Firm Logo

Time Limits for Filing a Product Liability Lawsuit

By: Anapol Weiss

People injured by defective products must act quickly to protect their legal rights, as there are strict deadlines for filing a lawsuit.

Each state has a statute of limitations that limits the amount of time an injured person has to file a product liability lawsuit. Individuals who do not file product liability personal injury lawsuit within that time frame will be barred from seeking justice, regardless of the injuries they have sustained. Below are a few important points to know about these rules.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for actions stemming from personal injuries or wrongful death varies from one year to four years. Each state’s law must be considered because of variability.

Minors or Incompetents

One exception to the statute of limitations pertains to the situation when the injured party is a minor or has become incompetent. While the existence of this exception and how it applies may vary, the idea is that the statute of limitation is tolled until the minor reaches her age of majority. However, that exception does not apply to parents who seek recovery for permissible damages.

Discovery Rule

Most states’ statutes of limitations include a discovery rule, which means the clock doesn’t start to run until the injured person discovered or reasonably should have discovered the injury. In Pennsylvania, for example, a legal action must be brought within two years of the date on which the plaintiff knew or should have known an injury occurred and was caused by the actions of another.

Statute of Repose

In addition to the statute of limitations, some states also have a statute of repose, which imposes an even stricter deadline for those who want to bring a claim. A statute of repose provides a hard date within which a legal action must be filed after a certain event has occurred. This type of statute will often provide that a product manufacturer cannot be sued when the product at issue is more than 10 or 12 years old. It is a very harsh rule that often closes the courtroom doors on injured victims.

Obtaining Justice

Product liability is a complex legal matter that can involve a single injured person or thousands of people injured by a common issue. For decades, the lawyers at Anapol Weiss have been obtaining justice for people harmed by a variety of items ranging from helmets to medications to vehicles. We stand up against huge manufacturers and make them take responsibility for letting consumers get hurt.

It’s critically important that an injured person contact a lawyer as soon as possible to protect his or her legal rights. Contact Anapol Weiss for assistance if you were injured.