State laws that set deadlines for bringing civil or criminal claims are known as statute limitations. In Pennsylvania, the limitation period for civil cases involving personal injuries is two years from the time of the incident. State-by-state statutes of limitations differ, nevertheless. Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer to get help for your personal injury claims.
Why do states need the statutes?
A limitation period is typically established to protect the defendant’s rights and promote fairness. The general concept is that it is unreasonable for someone to be able to sue forever and that they should exercise or enforce their legal rights with reasonable care. Additionally, it is sometimes difficult for both parties to make a claim brought up several decades after the incident or occurrence since evidence might be destroyed and recollections can fade.
Are there any circumstances in Pennsylvania where the two-year statute of limitations is not applicable?
Suing a government body requires a six-month notice period. According to Pennsylvania law, the wounded plaintiff may first need to issue a declaration of intent to prosecute six months after the accident if the accused is a region, town, county, or organization of a nation, city, or county.
This unique 6-month notice requirement can, despite not technically being excluded from the statute of limitations, be used as justification in some situations to dismiss a personal injury claim. This formal written notice to sue explaining the specifics of the incident and medical facts is typically necessary for cases involving a government body. You can be sure you appropriately file this notice within six months of the incident by consulting a personal injury lawyer who oversees cases against public bodies.
Can a lawsuit be initiated after the two-year deadline?
Kids or juveniles under the age of 18 are an exception:
An underage individual is referred to as a minor. The limitation period doesn’t start until the victim becomes 18 if they were a juvenile at the time of the incident or injury. After turning 18, the wounded youngster or child has two years to initiate a lawsuit. For instance, a 16-year-old injured after being hit by a car while riding a bicycle would have more time than two years to file a claim. Depending on his birthday, the child might almost have four years from the accident or two years from the day he turned 18.
The “discovery rule” is a deviation from the norm:
The “discovery rule” is a deviation from the norm that a plaintiff must bring a case within two years of the occurrence or harm. This is an uncommon exemption, but it happens when the plaintiff can demonstrate that they were unaware of the damage or could not have uncovered it within the two-year statute of limitations. The statute of limitations does not start to run until it is conceivable that the injury has been sustained. The “discovery rule” is most frequently used in the context of a medical negligence action where a surgical tool is left within a patient.
Years after the procedure, the client or complainant might be unaware of any “injuries” or symptoms. In this instance, one can claim that the limitation period must not begin to lapse until the patient “found” the injury, rather than from the time of the procedure (which produced the harm).