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 two years of that date.
These actions must be brought within four years of the date that the injury occurred.
Actions against health care providers must be filed within two years of the date that the act giving rise to the injury occurred. If the injury is not discovered within the two-year period, then the action must be filed within one year from the date that the injury was, or should have been, discovered, whichever is earlier. In no event may a medical malpractice action be filed more than 10 years after the act giving rise to the injury occurred.
Products liability actions must be brought within four years after the plaintiff suffers the injury. For asbestos cases, the action may be brought within the earlier of four years of being informed of the injury by medical authority or within four years of discovering facts leading to the discovery of the injury within a reasonable amount of time.
Except in cases of wrongful death, the statute of limitations begins to run on the minor's 20th 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.