If you suffered injuries due to someone’s negligence, you’re probably looking to make a claim for personal injury compensation. Before making a claim with the help of a personal injury lawyer, there are several things you need to know. There’s a time limit on when you must file your personal injury claim. Failure to file within this period means you’re not allowed to file a claim anymore.
However, not everyone knows how long they have to file a personal injury case. In this article, our personal injury lawyers will walk you through the strict limitation period on personal injury cases and how it affects your case.
What Is a Statute of Limitation?
The period a person has to bring a lawsuit is known as the “statute of limitations.” For personal injury claims, the statute of limitations applies a time limit to how long injured victims can file a personal injury claim to recover damages.
Simply put, the “statute of limitations” refers to the time you have to file a claim. However, it doesn’t refer to how long before your case should be resolved. Therefore, as long as you file the court documents before the time runs out, you can prepare your case to claim compensation. If a lawsuit is necessary, your personal injury lawyer can begin to prepare the evidence required to prove your case and obtain compensation for your injuries.
The purpose behind the statutes of limitation is to ensure that the legal system is fair. When you let too much time pass before filing a personal injury lawsuit, there could be a lack of evidence for defendants to disprove the claim. The burden of proof is usually lower in civil cases. Therefore, it’s important to make the process as fair as possible.
Additionally, an accident victim with a legitimate claim is expected to want to file a personal injury case immediately if they suffered significant damages. Therefore, waiting a long time would only mean that the claim wasn’t a valid cause of action for the victim.
Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Claim
Like most accident victims, you’re probably hoping your personal injury claim will bring the financial stability you need to get through the tough times. Therefore, you need to file your injury claim within the time limit to give your personal injury attorney ample time to help you recover damages.
In Pennsylvania, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. The two-year statute of limitations includes wrongful death cases, car accidents, slip and fall cases, and many more. For wrongful death claims, the surviving family members have two years from their loved one’s death to file a claim.
For personal injury lawsuits, the two-year clock begins to tick from when the accident occurred. In some cases, the statute of limitation starts from the date the injured victim discovers someone else’s negligence caused their injury. This is known as the discovery rule.
Although you can file a claim without the help of a personal injury lawyer, an experienced personal injury attorney will ensure that you have a solid case that’ll help you recover maximum compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Exceptions to the Personal Injury Statutes of Limitation
There are many exceptions to the two-year rule for filing an injury claim. Experienced personal injury lawyers can help you determine if your case falls within the exception or ensure your case is timely filed. In some cases, the victim doesn’t discover the injuries until after the statute of limitations expires. In such a case, your claim might be eligible for an exception from the statute of limitations. Exceptions to the statute of limitation usually include the following:
- Cases where the person who sustained a serious injury is considered mentally impaired due to the injury. In such a case, an experienced attorney can help file a claim once the accident victim recovers.
- Cases where the person sustained such serious injuries that it prevents them from making a claim. In such a case, you can still file a claim two years from the date when you can do so with the help of the best personal injury lawyers.
- Cases where you were misdiagnosed for an illness. The 2-year limit begins as soon as you receive the correct diagnosis.
- Cases where a minor suffered injuries. Then, the personal injury law gives them up to two years after their 18th birthday to file an injury claim. The same goes for medical malpractice cases involving a child. The child has until their 18th birthday to file a medical malpractice claim.
Personal injury attorneys usually review the entire facts of a case to determine when the statute of limitations begins to run. This is important, as only a personal injury law firm can inform you of circumstances where the deadline might not be tolled in your case.
How the Statute of Limitation for Personal Injury Cases Affects Insurance Claims
Recovering financial compensation to cover medical bills and other damages means filing a claim with the negligent party’s insurance carrier. However, insurance companies are well aware that the longer injury victims take to reach out to a law firm that practices personal injury law, the weaker their case will be. Therefore, most insurers delay claims to put themselves in a better bargaining position.
The statute of limitations is usually a tool most insurance companies use against plaintiffs. Therefore, victims need to understand their rights and impending deadlines. By reaching out to the best personal injury lawyer out there, you’ll be able to take advantage of the best possible situation. The earlier you act after your accident, the better off you’ll be.
Contact a PA Personal injury Lawyer Today While There’s Time
After an accident, memories fade, evidence gets lost, and people begin to move on with their lives. That’s why the statute of limitations exists. It helps to create fairness while preventing legal actions from dragging on indefinitely. If you believe you have a valid personal injury claim, it’s best to file with enough time to spare.
With the right personal injury lawyer from the law office of Michael Alan Siddons representing you, you can pursue maximum compensation for your personal injuries today. We know personal injury laws and will ensure your injury claim is filed on time. Contact us today at (610) 255-7500 to get started.