In West Virginia, product liability suits brought under the theories of strict liability or negligence must be filed within two years after the cause of action occurred. W. Va. Code § 55-2-12. A “cause of action” does not occur until the plaintiff discovers or should have discovered that they were injured by the defendant’s conduct. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time, you cannot sue.
If the lawsuit is based on contract law, as in the case of a breach of warranty, you must file it within four years after the cause of action occurred. W. Va. Code § 46-2-725. Similar to strict liability and negligence cases, a “cause of action” here does not occur until the plaintiff discovers, or should have discovered, that there was a breach of contract. Brock & Davis Co. v. Charleston Nat’l Bank, 443 F.Supp. 1175 (S.D.W. Va. 1977). If you do not file a lawsuit within this time, you cannot sue.
In addition to typical statutes of limitations, state legislatures have also enacted special statutes of limitations to place outside time limits on certain types of lawsuits. These are referred to as statutes of repose. Statutes of repose typically place an outside limit (usually 10, 15, or 20 years) on specific types of lawsuits, regardless of when the injury is discovered. In West Virginia, injured victims cannot file a medical malpractice suit if the injury occurred more than 10 years ago. W. Va. Code § 55-7B-4.
In all matters involving personal injury it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and file a lawsuit prior to the deadline imposed by the Statute of Limitations. If you or a loved one is a victim of personal injuries, call Hamstead, Williams & Shook P.L.L.C. now at 888 – 298 – 2529. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a Contingent Fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don’t delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.