If you’ve been injured by a product that you believe was defective, you must pursue that claim within a certain amount of time from which your injury occurred or you will lose your right to make a claim.
This time period is known as a “statute of limitations”. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for a products liability claim is two years from the date of the injury. If you do not file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, your case will be thrown out of court, as the judge will determine that it was too late to pursue the claim. So it is very important to know what the deadline is to file a claim and to file as soon as possible.
The statute of limitations still applies even if you do not become aware that the product that injured you was defective until after the two-year time period has expired, unless there are extenuating circumstances.
Some defects cannot be detected for months or years after the actual injury occurs. In situations such as this, there may be potential extensions of the statute of limitations under the “discovery rule”. For example, if you inhaled fumes from a defective chemical product, you may not discover that your lungs were injured until you develop lung inflammation sometime down the road. Or if you sustain injury from exposure to asbestos, the effects of that exposure may not be discovered until much later.
Since there is no clear-cut rule to define a statute of limitations period involving a hidden injury or harm that gets discovered later, issues under the discovery rule become very case specific and must be handled with care. Thus, you should always talk to a lawyer to work out those specifics.
If you are concerned that you may have been injured by a defective product, don’t wait. Contact the product liability lawyers at ACA Law for a FREE evaluation of your case. Our product liability attorneys work on a contingency basis, so there are no legal fees until you win. We will review your case, answer your questions and advise you of your rights. Call us today at (570) 348-0200.