What Is The Personal Injury Statute Of Limitations In Pennsylvania
All states have imposed statutory limits on the amount of time you have to go to court and file a civil lawsuit after you have suffered some type of harm. These deadlines vary depending on what type of case you want to file, but in general this kind of law is called a statute of limitations.
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases gives you two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. .
It’s crucial to understand and abide by this rule. If you fail to get your lawsuit filed before the two-year window closes, the Pennsylvania civil court system will likely refuse to hear your case, and your right to compensation will be lost. Of course, the filing deadline could be extended in certain circumstances. Talk to an experienced Pennsylvania attorney for details on how the statute of limitations applies to your situation.
Note that if your injury occurred due to the negligence of an employee or agency of the government in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to play by a different set of rules if you want to get compensation for your losses. The first step is usually to file a formal claim with the proper government agency, and give them time to respond. Get the basics on injury claims against government entities.
Time Limits On Lawsuits
For statute-of-limitations purposes, the clock normally starts to tick when the claim arises. Courts sometimes refer to this starting point as the accrual of the cause of action its the moment at which the plaintiff has a basis to sue.
Assume one person wants to sue another forassault and battery. Assume also that the statute of limitations for assault and battery is two years. The plaintiff would have two years from the date of the underlying incident tofile a personal injury lawsuit.
Statutes of limitations can vary from state to state, and from state court to federal court. They also differ depending on the kind of case you want to file, or the subject matter of the lawsuit.
Contact The Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorneys Of Lundy Law Today For Your Free Consultation
Personal injury cases come in many shapes in forms. Whether you have been bitten by a dog, fallen at a friends pool, or have suffered injuries as the result of an automobile accident, among other injuries, you have a certain period of time available to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Because all states differ as to the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, it is imperative that you have a thorough understanding of what potential claims you may have in regards to the injuries you or your loved ones have suffered. Given that you only have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit, it cannot be stressed enough that time is of the essence. At Lundy Law, our highly seasoned Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorneys have extensive experience helping clients file personal injury lawsuits for all types of injuries. With offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, our attorneys can quickly conclude whether or not you still have time to file a lawsuit. If you would like to discuss your potential case with one of our attorneys, contact Lundy Law today to schedule your free consultation by calling LundyLaw.
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Statutes Arent The Only Personal Injury Laws In Pennsylvania
The statutes weve covered above represent just a sampling of those that can impact a personal injury case under Pennsylvania law. Other, specific statutes might be applicable to any given case .
The statutes above also dont cover all of the types of law in Pennsylvania that can govern personal injury matters. Other rules pertaining to personal injury actions can be found in regulations passed by the executive branch of Pennsylvania government . For example, a regulation may affect a personal injury case by setting minimum standards of conduct in an industry. Pennsylvania intrastate motor carrier regulations, for instance, adopt federal standards for limits on the amount of time truckers can spend behind the wheel at a stretch. When a truck driver causes personal injuries in an accident, it may constitute evidence that he acted negligently that he violated the hourly limits set by these regulations.
What Happens If I Sue After The Personal Injury Statute Of Limitations Expires
Generally, your case will be thrown out of court if you wait beyond the two-year time window.
The defendant will most certainly raise the statute of limitations as a defense and, unless you can prove that your case falls within one of the very limited exceptions, you will have no right to pursue the cause.
COMMON QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL INJURY STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IN PHILADELPHIA:
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When Does The Statute Of Limitations Start
In most cases, the two-year clock begins ticking from the date the incident occurred. In some instances, the statute of limitations may begin running two years from the date that an injured person discovered, or should have discovered, that their injury was caused by negligence or wrongful conduct. This is known as the “discovery rule.” There are alsospecial rules that apply to children.
In summary, the state of Pennsylvania allows two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit against the company you are filing the claim against. For claims that are against a city, county, or state government agency, the notice of intent to sue must be filed within six months.
