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 the discovery of the death and must be filed within two years of that date. However, the statute does not run so long as the person against whom the action accrues has no contacts in the state for jurisdictional purposes.
These actions must be brought within three years of the date that the injury is discovered.
Claims for injuries suffered while skiing must be brought within one year.
Actions against health care providers must be filed within three years of the date that the act giving rise to the injury occurred or within two years of the date that the injury was, or should have been, discovered. In no event may suit be filed more than seven years from the date that the act giving rise to the injury occurred.
If a foreign object is not discovered within the three-year medical malpractice statute of limitations, the plaintiff may file suit within two years of the date that the object was, or should have been, discovered.
The three-year statute of limitations applicable to personal injury actions is also applicable in products liability actions.
Except in cases 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.
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.