Statutes of limitations restrict the length of time that is allowed to pass between the occurrence of an injury and the date by which your case must be filed. The statutes differ greatly among the states, and are also dependent on the type of case to be filed. In some states, the time you have to file is also determined by the party you're filing against. For example, in California, the general statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is one year. However, if your claim is against a government agency such as a local transportation authority, your complaint must first be filed with the local authority within six months. Other states have a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits, while some states allow four years. In other types of cases, the nature of the lawsuit itself can determine the period allowed under the statute of limitations. For example, the statute of limitations on lawsuits involving breeches of verbal contracts in California is three years. If you've been injured, it's important that your case be filed correctly according to the specific laws and statutes pertaining to your state. Failure to file your suit in a correct or timely manner can result in the case being refused or dismissed.