FAQ: How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Pennsylvania?

Ensuring that you are within time limits for your personal injury claims is always an essential aspect of making any injury claim.  The necessity for making your claim in the right time is important so you can receive compensation for medical expenses, for lost wages, future earnings and other expenses relating to any car, truck, motorcycle accident, premises liability, assault, nursing home and treatment center abuse or other personal injury situation.

To avoid a claim being invalidated or struck out for being out of time, the time limit observation is important and the federal law imposes a statute of limitations upon cases to be filed while individual states prescribe different periods in the case of personal injury lawsuits, as explained below.

Generally, the time limit for any personal injury claim is three years, which means it is the time to issue court proceedings rather than actually concluding any claim.  There are exceptions when a case may be heard after you have filed a case, but certainly the preference is always best to file within the necessary time limit.

Each states has a relevant statute of limitation for filing different lawsuits, which specifies the appropriate deadlines for different situations.

There is no universal standard for statute of limitations across all the states in respect of personal injury claims.

In California there is three year limitation, in Colorado and Texas there is a two year limitation and Florida has four years.  The shortest time frame is Kentucky, Tennessee and Louisiana, all of whom have a time limit fo one year, while the longest period for filing is Maine, which has a six year limitation period.

Pennsylvania Statute of Limitations 

As in every state, Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations that sets a deadline on how much time you have to file a lawsuit in court after being involved in an injury accident.

In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases gives you two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. Most civil claims have a two-year statute of limitations, such as personal injury, fraud, defamation, and professional malpractice. The general limitations period for “major offenses” is five years.

Generally speaking, in Pennsylvania, there is a two-year statute of limitations that applies to any civil action in which an individual seeks to recover damages for personal injuries, or for the death of an individual, caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another person. This does not necessarily mean that your claim must have concluded within two years, but you must have issued court proceedings. 

If you fail to issue the court proceeding before the two years, the court will most likely refuse to hear your case. If you want to file a personal injury claim against a city, county, or Pennsylvania State government, you only have one year to file a formal claim by written notice.

Why Is There a Time Limit on Personal Injury Claims?

The purpose of a statute of limitations is to protect the defendants and to help achieve a resolution to the personal injury lawsuit without endless time delays.

A plaintiff with a genuine case will generally pursue the case promptly and diligently, rather than ‘gaming’ the system in some way.  Also, delays can see defendants in any personal injury lawsuit losing evidence that might otherwise be useful to disprove a claim that has suffered evidentially due to the delays.

A statute of limitations deadline applies only to the actual filing of a lawsuit.  It will not apply to insurance claims, which may precede the filing of any lawsuit.  Even if there is settlement, the use of a lawsuit will often be an important lever to pull in terms of achieving a good settlement for any claim, so the time limits are one of the key ingredients to settlement of your claim and proper legal advice should be taken to ensure you comply with the appropriate deadlines and settlement strategies.

Personal Injury Attorney in Pennsylvania?

Whether you have slipped and fallen in a local store or you have suffered severe injuries in a car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney will help you understand how the personal injury claim process works and how to best achieve a satisfactory outcome, either via the courts or with your insurance company.

The different time limits and considerations for filing a lawsuit require appropriate skill and knowledge and – as always – the use of someone who can help minimize the costs and expenses of delay through medical and other expenses is important.  An experienced personal injury lawyer will also mean any insurance negotiation for settlement will be taken seriously.

Get legal help as soon as possible if facing a personal injury accident! You can go to https://www.giribaldiandmanaras.com/personal-injury to learn more on the personal injury law and related areas in Pennsylvania, or contact any experienced personal injury lawyer in the appropriate state jurisdiction to ensure your claim is handled properly.

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