Overview Of The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury | Pennsylvania
You can bring a compensation claim when you suffer injuries due to another party’s negligence.
If you have medical expenses, lost wages, etc., you might receive reimbursement from the responsible party’s insurance company.
However, you must follow all rules and regulations, including the statute of limitations for personal injury Pennsylvania.
Failure to meet the statute of limitations deadline means you might not receive any money at all, no matter how strong your case is.
What Is the Pennsylvania Personal Injury Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a law that sets a time limit on how long you have to resolve your civil case before filing a lawsuit.
You’re fine if you negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s insurance company before the deadline. The problems happen when you miss that filing deadline. The amount of time you have depends on the type of case.
In most situations, you have two years from the date of the accident or injury to file a lawsuit under the Pennsylvania statute of limitations for personal injury claims.
Examples of claims typically covered under the two-year deadline include the following:
- Auto accidents,
- Bicycle accidents,
- Motorcycle accidents,
- Truck accidents,
- Slip and falls,
- Pedestrian accidents,
- Defective products,
- Medical malpractice, and
- Wrongful death.
Not all these claims will always fall under the two-year statute. Some circumstances can alter the filing time. Your deadline could be more than two years, but it could also be less.
That’s why speaking with a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident is essential.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in Pennsylvania
One of the most notable exceptions to the statute of limitations involves claims against a government entity, such as the city, county, or state.
When you seek reimbursement from the government, you have only six months to file a notice of intent to sue.
One exception that lengthens the filing time involves claims where the victim is under 18.
Unless the minor was legally emancipated at the time of the accident, they would have to file within two years of their 18th birthday.
The law could also extend the filing deadline if the defendant leaves the state for more than four months after the injury and before you file your lawsuit.
Should You Wait to File a Lawsuit?
There is no minimum time you have to wait to file your lawsuit, and it’s generally not advisable to wait until just before the deadline expires.
As time passes, evidence is lost, and memories can fade. You want to preserve everything in case you are unable to settle and have to go to trial.
The law establishes a formal deadline because people must move on with their lives and not let a claim drag on forever.
What Happens If You Miss the Filing Deadline?
Missing the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania for personal injury claims can have massive repercussions. Courts aren’t typically very forgiving should you miss the filing deadline.
In fact, the judge will likely dismiss your personal injury case altogether, which means no legal recourse. It doesn’t matter if you were actively negotiating a settlement when the deadline passed.
If the deadline has passed, the defendant’s insurance company has every right to ask for proof that you filed a lawsuit before continuing settlement talks.
That’s why you mustn’t miss the filing deadline, even if you think your case is about to settle. You never know what will happen, so you always want to protect your legal rights.
Contact a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have questions about the statute of limitations for personal injury in Pennsylvania, contact Rosen Justice Injury Lawyers.
We can help you identify the proper statute of limitations and file a lawsuit on your behalf. Don’t inadvertently jeopardize your case because you made wrong assumptions about the filing deadline.
Our attorneys have years of experience helping injured victims get the compensation they deserve.
We can help you resolve your case, possibly before it’s necessary to file a lawsuit.