Statute of limitations

Any law that bars claims after a certain period of time passes after an injury.  The period of time varies depending on the jurisdiction and the type of claim.  

Statutes of limitations exist for both civil and criminal causes of action, and begin to run from the date of the injury, or the date it was discovered, or the date on which it would have been discovered with reasonable efforts.  Many statutes of limitations are actual legislative statutes, while others may come from judicial common law.

See Statute of repose (compare).