Seasoned Sacramento Injury Attorneys
Request a Free Case Review 916.571.0400

How Long Do I Have to File a Product Liability Claim in California?

When it comes to product liability claims, time is of the essence. If you were injured due to a defective product, it's crucial to understand the time constraints associated with filing a claim in California.

In this blog post, we will delve into the specifics of how long you have to file a product liability claim in California and provide you with valuable tips to navigate this process effectively.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations refers to the timeframe within which a legal action must be initiated. In California, the statute of limitations for product liability claims is generally two years from the date of the injury or discovery of the injury caused by the defective product.

However, there are certain exceptions and nuances that you need to know because they could apply to your situation.

Determining the Date of Injury

In some cases, it may not be immediately apparent when the injury occurred. It's essential to consult with medical professionals and gather all relevant documentation to establish the exact date of injury.

In some cases, the statute of limitations can begin as soon as you become aware of an injury, even if you sustained the injury much earlier.

Exceptions for Latent Injuries

If you discover the injury caused by a defective product after the two-year statute of limitations has expired, you may still have options.

California recognizes the "discovery rule" for latent injuries, which allows you to file a claim within one year of discovering the injury. However, it's critical to seek legal advice promptly to ensure you don't miss any important deadlines.

Claims Involving Minors

If the injured party is a minor, the statute of limitations may be extended. In California, the deadline for filing a product liability claim for a minor generally starts when they turn 18 years old, even if they were injured by a product years prior. It’s advisable to consult with an attorney to understand the specific rules and exceptions applicable in such cases.

Preserving Evidence & Seeking Legal Assistance

Regardless of the time constraints, you should preserve any evidence related to your injury and the defective product. This includes keeping the product, any packaging, receipts, medical records, and photographs.

Seeking legal assistance from experienced product liability attorneys, such as Smolich and Smolich, can enhance your chances of a successful claim.


Understanding the time limitations for filing a product liability claim in California is essential to protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. Remember to gather all relevant evidence, consult with legal professionals, and act promptly.

If you have any questions or need assistance with your product liability claim, don't hesitate to contact Smolich and Smolich today.