Accidents are a difficult experience, and the last thing that survivors want to think about are legal issues as they recover from injuries. However, like many other states, Pennsylvania has laws that limit a person’s ability to pursue damages from responsible parties after a certain amount of time. So, those who need financial compensation for losses caused by an accident must enlist the help of a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Pennsylvania Statute of Limitation for Personal Injury Claims
A statute of limitations is a law that dictates how long a person must make a legal claim against others. In the case of personal injury, this law limits how long a person must hold the person who caused their accident accountable for their negligence. If a person fails to file a claim before time runs out, they will be unable to do so no matter how severe their injury or losses are. Depending on the matter in question, a person will have a varying amount of time to file a claim according to the relevant statute of limitations.
In Pennsylvania, the time limit for personal injury cases is two years from the date of the accident. If a person wishes to file a claim against a county, city, or state government then they must send notice of an intent to sue within six months of an incident.
Shared Fault in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania requires plaintiffs and defendants to share the fault of an accident when possible. This means that a person might not be able to collect all damages rewarded after a claim if they were partially at fault for an accident. The state requires a person to pay a percentage of their settlement to the other party for their part in causing an accident. Specifically, Pennsylvania follows what is known as a modified comparative negligence rule.
Under modified comparative negligence, parties are entitled to the amount of compensation equal to the percentage of fault they have for an accident. If a party is more than 50 percent responsible for an accident, they cannot collect any damages from other parties. For example, if a person is injured in a car accident, but a court found them to be 45 percent at fault for a car accident, they will receive 55 percent of the settlement for the accident. So, a settlement of $100,000 would be reduced to 55,000 because of shared fault rules.
Does Pennsylvania Cap Personal Injury Damages?
The state of Pennsylvania protects those suffering from others in its constitution. According to the state’s constitution, cases involving injury or death do not have limitations on damages a person can recover. However, the state does limit the amount of punitive damages, or the amount a court orders a defendant to pay as a punishment rather than for damages. The state limits punitive damages to twice the amount of damages the defendant is already paying.
If you have concerns about your case, call our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys today at (888) 498-3023. An initial consultation with a member of our team is free of charge!