Statute of Limitations for Breach of Contract in Ohio

In 2021, Ohio shortened its statute of limitations for breach of contract. If you are considering suing for a breach, this new law makes it important to speak with an Ohio lawyer as soon as possible.

Previously, claimants could bring a breach lawsuit up to eight years after a violation occurred, depending upon the facts of the case. This new law shortens that time period to a maximum of six years, again, depending upon the facts of the case. 

Because this new law applies to all actions that took place after June 16, 2021, time is of the essence. The Bensinger Legal Services team can help. This blog post will discuss the changes to the statute of limitations for breach of contract in Ohio and explain how they affect your potential  lawsuit.

For immediate assistance, please call (419) 455-1410 or fill out our online form.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Breach of Contract?

A “statute of limitations” is the period during which a lawsuit must be filed, or else the claim expires. For instance, if you discovered that someone breached a contract with you in 2002 and waited until 2022 to file a lawsuit, you would most likely be prohibited from pursuing your claim. Statutes of limitations protect both plaintiffs and defendants by ensuring claims are timely, that evidence is fresh, and that claims are not being filed to harass other people long after the dispute is over.

Ohio Statute of Limitations for Breach of Contract

Until June 2021, the Ohio statute of limitations for a breach was eight years for a written contract and six years for an oral contract. When does the statute of limitations start for a breach of contract claim? For a contract claim, the statute of limitations typically begins to run when the act breaking the contract terms happens, known in the law as being when the “cause of action accrues.” The cause of action typically accrues when the breach occurs.

There are a few exceptions to this general rule. 

These include:

  • The injured party is a minor;
  • The defendant cannot be located;
  • The harm caused by the breach was not discovered until after the statute of limitations had run; and
  • The claimant is incapacitated.

While it is rare for a contract signed by a minor to be considered valid, if it is upheld, the minor would have until their 18th birthday before the statute of limitations begins to run. Even if the statute of limitations has run out on your claim, speak with a member of the Bensinger Law team about your case. Attorney Aaron Bensinger may be able to help.

New Statute of Limitations for Breach of Contract in Ohio

As of June 2021, the statute of limitations for breach in Ohio requires parties to assert claims for written contracts within six years after the cause of action accrues. Any claims after June 16, 2021, are subject to the new, six-year statute of limitations. However, any claims that accrued before the effective date of the new statute can be brought as late as June 16, 2027, or the remaining period under the prior eight-year statute of limitations.

Oral contracts have a slightly different calculation for the statute of limitations. Under the old statute, an oral contract claim could be brought at any time within six years of the act breaking the terms set out in the contract. The revised statute requires that claims involving oral contracts now be brought within four years from the time at which the claim accrues.

If you have been the victim of a breach and want to pursue a claim, do not let these changes to the law defeat your chances of success in court. The experienced lawyers at Bensinger Legal Services can help you evaluate your options. 

The Bensinger Law Difference

Aaron Bensinger helps clients with breach of contract, personal injury, and civil litigation claims. He strives to offer unmatched representation in the Northwest Ohio region with his client-centered approach. His extensive experience and familiarity with business litigation enable him to meet his clients’ most pressing legal needs.

Contact us using our online form, or call (419) 455-1410 today for a case evaluation to see how we can help your case.

Author Photo

Aaron L. Bensinger

Aaron L. Bensinger is an Ohio attorney serving personal injury and civil litigation clients. He has extensive trial experience and makes client service is his primary focus. As a partner at Balyeat, Leahy, Daley, Miller & Bensinger, LLC, Aaron happily works in Lima, OH, and serves the entire Northwest region of the state and beyond.

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