A law that bars claims after a specified period; specifically a statue establishing a time limit for suing in a civil case, based on the date when the claim accrued (as when the injury occurred or was discovered). The purpose is to require diligent prosecution of known claims, thereby providing finality and predictability in legal affairs and ensuring that claims will be resolved while evidence is reasonably available and fresh.

In Plain English:

The statute of limitations is a law that puts a time limit on how long a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit. Depending on the type of lawsuit, the time may vary, but is usually between one and three years. The time is often measured starting at the date of the event that gives rise to the claim. For example, in a motor vehicle accident case, the time typically starts running on the date of the accident.