Pennsylvania law allows individuals to file a lawsuit within a specified time period known as the statute of limitations. There is no uniform statute of limitations set for all situations, but each type of case has its own window of opportunity for filing a lawsuit. Ensuring that a lawsuit is filed within the statute of limitations is essential for anyone who is seeking the compensation that they need and deserve to pay for medical expenses, lost wages and other losses related to injury.
Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury cases and medical malpractice cases allow a person to file a lawsuit within two years following the date that the injury occurred. There are exceptions to this rule that allow people to have more time to file a lawsuit. The date on which an individual finds out the they were injured or the date on which they find out that their injury was the result of the negligence of another person could be considered the start of the two years. A legal professional can help a victim understand whether their statute of limitations is extended because of one of these exceptions.
Products liability is also included in this category for the purposes of the Pennsylvania statute of limitations.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Wrongful death lawsuits have a statute of limitations that is based on the date that the death occurred. In the state of Pennsylvania, anyone who is filing a wrongful death suit on behalf of the deceased must do so within two years of the date of death.
Considerations for Statue of Limitations Related To Minors
The statute of limitations for a personal injury case that involves a minor is a bit more lenient to allow the minor to file a lawsuit after they become emancipated. A time period of two years after the individual turns 18 is given to allow for a lawsuit to be filed. However, any minor who is legally emancipated at the time of injury will be bound by a statute of limitations of two years following the date of injury.
Additional time given to individuals who were minors at the time of injury is intended to allow victims to file a lawsuit if their parent or guardian failed to do so on their behalf. Since emancipated minors are able to file a lawsuit for themselves, they are not afforded the additional time.
Wrongful death cases involving minors are still bound to the statute of limitations of two years following the date of death.
Getting Help with Malpractice
Because there is a statute of limitations set in the state of Pennsylvania, it is important to get help from a legal professional immediately following an injury, medical malpractice, products liability situation or wrongful death. Attorneys are able to explain the options that a victim may have related to their case. When time is of the essence in a personal injury case, lawyers can help victims gather the information that they need to file suit and prove their case.
Get started with a lawsuit before the statue of limitations is up by scheduling a free consultation. If financial concerns are keeping a victim from contacting an attorney, victims can use a free consultation to ask about payment methods including contingency. Lawyers who charge based on contingency are not paid unless they win the case, so victims do not need to pay anything if they are not awarded compensation.