That statute of limitations in any given case is the deadline restriction for filing a lawsuit on that case. From state to state and from one cause of action to the next, the statutes of limitations will vary. The most important statutes of limitations typically revolve around personal injury claims, medical malpractice claims, and product liability claims. There are also special rules for minors in some states. Here, we will discuss the statutes of limitations as they apply to Pennsylvania cases.
Cause of Action for Wrongful Death
The statute of limitations for a cause of action for wrongful death in Pennsylvania is two years from the date that the death occurred, not from the date of the accident.
Cause of Action for Personal Injury
The statute of limitations for a cause of action for personal injury in Pennsylvania is two years from the date that the injury occurred OR two years from the date that the injury was ‘discovered.’ The ‘discovery rule’ in Pennsylvania means that if the plaintiff is unaware of the injury or the extent of the injury at the time of the accident, and becomes aware of it at (or should have become aware of it by) a particular date, then the statute of limitations will start on the date of discovery.
Special Rules Pennsylvania Minors
Pennsylvania minors who are not emancipated have two years from the date of their 18th birthdays to file a lawsuit for personal injury. A minor is defined as anyone under the age who is not self-supporting. Emancipated minors are those who are entirely self-supporting at the time of injury. In these cases, the emancipated minor has the usual two year statute of limitations from the time of the accident. In the case of a wrongful death of a minor, the surviving family has the usual two year statute of limitations from the date of the minor’s death.
For more information on the statutes of limitations in your claim, contact a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney for a free consultation and guidance with your case.