When Should You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Each state sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit over personal injuries. That deadline is referred to as a “statute of limitations,” and in most cases, it is strictly followed.
In Pennsylvania, an individual must file within two years to recover damages from a negligent party. Lawsuits that are filed after this deadline are subject to being dismissed.
If you have suffered property losses and injuries in any kind of accident in Pennsylvania, call us today to speak with a Pittsburgh personal injury attorney. We can offer a complete analysis and explanation of when you should file.
Why are there deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits?
All states have statutes of limitations to verify that lawsuits will be decided based on evidence that has not gotten stale or lost. Even if physical evidence of an accident is properly retained, witnesses may become unavailable, or their memories will not be as reliable.
When a lawsuit is promptly filed, the outcome is more likely to be fair to everyone.
Are there any exceptions to the statute of limitations deadlines?
Pennsylvania has three primary exceptions to the two-year deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit:
- If a minor child is injured in an accident, the two-year deadline for that child will not begin to run until their eighteenth birthday.
- If the person who caused the accident is outside of Pennsylvania state lines for more than four months, or that person is hiding to avoid a personal injury lawsuit, the two-year deadline will be extended (which is referred to as a “tolling” of the statute of limitations) by the amount of time during which that person is not available.
- If a person’s injuries are the result of a medical malpractice accident, the two-year period begins when the injured person discovers or is reasonably able to discover an injury.
Are there benefits to contacting a lawyer and filing a lawsuit soon after an accident?
If you retain a lawyer and file your lawsuit as soon as is possible, the evidence and witness memories will be fresh. Your lawyer will have more time to prepare the case and to open negotiations with a negligent party and that their insurers. In addition, you will have a better opportunity to quickly recover compensation for your losses and injuries.
Further, a negligent party and their insurance will likely retain an attorney. They might contact you to settle the case for a lower amount than you are entitled to recover. Retaining your own attorney gives you the best chance to recover the largest damages award that may be available.
Contact us today for a free consultation
Our attorneys have recovered more than $1 billion in damages for their clients. Please see our website or call us for a complimentary assessment and consultation about your case and for verification of when you should file your personal injury lawsuit.
If you retain us, we will commence your case well before the statute of limitations expires and will fight to recover the full amount of damages that you deserve.