Hire An Experienced Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney At The Levin Firm
The job of a personal injury attorney is, in large part, to represent the clients interests by pursuing all available compensation for a personal injury that is permissible under the law. To be effective, a personal injury attorney has to stay up to speed on the developments in the statutes, regulations, and judicial opinions that can affect personal injury matters. That is what lawyers and judges mean when they say the law is a living, breathing thing. It is constantly evolving to suit new priorities, expectations, and dangers in our world.
Distinguishing between lawyers can be a challenge for people suffering from an unexpected personal injury or tragic loss. Many lawyers may appear to offer similar services with similar fee arrangements. What distinguishes The Levin Firm from the pack? Thanks to our years of experience as public defenders, we have both an extensive and broad-based knowledge of the law and deep experience trying cases to Pennsylvania juries. We are aggressive and thorough advocates for our clients. We stay current on changes to Pennsylvania personal injury law, whether in statutes, regulations, or judges opinions so that we can press our clients claims vigorously and accurately in Pennsylvanias state and federal courts.
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Statute Of Limitations And Your Personal Injury Claim
After an injury occurs due to someone elses negligence, filing a claim may not be at the top of your priorities.
While recovering and taking care of your health or loved ones health is top priority, it is important to know there are certain laws and rules that govern the personal injury process.
One being the Statue of Limitations.
The Statute of Limitations are laws that set time limits on how long you have to file a claim.
These time limits vary depending on the type of case you have and from state to state.
In Pennsylvania, there is a two-year statute of limitations in which an individual can pursue a claim to recover damages for personal injuries.
This limit applies to claims such as auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, premise and product liability claims.
In most cases, the statute of limitations begins at the time of your accident or injury. This occurs in any case where you are immediately aware of your injuries.
Occasionally, you may receive get extra time to take action if you were unaware of your injuries for a period of time after the incident. This is due to the discovery rule.
For example, this rule generally applies to medical malpractice claims.
If you have questions about how long you have to file your claim, or if you have a claim to pursue, you should contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Berger and Green.
Why Is There A Personal Injury Statute Of Limitations In Pennsylvania
The purpose behind enacting a statute of limitations in Philadelphia is to do equity, with three specific considerations:
COMMON QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL INJURY STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IN PHILADELPHIA:
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Negligence Claims In Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania law requires people and businesses to follow a duty of care and to conduct themselves in a reasonable manner. You may have a negligence claim if someone breaches their duty by acting unreasonably, causes your injuries, and as a result you suffer injury. Negligence claims are often filed as a result of a car accident or injuries sustained while on the property of another person or business.
Pennsylvania uses a modified comparative negligence approach, which factors in any fault your own actions may have contributed to your injuries. Under this approach, you can still bring a claim as long as you are 50% or less at fault and you can recover damages in proportion to your percentage of fault. On the other hand, if you are over this 50% threshold then recovering any damages is prohibited.
Have You Seen Lawyer Ads On Tv That Tell You Act Now You May Lose Your Rights
These ads are referring to the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is the time period after an accident within which a personal injury lawsuit can be filed. This time limit varies by state. In Pennsylvania, an accident victim generally has two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. However, there are some important exceptions to the rule.
One of these exceptions is for lawsuits involving the injury of a minor child. When a child under the age of 18 is injured, Pennsylvania law delays the period of the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for a minor does not start until the childs 18th birthday. So, most children have until their 20th birthday to file a lawsuit for injuries caused by accidents.
This rule benefits parents because children cant always tell adults about their injuries. A hidden injury may not be discovered until after the statute of limitations has nearly elapsed.
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Why The Statute Of Limitations Allows Additional Time For Minors
Sometimes, it can take years to measure the lasting effects of an injury, and a parent may not realize the extent of their child’s damages. In other circumstances, a parent may not know their child has a potential lawsuit or may simply decide not to pursue a case for their child.
The law provides additional time for injured children in order to give an individual the opportunity to pursue a potential case for themselves once they are no longer a minor. Keep in mind, there may be hurdles in pursuing a case after a long period of time has passed. It is always better to seek legal advice sooner rather than later ininjury cases involving children.
