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 cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be filed within three years of that date.
These actions must be brought within five 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. Children under 18 must file a medical malpractice action by their 20th birthday.
These types of medical malpractice actions must be filed within two years of the date that the injury was discovered, and in no event more than 10 years after the act giving rise to the injury occurred. Children under 18 must file by their 20th birthday. This same limitation also applies to a negligent failure to inform a patient of test results.
Products liability actions must be brought within five years after the plaintiff suffers the injury.
Except in cases of medical malpractice or wrongful death, the statute of limitations begins to run on a minor's 21st 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.