Louisiana Statute of Limitations

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Louisiana Has a Prescriptive Period Instead of Statutes of Limitations

What Is a Prescriptive Period?

In Louisiana, we use the term “Prescriptive Period” to describe what most other states call "Statutes of limitations.” These periods and limitations are laws that establish time limits on how long you have to file a "civil" lawsuit, like a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. These time limits depend on the type of legal claim involved in the case and differ from state to state. For example, in some states, you may have one year to file a personal injury lawsuit after you were hurt in a car accident, but in other states, you may have two or three years.

What is the Louisiana Statute of Limitations?

In general, the statute of limitations in Louisiana is one year. Generally, the time period begins to run on the date your claim arises or "accrues,” like the day of the car accident. Once the prescriptive period or statute of limitations has expired or "runs," your claim is lost.

If you file a lawsuit after the prescriptive period runs, the defendant will file an exception of prescription alleging you waited too long and your claim is prescribed or time-barred.

The Statute of Limitations for Various Civil Claims Are Different

Below are some statutes of limitations in Louisiana for various civil claims. The list doesn't cover everything and laws may change at any time, so do not rely on this list to make a decision. Be sure to check the current laws and read them carefully, and/or talk to an experienced attorney that can answer your questions.

Many of the civil law statutes of limitations are in Louisiana's Civil Code (starting with "article" 3492) while some can also be found in the Louisiana Revised Statutes.

This is a sample of the time limits below. Read each statute and other applicable statutes for a full understanding. This is not a substitute for legal advice and is only for general informational purposes. Do not rely on this information. It is best to seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer.



Personal Injury, 1 year

La. Civ. Code art. 3492

Product Liability, 1 year

La. Civ. Code art. 3492

Property Damage, 1 year

La. Civ. Code art. 3492

Wrongful Death, 1 year

La. Civ. Code art. 3492

If you are going to attempt to deal with an insurance company or adjuster yourself, be aware of the prescriptive periods and statute of limitations. Do not get lulled or fooled by the insurance company/adjuster into letting your claim becomes barred. Don’t wait until the last minute, day, week, or even month. There is likely important documentation or information that needs to be collected before dealing with the insurance company. If you are at all uncertain of the intricacies of filing a claim on your own, you may want to consult an attorney. Contact our team at Joseph A. Gregorio, A Professional Law Firm as soon as an accident happens, so we can help you achieve the best possible outcome.