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In Pennsylvania, generally speaking, adults have two years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, Pennsylvania’s statute of limitation laws provide special protection for minors. The two-year statute of limitations for civil suits resulting from an injury to an “unemancipated minor” does not begin to take effect until that child reaches the age of 18. In other words, an individual has until age 20 to file a lawsuit for personal injuries which occurred while they were under the age of 18.
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What Is Pennsylvanias Statute Of Limitations For Personal Injury Accidents
When the proper standard of care is not upheld by an individual in a position of legal responsibility, it can result in serious accidents. These accidents have the potential to cause life-changing injuries to the individuals involved. It is because of this that they are able to pursue legal action to recover compensation for the damages they incurred. However, they must do so within the allotted time period, known as the statute of limitations. Continue reading below to learn more and contact an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney for assistance with your case.
Receive A Compensation Offer
The insurance company will then spend time reviewing the details of your claim and collecting any further information they need. Then, they will present you with a claim payment offer.
The initial offer you receive from the insurance company may be much lower than expected. Insurance companies often lowball accident victims at first to save money.
If you feel that the offer you receive is unfair, you and your attorney can try to negotiate with the insurance company.
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What Should You Do If You Sustain An Injury Caused By Another Party
Immediate medical treatment is crucial to document the injury. In addition, you must be able to connect your injury to the defendants actions to recover compensation for your claim.
As soon as possible, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Two years may sound like a long time to file a personal injury lawsuit.
However, many injury cases involve complicated issues. It could take several months or more than a year to complete an investigation to gather enough evidence to prove fault and liability.
Furthermore, expert witnesses might be necessary to help support your claim. However, it takes time to retain experts. The experts then need time to investigate and research your case to provide answers and evidence.
Because there are exceptions to the statutes of limitations, it is wise to have a lawyer analyze and research the matter to calculate the deadline for filing personal injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania.
Missing a deadline could result in your case being thrown out of court. If that happens, you are responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. In addition, you lose the right to hold the party who caused your injury responsible for your losses and injuries.
Special Principles For Minors
Except in instances of wrongful death, an “unemancipated small” must lodge fit within 2 yrs of his or her 18th birthday. An “unemancipated small” is people under 18 who is maybe not totally self-supporting. Where the minor is emancipated, or completely self-supporting, during the injury, he/she must file match within two years of the date when the damage happened.
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What Are The Pennsylvania Statutes Of Limitations In Civil Cases
Statutes of limitations vary from state to state. In Pennsylvania, the statutes of limitations for most civil matters are two years.
However, this two-year period can be measured somewhat differently depending on the nature of the injury and the accident that caused it. The personal injury lawyers of the Foley Law Firm can help you to understand precisely when the clock started ticking in your particular case. In most cases, the statute of limitations kicks in at the moment of the accident that caused the injury. However, in some cases, it may start on the date when the injured party should reasonably have discovered the injury, even if he or she didnt actually discover it on that date. Finally, in rare cases, it may start on the date on which the injured party actually discovered the injury, which could be significantly after the date on which the accident that caused the injury occurred.
The statutes of limitations in Pennsylvania for civil matters are as follows:
- Personal injury : 2 years
- Product liability : 2 years
- Medical malpractice : 2 years
- Wrongful death: 2 years
- Professional malpractice : 2 years
- Contract : 4 years
- Property damage: 2 years
- Libel or slander: 1 year
- Fraud: 2 years
- Assault and battery: 2 years
- False imprisonment: 2 years
Do I Need To File A Lawsuit Right Away
Though you should definitely keep the personal injury statute of limitations in mind, you do not need to sue the negligent party within days after an accident.
In fact, in most cases, you initiate the legal process by filing a claim with an insurance company.
If you are not able to reach an agreement to settle your claim, you must then file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your losses.
COMMON QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL INJURY STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IN PHILADELPHIA:
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Discuss Pennsylvanias Personal Injury Statute Of Limitations With A Skilled Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an accident and want to know more about the relevant time factors, please contact PhillyLaw at or fill out a form with the details of your case so we can get a free consultation set up to discuss next steps.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can review your claim and explain your legal options and rights to recover fair and just compensation for your injuries and harms.