the legal system, ensuring that cases are dealt with in a timely manner. 

For personal injury cases in Idaho, the statute of limitations is generally two years. This means that if you’re injured, whether because of someone’s negligence or an intentional act, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. This timeline is strictly adhered to in most cases, underscoring the importance of acting promptly if you believe you have a claim. 

How it Differs Depending on the Civil Action 

Here’s a list of various civil actions in Idaho along with their respective statute of limitations: 

  • Injury to Person (Personal Injury): 2 years. This applies to cases of bodily harm caused by negligence or intentional acts. 
  • Contracts: 

○ Written Contracts: 5 years. 

○ Oral Contracts: 4 years. 

  • Injury to Personal Property: 3 years. This covers cases where personal property is damaged or destroyed. 
  • Product Liability: 2 years. This is relevant when injury or harm is caused by a defective product. 
  • Medical Malpractice: 2 years from the date of the incident or from when the injury was or should have been discovered.
  • Wrongful Death: 2 years. This applies when a death is caused by someone’s wrongful act or negligence. 
  • Libel/Slander (Defamation): 2 years. This timeframe applies to legal actions regarding damaging false statements. 
  • Trespass: 3 years. 
  • Collection of Rent: 20 years. 
  • Judgments: 11 years 
  • Professional Malpractice (Non-medical): 2 years from the discovery of the act, omission, or damage. 

Idaho Medical Malpractice Statute 

In Idaho, the medical malpractice statute outlines specific guidelines and limitations for legal actions against healthcare providers. The statute of limitations for filing a malpractice claim is two years, either from the date of the alleged malpractice or from when the injury was or should have been discovered. This is particularly significant as some medical issues may not be immediately evident. 

Idaho Statute of Limitations on Crime 

Every specific crime carries a statute of limitations, which sets a limit on how long prosecutors have to initiate criminal charges or a trial. These time limits are an integral part of the criminal justice system and vary depending on the severity and nature of the crime. 

For misdemeanors in Idaho, the statute of limitations is usually between one year to five years. These shorter timeframes reflect a balance between the rights of the accused and the need to maintain public order and safety. After these periods, misdemeanor charges generally cannot be brought forward. 

However, for the most severe crimes, Idaho law provides no statute of limitations. This means that no matter how much time has passed since the commission of the crime, prosecutors can still initiate charges. These crimes would include: murder, voluntary manslaughter, rape, sexual abuse of a child or lewd conduct with a child, or an act or terrorism.

Idaho Statute of Limitations on Debt 

For written contracts, including most types of loans and credit agreements, the statute of limitations is five years. This means that if you have an unpaid debt arising from a written agreement, the creditor has up to five years from the date of the last payment or acknowledgment of the debt to initiate legal action to collect it. 

When it comes to oral contracts, where the agreement was not put in writing, the statute of limitations is slightly shorter, at four years. This pertains to debts where the agreement was made verbally and not formalized in a written document. 


One significant exception pertains to the discovery of evidence. In certain cases, especially those involving fraud or hidden evidence, the statute of limitations may not begin until the crime is discovered or should reasonably have been discovered. This is particularly relevant in situations where the nature of the crime inherently involves concealment or deception.

Additionally, Idaho law provides unique exceptions for cases involving minors. If a child is injured, the two-year statute of limitations typically begins on their 18th birthday. However, this extension due to minority status cannot exceed six years. In cases of wrongful death where the victim is a minor, the lawsuit must still be filed within the standard two-year period. This approach balances the need to protect minors’ rights with the necessity of a timely legal process 

Idaho Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Conclusion 

State laws are subject to change at any time due to the enactment of new statutes or amendments to existing laws. While we strive to ensure that the information provided here is current and accurate, it’s important to remember that legal landscapes can evolve. For the most precise and up-to-date legal information, the best course of action is to consult with a qualified Idaho personal injury attorney. 

At Harris, Preston, and Chambers, we understand the complexities of Idaho’s statute of limitations and the significant impact it can have on legal proceedings. Our expertise covers a wide range of legal areas, including personal injury, property damage, contracts, and more. Whether you have questions regarding the statute of limitations in Idaho or need assistance with any other legal matters, our team is here to offer comprehensive and skilled support tailored to your unique legal needs.

*Nothing herein constitutes legal advice. You should obtain independent legal counsel regarding your specific factual situation.