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.
These actions must be brought within two years of the date of the injury.
Actions against health care providers must be filed within one year of the date that the cause of action occurred. However, if the plaintiff gives the defendant written notice of the claim within one year of the date of the injury, suit may be filed within 180 days after the notice is given. No claim may be commenced after four years of the occurrence of the act giving rise to the injury, unless the injury could not have been discovered within three years of the act and is discovered before the expiration of the four-year statute of limitations. In such a case, the claim may be filed within one year of discovery.
These cases must be filed within one year of the date that the foreign object was discovered or should have been discovered.
Products liability actions must be brought within two years after the plaintiff suffers the injury and in most cases no more than 10 years after the product was delivered to its first purchaser.
Except in the case of 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.