Preliminary Note: Statutes of limitations restrict the time period that a person can file a lawsuit. These statutes not only vary by state, but they also vary by cause of action. The following guide provides limitations periods for each state, but only for particular causes of action; specifically, those related to personal injury, medical malpractice, and products liability claims. The sections discussing special rules for minors only apply to the causes of action listed for that particular state.
A wrongful death action must be brought within two years after the date of death. In cases where the action is based upon exposure to asbestos, however, the action must be filed within two years from the date of death or within two years from the date the plaintiff knew, or should have known, that exposure to asbestos caused or contributed to the death.
Personal injury actions must be brought within three years of the date that the injury occurred.
Actions against health care providers must be filed within three years of the date that the act giving rise to the injury occurred, or within three years of the date when the plaintiff had knowledge, or reasonably should have had knowledge, of the injury.
Products liability actions must be brought within three years of the date of the injury, or within three years of the date when the plaintiff has either actual or inquiry notice as to the cause of the harm.
Except in cases of wrongful death, the limitations period begins to run on the minor's 18th birthday.
Need more information on state laws? Learn more about the laws where you live.
Note: Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, although if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.