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 two years of the date that the injury occurred.
Actions against health care providers must be filed within two years of the date that the plaintiff discovers, or should have discovered, the injury, but in no event can the action be filed more than six years after the date of the act that caused the injury. An action by a minor who is 10 or older must be brought within six years from the date of the act that caused the injury. In the case of a minor under ten, the action must be filed within six years or by the minor’s 10th birthday, whichever time period is greater. This time limitation is also tolled for any period in which the minor’s injury could not have been discovered by reasonable diligence. This period may be further tolled in instances of fraudulent concealment.
Generally, products liability actions must be brought within two years after the plaintiff suffers the injury. The discovery rule also applies, so that the limitations period begins to run on the date the plaintiff knew or should have known that the defendant's action caused the injury.
Except in cases of medical malpractice or 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.