What is the Time Limit to Sue for Personal Injury?

Car accident injuries. Dog bites. Slip and fall accident injuries. The harmful impact of defective drugs or dangerous products and malpractice by healthcare professionals and facilities. All of these injuries and incidents can be life-altering and tragic, leaving you or a loved one disabled, disfigured, or worse. Though you may feel overwhelmed and unable to think about the future, it’s important to know that there are limits to how long you can wait before seeking compensation for the harms that you’ve suffered.

Few people are aware that there are time limits on filing lawsuits for personal injuries. Known as statutes of limitations, these deadlines are established by state law, and if you allow them to pass before taking legal action, you will find yourself without legal recourse.

Every state has its own statutes of limitations, and some have different periods of time for different types of personal injuries. In the state of Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is generally two years from the date that you were injured. This does not mean that your litigation needs to be completed by that date: rather it means that a legal filing must be submitted to the court by that date. That means that if you are considering taking legal action, you’ll need to establish a relationship with an attorney well ahead of this deadline so that they have time to properly investigate and craft your claim.

Despite the strict deadline imposed by Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations, there are certain exceptions to the rule. Most notably, there are some instances where the statute of limitations time clock does not start ticking down until the time that the person who’s been harmed discovers their injury. There are also exceptions made for those who suffer injuries when they are minors.

Although setting a time limit on how long a victim has to file a lawsuit may seem unfair, there are important reasons why statutes of limitations are established. First, the courts have an interest in having lawsuits filed in a timely manner, when memories are fresh and evidence is more easily available. The other important reason is that it protects defendants from having to constantly be on guard for unexpected claims to be filed against them.

If you’ve been injured as a result of another person or entity’s negligence or recklessness, then it’s important to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the event occurs. For help, contact our law firm today.