States have different statutes of limitation for when an action may be brought before being time-barred. We've created this quick reference guide to help you understand Pennsylvania's statute of limitations for different personal injury cases.
The Different Filing Timelines
A statute of limitations is a legal time limit for an individual to file a personal injury lawsuit. It varies depending on the type of case.
In Pennsylvania, individuals have a two-year window to file a personal injury lawsuit from the date of the incident that caused the injury. This means that if two years have passed since the injury occurred, the injured party may lose their right to seek legal recourse and pursue compensation through the court system.
Personal injury claims include:
The Discovery Rule Exception
The discovery rule is an exception to the general statute of limitations for personal injury cases. The discovery rule recognizes that, in some instances, the injured party may not immediately be aware of the injury or its cause.
Under the discovery rule, the two-year statute of limitations may begin when the injured person discovered, or reasonably should have, the injury and its connection to the defendant's negligent actions.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is generally two years from the date of the person's death.
Cases Involving Minors
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases involving unemancipated minors is generally tolled or paused until the minor reaches the age of 18. An unemancipated minor refers to a child who is under the age of 18 and is not financially independent or self-supporting. Once the minor turns 18, the general statute of limitations begins to run, giving them two years from their 18th birthday to file a personal injury lawsuit.
In cases involving emancipated minors, individuals under the age of 18 who have obtained legal independence and the ability to make decisions on their own, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases may differ. Since emancipated minors are considered legally capable of acting on their own behalf, the standard statute of limitations for adults may apply. However, there can be specific circumstances or exceptions that may impact the timeline.
The statute of limitations for filing workers' compensation claims is generally three years from the date of the injury or disability. Additionally, it is crucial to notify the employer of the incident within 120 days of the injury. The notification should describe the injury and explicitly state that it was work-related.
If you believe that you may have a personal injury case in New Castle, contact LGKG at (724) 576-8855 as soon as possible for a free consultation. We can determine the statute of limitations for your specific case and discuss your legal remedies.