What are the time limits on a product liability case?

There are, unfortunately, all sorts of defective products out there on the market. Sometimes, those products end up injuring consumers in enormous ways.

While you can often file a lawsuit for damages caused by a defective product, there are rules that you have to follow.

How long do you have to file a claim over a defective product?

In Louisiana, you only get one year from the date of your injury to file any kind of civil claim. That's a relatively narrow timeframe compared to most other states, so you can't afford to delay if you intend to take action.

However, under Louisiana's discovery rule, the clock on that statute of limitations for filing a claim doesn't start ticking until you have actual knowledge the product is defective and the source of your injuries or should have reasonably known that it was the case. That could extend the time limit to file in certain cases where the source of your injuries took a while to discover.

When can you sue for a defective product?

In essence, you have four basic avenues you can approach a case involving an injury caused by a defective product:

  1. The product itself was badly designed and likely to cause an injury even when used correctly.
  2. The product was designed correctly, but there was a problem when it was manufactured (like the use of substandard parts) that made the product dangerous.
  3. The product had dangers that were not listed in any warnings to consumers or included in the instructions.
  4. The product fails to live up to an express warranty given by the product's manufacturer.

The basis of your lawsuit will often help determine who you will sue for damages and is one of the most important decisions you'll have to make with your legal team.

If you've been severely injured by a defective, dangerous product, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney about your options before you lose the chance to pursue justice.

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Vincent J. DeSalvo, Attorney at Law
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