What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Car Accident in Pennsylvania?
by Eric Chaffin | Last Updated: April 18, 2021
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident in Pennsylvania is two years. After that time, in most cases, a claim cannot go forward.
In fact, an attempt to bring a case after this will almost always mean the courts will dismiss it. This applies to anyone hurt in a car accident and pursuing a claim, even if that individual was a pedestrian or a cyclist.
Even though the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years, it is critical to obtain legal counsel as soon as possible. A Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer from our firm will protect your rights and start an investigation into the accident as quickly as possible.
Shorter statute of limitations
If the accident involved any type of government vehicle, ranging from a public school bus, a municipal garbage truck, or any vehicle owned and operated by a local, county, state, or federal agency, the statute of limitations is much shorter.
Claims against most government agencies require filing within six months. If the victim was so severely injured that they were incapable of filing a claim for 90 days, there is a six-month extension.
That still leaves just nine months, at the most, in which to file a claim against the agency or find it barred forever.
Statute of limitations exceptions
There are exceptions to the two-year state statute of limitations. If a minor was injured in a car accident, they have until their 20th birthday to file.
The idea behind this extension is that they are not legal adults until 18, so they have two years from that date. However, this does not apply if the car accident involved a government vehicle.
Wrongful death lawsuit
If the car accident results in a fatality, the family of the deceased may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. The statute of limitations is two years from the date of their death.
If the death resulted from a collision with a government vehicle, the statute of limitations is limited to six months.
Do Not Wait
After a car accident, it is natural to need time to recuperate. However, the statute of limitations exists because claims should go forward while the evidence is still fresh, including the memories of eyewitnesses.
It is likely a car accident caused you to miss work, accumulate medical bills, and experience pain and suffering. You likely also have property damage to your car.
Failure to seek legal counsel and file a lawsuit within this deadline means you cannot receive damages or compensation.
Contact us today for a free consultation
If you or someone you know was seriously injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another motorist, contact a Pittsburgh Car Accident Attorney at our firm. Fill out our online contact form or call or text us 24/7 to schedule a free consultation.
We will review your case and let you know whether you have a valid personal injury claim. If so, we will begin a thorough investigation– time is of the essence when it comes to receiving legal advice.
Our attorneys can help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. Since we work on a contingency basis, there is never a fee unless we win.