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 filed within two years of the date of death.
Personal injury actions must be brought within four years of the date the injury occurred.
Actions against health care providers must be filed within two years of the date when the act giving rise to the injury occurred, or within two years of the date when the injury was, or should have been, discovered. In no event may a medical malpractice action be filed more than four years from the date that the act giving rise to the cause of action occurred, except in cases where the plaintiff can show that fraud, concealment, or intentional misrepresentation prevented discovery of the injury. In those cases, the statute will be extended for two years, not to exceed seven years from the date of the injury. These time limitations apply to minors eight and older. In the case of a minor under eight, the child must file suit by his or her eighth birthday or within the limitations period discussed above, whichever time period is greater.
Products liability actions must be brought within four years of the date of the injury.
Except in cases of medical malpractice or wrongful death, most negligence actions for injuries sustained by a minor must be brought within four years of the date of the injury. There are, however, special limited exceptions to this general rule.
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.