Understanding the Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases

Calendar pages flipping to show the concept of an injury case deadline A statute of limitations is the time a party has to initiate legal proceedings in a civil or criminal case. The statute of limitations differs depending on the type of case. These limitations exist because they protect any possible defendants from an unfair trial. For example, if a significant amount of time has passed, evidence can be lost or obscured, and witnesses may no longer be able to accurately recount details.

If you have a personal injury case, here’s what you need to know about the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Pennsylvania.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Pennsylvania?

There is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Pennsylvania. This means that you have two years from the date of your accident to bring a lawsuit against a would-be defendant, after which your case will be dismissed. However, there are some exceptions to this.

What Are the Exceptions to the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania?

Cases Against Government Entities

If you would like to file a personal injury claim against a government body, whether at the state or local levels, you must send a formal written notice to the governmental body within six (6) months of the accident. You must include specific information and follow a specific process to meet these written notice requirements. When you work with the lawyers at Lenahan & Dempsey P.C., we will help you navigate this process and help you meet this deadline.

Recently Discovered Injuries

Under certain circumstances, the Pennsylvania “Discovery Rule” will allow people two years from the time they discover an injury to take legal action when an injury or its cause is not “reasonably knowable” despite the exercise of “reasonable diligence.” For example, if you had abdominal surgery and a sponge was left inside you, and afterwards you had pain but did not learn that the sponge was the cause of the pain until a CT scan was done years later, the statute of limitations would likely not begin to run until the date you learned about it.

Cases Involving Minors

For personal injury cases involving minors, the statute of limitations does not begin until the day the child turns 18. However, the child’s guardians may seek compensation on the child’s behalf before this time.

Schedule a Free Consultation

If you have a personal injury case, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. We can help you navigate the process and ensure you meet your deadline.

Contact our office today at (888) 536-2426 or submit a contact form. We proudly serve Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Honesdale, Berwick, Bloomsburg, Danville, Tunkhannock, the Pocono Mountains Region and all of Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.

At Lenahan & Dempsey, we have won hundreds of millions for our clients.*  There is never a fee until we are successful.

*As the facts of each case are different, we are required  to point out that no specific results are implied. Awards in previous cases are no guarantee of future results and should not create any expectations that our firm, or any firm, can achieve similar results in another case. Call us to discuss the details of your case.  


Call 888.536.2426 for a free consultation.

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