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.
Personal injury actions must be brought within two 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 or within two years of the date the injury was, or should have been, discovered. In no event may a medical malpractice action be brought more than 10 years after the date of the injury. A cause of action for injury to a minor under 10 at the time of the injury must be brought within two years of the date of the injury or prior to the minor’s 12th birthday, whichever provides the longer period. This period is not subject to the 10-year maximum limitation.
Products liability actions must be brought within two years after the plaintiff suffers the injury or within two years of the date the injury was, or should have been, discovered.
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.