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How long does one have to file a products liability lawsuit?

It is an unfortunate fact that defective products will slip through the cracks and wind up in the hands of innocent consumers. Illinois consumers injured by a defective product may first be concerned with regaining their health. Depending on the type of injury, this could be a lengthy and costly process. Therefore, individuals who suffer a serious injury due to a defective product might want to pursue a products liability lawsuit against the seller, manufacturer, or the designer of the product in hopes of recovering compensation for their damages. However, individuals in this situation need to understand that they only have a certain amount of time in which to file suit.

The timeline in which an individual has to file a lawsuit is known as the "statute of limitations." In the state of Illinois, a product liability lawsuit must be brought within two years of the date in which the victim was injured. This falls under the "discovery rule," which means that the clock starts ticking once an individual discovers or should have discovered his or her injury. If a victim waits too long he or she may lose the opportunity to file a lawsuit at all.

Illinois also has a statute of repose that lasts for 12 years, commencing once the defective product is sold. The state also has a statute of repose that lasts for 10 years, commencing once the defective product is delivered to the product's initial owner. A statute of repose bars a person from filing a lawsuit after a certain event occurs.

Statutes of limitations are important concepts, but they can also be confusing to those that are not familiar with the law. This post, while informative, only provides general information about statutes of limitations, and cannot guarantee any particular result for those who wish to file a lawsuit. Individuals deciding whether to pursue a products liability lawsuit should consider contacting an attorney sooner rather than later, so they do not lose the chance to file a lawsuit.

Source: FindLaw, "Time Limits for Filing Product Liability Cases: State-by-State," accessed June 13, 2016

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