I Was Injured by a Defective Product. How Long Do I Have to File My Claim?
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury because of a defective or dangerous product, you must file your lawsuit within a specific amount of time ― otherwise known as the statute of limitations.
If you fail to bring your claim within this time period, the court will likely throw your case out. Unfortunately, this means you will be unable to collect any compensation for damages, regardless of how strong your case may be.
In California, the statute of limitations for personal injuries caused by defective products is typically two years from the date of your injury. Keep in mind, however, that this time period may vary depending on your circumstances and the state where you live, which is why you should contact a product liability attorney to discuss your case as soon as you can.
Our lawyers can explain your legal options and help you identify and preserve all relevant evidence, which may prove essential when filing your claim. We help victims throughout Los Angeles and nationwide.
Understanding the Discovery Rule
If you only have two years from the date of your injury to bring a product liability claim in California, what happens if you don't realize you have suffered an injury before it’s too late? For example, what if you inhale a dangerous chemical, but the health problems aren’t diagnosed for half a decade? Are you simply out of luck? Fortunately, no, you may still be able to bring your claim.
Under the discovery rule, the statute of limitations begins only after you discover, or reasonably should have discovered, your injury―meaning you may be able to bring your claim even if it has been more than two years since the date you encountered the dangerous product.
Navigating this often-complex rule can be difficult, which is simply another reason you should contact Shoop | A Professional Law Corporation as soon as possible.
Beware of Notifications from the Manufacturer
In some cases, manufacturers of defective products will deliberately notify consumers that their products may be dangerous. Why do they do this? The answer is simple: Once you know a product is defective, the clock begins to tick on the two-year statute of limitations for lawsuits.
Unfortunately, these notifications are often vague and simply offer to replace the product. In most cases, they don't outright list the dangers of using the products, nor do they explain your legal rights. This offers protection to the manufacturers—at the expense of consumers who may develop health conditions down the line. If you receive an advisory message from a product manufacturer or seller, you will only have two years from the date it’s delivered to file a claim. Don’t let the clock run out on you.