The Statute of Limitations and Your Personal Injury Claim
If you’ve been injured in an accident and believe you may be able to pursue damages in a personal injury suit, it is important to be aware of the statute of limitations, which is the limit on the amount of time in which you may pursue a claim. The statute of limitations generally begins on the day the claim arises: the day a car crash occurred, for instance, or the day you suffered a slip-and-fall accident.
A personal injury claim in Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations of two years, which is a typical time limit for many civil claims in the state, including medical malpractice, premises liability and wrongful death. Criminal statutes of limitations are often longer — sometimes as long as five years. Murder and voluntary manslaughter have no time limit at all.
In many cases, if you’ve been injured in an accident, you will likely know right away, and can begin receiving the care you need and pursuing legal action if warranted. But other times, the injury may not reveal itself immediately, and only after some time has passed can you be certain that you are indeed seriously injured and that your accident was the source of the injury.
This can also happen with certain illnesses, such as those resulting from exposure to dangerous materials in the workplace, or exposure to asbestos, second-hand smoke or other harmful substances. In many of these cases, the statute of limitations will almost certainly have passed. But there are some exceptions under the state’s discovery rule that may still allow you to file a personal injury suit if you have only just become aware of your injury and its cause.
If you believe you may have grounds to file a personal injury suit but have concerns about how the statute of limitations may apply to your situation, contact an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer today. You may be able to pursue monetary damages with the guidance and support of an experienced Lancaster County attorney from Georgelis Injury Law Firm, P.C..