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Statutes of limitations on product liability in Virginia

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2021 | Products Liability

A manufacturer has the duty to make a product safe for consumer use in Central and Southwest Virginia. If their product injures someone, they could get sued for damages. However, an injured party should not wait to file a claim, because each state sets time limits on cases.

Virginia statutes of limitations

Each state sets a limit on how long parties have to file a claim called statutes of limitations. In Virginia, the claim must be filed two years after the onset of the injury.

The state also requires consumers to report any defects to the sellers within a reasonable time. A maker of a product could activate the time period by sending a notice of the defect. If a party tries to file after that, the court will likely throw the case out. Some injuries do not show immediately, and the time could pass before the party knows.

Exceptions to the time period

There may be some exceptions depending on the situation, such as in cases of minors or a mentally disabled person. Once the person has regained capacity or turns 18, they may file suit against the manufacturer within two years. If the party has a conservator, they commonly have one year to file on behalf of the client.

In some cases, the discovery rule may apply, which means the date the party discovered their illness or injury. For example, a mattress company promises their special mattress helps back pain, but it makes the problem worse. The customer didn’t discover the issue until five years later after the time had expired.

Another exception to the time limit is when the defendant tries to obstruct the case by leaving town or filing bankruptcy to avoid litigation. The clock stalls and restarts after the bankruptcy or they return to the state.

Product liability allows injured parties to sue and get compensation for injuries. However, some defendants try to get out of it, so the plaintiff needs a good lawyer.