If you are injured in any type of accident, you have the right to seek compensation from the person, company, or public entity responsible for the circumstances that caused your injury. When you are hurt in an accident, you suffer economic and non-economic damages. You deserve to be compensated for your physical, emotional, and financial damages.
In many cases, the insurance company for the at-fault party will negotiate a settlement of your injury claim without the necessity of filing an injury lawsuit. However, this is not always the case. Insurance companies will try to do everything within their power to limit the amount of money it must pay to settle an accident claim. Therefore, it may be necessary to file an injury lawsuit to ensure you receive a fair and just settlement. For this reason, it is important to consult with a Harrisburg personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you are injured because you only have a limited amount of time to file an injury lawsuit in Pennsylvania.
Time Limits for Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawsuits
Every state has a statute of limitations that limits the amount of time a person can file an injury lawsuit. This ensures that parties do not come back years or decades later after memories and evidence has faded to assert a claim. While this may protect defendants from being sued years later, it does put the burden on an accident victim to act quickly in order to receive compensation for his or her injuries. If you fail to file a personal injury lawsuit before the deadline in Pennsylvania's statute of limitations, you will be unable to receive compensation for your damages, losses, and injuries.
Examples of time limits for filing personal injury lawsuits include:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents - 2 years
- Premises Liability (i.e. slip and fall accidents) - 2 years
- Product Liability (i.e. defective drugs, dangerous products, etc.) - 2 years
- Wrongful Death - 2 years
- Medical Malpractice - 2 years
- Bicycle Crashes - 2 years
- Pedestrian Accidents - 2 years
As you can see, most injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date of the injury; however, there are exceptions. For this reason, do not ever assume you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit without consulting with an injury attorney.
Exceptions to Pennsylvania's Statute of Limitations
There are several exceptions to the general two-year rule for filing a Pennsylvania personal injury lawsuit. For example, if you are filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, the deadline for filing may be extended if you did not discover the injury until much later after the actual event. Another exception is when a minor is injured. The un-emancipated minor has two years after his or her 18th birthday to file an injury lawsuit.
Other exemptions may apply depending on the circumstances and facts of your case. Our experienced personal injury attorneys offer a free case evaluation to determine what your legal options are regarding a personal injury lawsuit. Contact Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLPfor a free consultation. We want to seek justice on your behalf while you focus on your recovery and your family.