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 accrues on the date of death and must be filed within three years of that date.
Personal injury actions must be brought within three 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 six months after the plaintiff discovers, or should have discovered the injury, whichever date is later, but in no event more than six years after the date that the act occurred. In the case of a minor under eight years of age, the action must be commenced by the minor’s 10th birthday or within two years of the date of the injury, whichever time period is greater. Additionally, in cases where a minor under 13 suffers an injury to the reproductive system, the action must be filed by the minor’s 15th birthday or within the general two-year medical malpractice statute of limitations, whichever time period is greater. In all other medical malpractice cases involving minors under 18, the minor has one year after his or her birthday to file suit, but in no event less than two years after the date of the act giving rise to the injury occurred.
Products liability actions must be brought within three years after the plaintiff suffers the injury.
Except in cases of medical malpractice or wrongful death, minors have one year after their 18th birthday to file suit, but in no event can the time period be shortened so that it is less than the period provided in the statute of limitations that actually applies to the 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.