Product Liability Statutes of Limitations
We expect the products available on the market to be safe for consumption and use. Yet there are many times when the products we use are unfit for their purpose and possibly even dangerous. Whether it’s pharmaceuticals, medical devices, electronics, or motor vehicles, defects in design, manufacturing, and distribution can lead to serious harm. That’s when the Brooklyn, NY product liability attorneys of Zucker & Regev can help.
Those injured by defective products need to act fast, however. It’s important that product liability lawsuits are filed within the statute of limitations. Let’s take a moment to consider what purpose a statute of limitations serves and how they apply to defective product cases.
Why Are Statutes of Limitations in Place?
Statutes of limitations refer to a set amount of time during which a lawsuit can be filed. Once that timeframe has passed, a lawsuit can no longer be filed. These time limits differ from state to state, but they are in place to help ensure evidence and witness testimony are not adversely affected by the passage of time.
The only kinds of incidents that do not have a statute of limitations tend to be violent crimes and the most heinous criminal acts.
The Statute of Limitations for Defective Product Lawsuits
In the state of New York, people have three years to file their product liability lawsuit.
For example, you live in Brooklyn and were seriously injured because your car had defective brakes, you would have three years from the date of the accident/incident to file your lawsuit against the negligent party. That could be the automaker or possibly the distributor of the vehicle/seller.
Potential Exceptions Based on the Nature of the Product
Since defective products can take many forms, there are some exceptions as to when the statute of limitations starts. If exposure to a harmful or toxic substance over time is the result of harm, the statute of limitations will typically begin when the first symptoms and health issues became apparent.
For instance, say that someone undergoes hip replacement surgery. Their artificial hip works fine for almost three years before it fails in a horrific manner. The person with the artificial hip feels pain and suffers from serious mobility issues. They learn that the materials used in the artificial hip are breaking off into tiny particles that get into the bloodstream and harm nearby tissue and organs. The statute of limitations would begin upon this diagnosis rather than when the artificial hip was first placed as the hip replacement was not then known to be defective.
Why You Should Speak with an Attorney as Soon as Possible
While three years sounds like a long time, it can go by quickly. What’s more, the legal process can take time. You may file your case two-and-a-half years after the incident, and the litigation process can take just as long.
By speaking with a lawyer as soon as the injury or incident has occurred, we can get the wheels in motion sooner. That means reaching a settlement within a reasonable time from the incident, or moving toward trial within a generally reasonable time. Our law firm is here to help.
Learn More About Product Liability Litigation
If you live in Brooklyn and have been injured by a dangerous or defective product, we encourage you to contact our skilled team of injury attorneys. You can reach the attorneys of Zucker & Regev by phone at (718) 624-1211.