Time Limit to File Suit for Personal Injuries Arising out of a Motor Vehicle Accident in Pennsylvania - Statute of Limitations

Time Limit to File Suit for Personal Injuries Arising out of a Motor Vehicle Accident in Pennsylvania - Statute of Limitations for Negligence

Posted By Law Offices of Thomas J. Murphy || 6-May-2013

If you or someone you know is injured in a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania, while a vehicle occupant or a pedestrian or on a bicycle, due to the negligence of another, you may have the right to seek compensation for your bodily injuries, excess lost wages and excess medical bills. In Pennsylvania, with regard to your bodily injuries, you must first determine your tort status, i.e. whether you have Full Tort or Limited Tort. Full Tort status allows you to seek compensation for your bodily injuries. Limited Tort status prevents you from seeking compensation for your bodily injuries. (Click here for more information)

However, even if you selected or are bound by the Limited Tort option, you may meet one of the exceptions to Limited Tort, which would then grant you Full Tort Status. (Click here for more information) Please also note that the Limited Tort restriction only applies to a claim for bodily injuries. It does not apply to a claim for excess lost wages, excess medical bills or property damage. (Click here for more information)

If you are an adult and possess Full Tort rights or meet one of the exceptions to Limited Tort, enabling you to seek compensation for your bodily injuries arising out of a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania, then you have two years from the date of the accident to file suit against all potentially negligent individuals and business entities that caused the accident and your injuries. Thereafter your claim for bodily injuries expires. The same is true with regard to your claims for excess lost wages, excess medical bills and property damage arising out of a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania. You have two years from the date of the accident to file suit against all potentially negligent individuals and business entities that caused the accident and for you to incur excess lost wages, excess medical bills and property damage. Thereafter your claims for excess lost wages, excess medical bills and property damage expire.

Pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 5524 (2), the Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania for an injured adult individual to file suit for a Negligence claim is two years from the date of the negligent act. Thus, if you are an adult on the date of the motor vehicle accident, you must file suit against all potentially negligent parties within 2 years of the date of the accident, thereafter your bodily injury claim expires. With regard to Negligence claims, a person is considered an adult on their 18th birthday. All persons under the age of 18 at the time of the motor vehicle accident are considered minors. Notably, the law in Pennsylvania is that the two year Statute of Limitations for an injured minor's negligence action does not begin to run until that minor obtains adulthood, i.e. 18 years of age. Thus, if a person under the age of 18 is injured in a motor vehicle accident, the two year Statute of Limitations for their negligence claim starts to run on their 18th birthday, and the deadline to file suit against all potentially negligent parties is their 20th birthday. However, for purposes of preserving evidence and witnesses, it is not recommended that a minor wait any longer than necessary to file suit after settlement negotiations fail.

A Philadelphia personal injury attorney will review your case to determine whether you have a viable claim for compensation for your personal injuries, excess lost wages and excess medical bills against a negligent driver's automobile insurance liability policy after analyzing your case with respect to Pennsylvania's Full Tort/ Limited Tort law and will file suit promptly if we are not able to settle your claim with the insurance carrier.