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 must be filed within three years after the injury causing the death is or should have been discovered. In no event can a wrongful death action be filed more than three years after 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 two years of the date that the act giving rise to the injury occurred or within two years of the date when the injury was, or should have been, discovered. Only in cases involving fraud or deceit may a medical malpractice action be filed more than five years after the date of the act giving rise to the injury occurred.
Products liability actions must be brought within two years after the plaintiff suffers the injury or within two years of the date when the injury was, or should have been, discovered. Generally, a person may not file a products liability action more than 10 years after the product was purchased or used. Furthermore, if the action is brought under the UCC, the statute of limitations is four years.
The statute of limitations is tolled until the person is 18; however, it may not be extended more than five years or until one year after the person turns 18, whichever comes first.
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.