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 of the injury.
Actions against health care providers must be filed within two years of the date that the act giving rise to the injury occurred or within two years of the date of discovery of the injury. In no event can suit be filed more than four years after the date that the act occurred. When a minor (under 18) suffers an injury because of medical malpractice, the action must be filed within eight years of the date of the injury, but in no event after the person’s 22nd birthday. Furthermore, if the person liable for the injury conceals his or her liability, then an action may be brought within five years of the time the injured party becomes aware of the cause of action.
Products liability actions must be brought within two years after the plaintiff suffers the injury. If the injury is not discovered within the two-year time limit, suit must be filed within two years of the date of discovery, but in no event more than eight years from the date that the injury occurred.
In medical malpractice or wrongful death cases, the minor’s age at the time of injury will determine when suit must be filed. In other cases, a person has two years after his or her 18th birthday to file an action.
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.