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 three years of the date of death, except when the wrongful death is caused by homicide. In those cases, the applicable limitations period is 10 years.
These actions must be brought within three years of the date of the injury.
Actions against health care providers must be filed within three years of the date when the act giving rise to the injury occurred, or within three years from the date that the injury was, or should have been, discovered. In no event may a person file a medical malpractice claim more than five years after the act giving rise to the injury occurred. The limitations period is tolled during the time when the tort-feasor knew or should have known of the harm caused and refused to disclose it. These rules apply to minors who are four years of age and older. In the case of minors under four, the statute begins to run on the minor's eighth birthday.
Products liability actions must be brought within three years after the plaintiff suffers the injury. The limitations period is tolled if the tort-feasor fraudulently conceals the cause of action.
Except in cases of medical malpractice or wrongful death, the statute of limitations 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.