How Long Can I Wait to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Injuries in an Accident?

How Long Can I Wait to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Injuries in an Accident?

Injuries and accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. When another party causes you to be injured, you might be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries. However, Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations restricts your time to file a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, it is typically a good idea to talk to an Erie personal injury attorney as soon after an accident as possible to ensure that you take steps to protect your right to be compensated for your injuries, losses, and damages.

Deadlines to a File Personal Injury Lawsuit in Pennsylvania

The deadlines to file lawsuits related to personal injuries can be different for different types of cases. Below are some of the Statutes of Limitations for common types of personal injury claims. Deadlines for filing a personal injury lawsuit apply in most cases. However, it is very important to remember that there are exceptions to the statute of limitations in some cases.

  • Traffic accidents in Pennsylvania are subject to a two-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit. This deadline includes cases involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicycles.
  • Slip and fall accidents and other injuries related to premises liability laws typically have a two-year deadline for filing lawsuits.
  • Wrongful death claims usually must be filed within two years from the date of death.
  • Medical malpractice claims must be filed within two years of the date the malpractice was discovered or should have been discovered. However, there is a seven-year cap on filing medical malpractice cases from the date of the alleged malpractice, regardless of the date of discovery.
  • Victims of dog bites and dog attacks typically have two years to file a lawsuit against the dog owner for damages.
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect cases are also subject to the two-year deadline for filing personal injury lawsuits.
  • Lawsuits related to boating accidents must also be filed within two years from the date of the accident.

As you can see, most personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years from the date of injury in most cases. If you fail to file your personal injury lawsuit before the deadline, you lose your right to pursue legal action against the party who caused your injury.

Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases?

Yes, some exceptions to the statute of limitations could shorten or lengthen your time to file a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if a child is injured, the child typically has two years from the time the child turns 18 years of age to file a personal injury lawsuit for most types of claims. However, parents should not rely on this exception. It is best to speak with an Erie personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss the best way to protect the child’s legal rights.

Another exception to the statute of limitations relates to cases involving government entities. In cases involving government entities, you must provide notice to the government entity within six months of the date of injury or you lose your right to sue the government entity for damages. If a government agency or entity is involved in your claim, you should speak with an attorney immediately to protect your rights.

Contact an Erie Personal Injury Attorney As Soon as Possible

Even though you may have a couple years to file a personal injury lawsuit, it is best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. The steps that you take in the early stages of your case could have a significant impact on your injury claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Erie can help you avoid missteps that could hurt your claim.

Request a free consultation with an Erie personal injury attorney by calling The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066.