If you have been injured by a defective product, then you might have a lawsuit. However, you may find that there is a certain amount of time that you must work within to file your claim, known as the “statute of limitations.” Every state has these laws, which apply specifically to the claims, but the actual amount of time you have to file the suit will vary from state to state. If you fail to file your claim, the judge will likely throw out your case, so it is very important to work within these time limits. Now you can find out everything you need to know about the time limits put upon defective product liability claims.
What are the Time Limits and When do They Start to Run?
No state has a statute of limitations for claims revolving around defective products that is less than a year. Some will have a limit of two years, and some will have a limit of three years. Even further still, few states have a time limit of four or more years, but you will have to find out which one your specific state has. If you discover that the time limit has expired in your state, then you may still be able to file a timely claim in other states if that state has a longer statute of limitations.
In some states, the determination of when the time limit starts is straightforward. Some injuries may be hard to defect, however, such as your lunge being injured from inhaling fumes from a defective chemical product. You may not discover your injury right off the bat until inflammation begins many months from then. If that is the case, the issue of when the statute of limitations began may be important to whether or not you are able to file a defective product claim or if you’ve missed the deadline completely. You will need to pay special attention to when the injury actually occurred, and when the injury is actually discovered.
If the plaintiff didn’t file and the lawsuit was dismissed, this is an easy out for the defendant involved in the case. Then, the defendant will pursue the defense whenever it is possible. Manufacturers will sometimes play the game of notifying potential plaintiffs about a product being defective for the sole purpose of getting the clock ticking on the statute of limitations. However, sometimes this means that the notification gives the consumer some inkling that the product might be defective without saying it is.
Secondary Time Limits
Some states have additional time limits. These limits prevent consumers from suing companies for injuries that were sustained by defective products. If you miss the deadline, then you are out of luck when it comes to filing a claim, even if you discovered or should have discovered your injury. These limits are known as “statutes of repose.” The specifics may vary from state to state; however, they will generally establish a second, longer deadline in states that follow specific injury discovery rules.
It may be a tricky case to try and find out whether or not you should file a defective product lawsuit in a matter of time or if you have missed the deadline. You may want to speak to a lawyer who specializes in these product cases. You can call WTW for a consultation today. We will work with you and review your claim to see where you stand!