How long do I have to file a lawsuit if I am injured?

By Gabriel Levin on September 22nd, 2014

“injury"If you have been injured in an accident, your first priority is likely your health and recovery from any injuries you suffered.  Sometimes recovery from serious injuries can be extensive and sometimes accident victims suffer permanent disabling injuries.  Recovering and adjusting can take a lot of time and energy, making it difficult to think about much else.  Furthermore, you likely do not want to add more stress to your life by worrying about legal matters. For this reason, many people put off contacting a Philadelphia personal injury attorney to discuss a possible case.

Statute of limitations

Delaying calling a lawyer can be a big mistake, however, as Pennsylvania law sets out a statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits.  This means you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim after the accident and injury occurred. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is two years form the date the injury happened.  After that two years is up, your claim will be barred forever and any lawsuit you file will be dismissed.

There is a small exception to the state statute of limitations, which applies to victims who do not immediately realize they are injured or that another person may be at fault for the accident.  In this situation, the two year statute of limitations begins when the victim knew or should have known that another person was responsible in causing them injury.

Preparing to file a lawsuit can be time consuming in itself.  Therefore, your lawyer will need some time to investigate the accident and put together the documents to file.  You want to have plenty of time to prepare, so you should always contact an attorney as soon as possible after your injury to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve.

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