Statute of Limitations
Statutes of limitations bar claims after a specified period of time after the claim accrues.
Usually a claim accrues at the time of the injury.
Under the discovery doctrine,
the cause of action accrues and the statute of limitations commences to run when the patient discovers, or in the exercise of reasonable care and diligence for his own health and welfare, should have discovered the resulting injury.
- This is excepted to in asbestos cases, where a plaintiff can sue again when diagnosed with a separate injury.
If the injury happened in one state but suit is brought in another, choice of law rules provide that the statute of limitations in the state where the suit is filed is used.
Most states have "borrowing" rules, which say that if a claim arises outside of the forum state, the shorter of the states' statutes of limitations will be used.
A statute of repose is a statute that limits the time during which a claim can arise, such preventing claims from arising against aircraft manufacturers more than 18 years after the plane was sold.
A statute of repose is similar to a statute of limitations, except a statute of repose is substantive and concerns when a claim can arise, while a statute of limitations is procedural and concerns when a suit can be filed.