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Rhode Island Civil Statute of Limitations Laws

Anyone planning to file a lawsuit needs to understand the time limits imposed by their state. The civil statute of limitations is a set of statutory time limits that require prospective plaintiffs to file lawsuits within a certain period of time following the incident. For instance, if you want to file a slip-and-fall claim and the statute of limitations for personal injury is three years, then you have until three years from the date of the injury to file your initial complaint. Criminal courts also impose a statute of limitations, requiring prosecutors to file criminal charges within a certain time limit for most (but not all) crimes.

The reasons for these limits are to discourage the indefinite threat of lawsuits and to ensure that physical evidence and witness testimony are "fresh" and reliable. These time limits vary from state to state and among different types of civil actions. The main exception to these time limits is the discovery rule, whereby time does not begin tolling (or counting toward the time limit) until the plaintiff has discovered or reasonably should have discovered the injury.

This article provides a brief overview of the civil statute of limitations in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Civil Statute of Limitations: At a Glance

The state of Rhode Island imposes a three-year limit for personal injury, professional malpractice (including medical), and product liability. Fraud and injury to property all carry a 10-year limit.

The following chart lists additional time limits for various civil actions in Rhode Island. See FindLaw's Injury Law Basics section for more information.

Injury to Person

Three years (R.I. Gen. L. § 9-1-14)


Slander: One year (R.I. Gen. L. § 9-1-14)


10 years (R.I. Gen. L. § 12-12-17)

Injury to Personal Property

10 years (R.I. Gen. L. § 9-1-13)

Professional Malpractice

Medical, Legal, Veterinarian, Accounting, Insurance, or Real Estate: Three years (R.I. Gen. L. § 9-1-14.1 and § 9-1-14.3)

Product Liability

10 years (R.I. Gen. L. § 9-1-13)

Collection of Rents

10 years (R.I. Gen. L. § 9-1-13)



20 years (R.I. Gen. L. § 9-1-17)

Wrongful Death

Three years (R.I. Gen. L. § 9-1-14)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Rhode Island Civil Statute of Limitations: Related Resources

Contact a Rhode Island Attorney Before You File Your Claim

Knowing the deadline to file your personal injury claim in Rhode Island is important. Having a skilled attorney on your side will make the difference between getting the compensation you may be entitled to or having your case barred. If you're dealing with a matter that needs legal attention, it's in your best interests to contact a Rhode Island litigation attorney.

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