Ever seen an ad before telling you that “time is limited” to file your claim? If yes, then you’re likely left wondering: But what does that mean? In other words, how much time do you really have to claim a cash settlement? The truth is, each state has its own deadline for filing drug injury claims as well as those that involve medical device implants. (In legal jargon, this deadline’s also known as the “statute of limitations.”)
In fact, some states set a different deadline depending on whether a prescription vs. an over-the-counter drug hurt you. So, where you live is the biggest factor in determining how long you have to potentially claim a cash settlement. In some places, you have as little as one year from the date when your side effects appear to file a claim. As a result, you may have less time than you think to make your decision. Find your state and the situation that best describes your case below to find out when your state’s deadline may pass.
What’s the Deadline For Filing Wrongful Death Claims?
Some states set a specific deadline for wrongful death claims as a result of unexpected medical injuries. Below are some examples when families may wish to file a wrongful death claim:
- Jane Doe got Essure in January 2016. Years later in April 2019, Doe developed an ectopic pregnancy. Doe, unaware of her pregnancy, then died from internal bleeding in May 2019.
- John Doe received a temporary Greenfield IVC filter in 2005 in order to prevent PE. However, the doctor never removed it. Surgeons found fragments in Doe’s artery wall once he died from a heart attack on April 9, 2018.
- Jeremy Doe developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Roundup for more than 20 years at his California almond farm. He then died from cancer in September 2019.
|State||Wrongful Death Claim Deadline |
(counts from date on death certificate)
|Georgia and Washington, D.C.||1 year|
|Delaware, Florida, Maine, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wyoming||2 years|
|Minnesota, Missouri||3 years|
|Oregon||3 years (or within 10 years of purchase, whichever’s first)|
States With Time Limits to File Claims For Medical Injuries From Dangerous Products
Some states use a “statute of repose” in order to determine your filing deadline. However, this only applies if your injury comes from a store-bought product. In other words, if you develop cancer from talcum powder containing asbestos, the time limits below apply to you:
|Florida||12 years from purchase if shelf life is 10 years or less; for longer shelf lives, 20 years|
|Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Oregon||10 years from purchase|
|Idaho||10 years from purchase OR use-by date expires|
|Iowa||15 years from purchase unless warranty period’s longer|
|Kansas||10 years OR once “useful-life period” expires|
|Kentucky||5 years from purchase OR 8 from manufacture|
|North Carolina||12 years|
|North Dakota||10 years from purchase OR 11 from manufacture|
|Tennessee||10 years from purchase/first-use date, OR 1 year from use-by date (whichever’s shorter)|
|Texas||15 years from purchase, unless manufacturer’s useful life period’s longer|
|Washington||12 years from purchase|
|Wisconsin||15 years from manufacture (unless warranty period’s longer)|
Deadline To File Injury Claims That Involve Either Medical Implants or OTC/Prescription Drugs
Sometimes, prescription medication causes unexpected side effects that get added to their warning labels later on. Or, you may get a medical implant the Food and Drug Administration recalls later on for safety reasons. In the event that applies to you, find your state’s deadline to file a claim below:
|Deadline to File Injury Claim||States:|
|1 year||Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee|
|2 years||Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia|
|3 years||Arkansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Washington D.C., Wisconsin|
|4 years||Florida, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Wyoming|
|6 years||Maine, North Dakota|
Like Anything Else, There Are Always Some Exceptions…
While we listed every deadline that applies to general drug and medical device injuries, exceptions are always possible. Some states use different time limits based on the specific claims you make against the defendant, such as:
- Failure to warn
- Breach of warranty
For this reason, we always recommend talking to a lawyer as soon as possible about your case. A lawyer with experience filing claims such as these can review your case for free. After looking over your information, the lawyer can then give you an exact deadline for claiming your cash settlement. Until then, you should only use the time limits we’ve listed here as loose guidelines.
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.