Immediately after an accident, you should always get yourself a comprehensive medical evaluation from an experienced professional. Even if you are confident that nothing is wrong, it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. The severity of some injuries is not immediately apparent. Further, immediately visiting a doctor will also be helpful for any future legal claim you might make in relation to the injury. That being said, if you waited to visit a doctor, or waited to start your personal injury claim, you are not necessarily out of luck. But, you need to speak to an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney. There is no more time to wait in your case.
The Pennsylvania Statute of Limitations.
Personal injury claims are typically governed by state law. These means that each state gets to set their own rules. Determining when a victim is eligible to bring a legal claim is one of the most basic and important rules of personal injury law. This is known as the statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania personal injury cases, the time limit to bring a legal case is two years. Your case does not have to be resolved within two years, but it must at least be initiated within the courts by that time. If you ignore this deadline, you risk losing access to your legal rights.
The Exception: The Discovery Rule
If it has already been two years since your accident occurred, you may still have legal options. Pennsylvania has an exception to the two year time limit known as the discovery rule. The two year time limit clock typically begins running from the date of the accident. But, Pennsylvania law recognizes that not all injuries are immediately apparent. The discovery rule allows an injured victim to change the date at which the two year clock began running in some cases. The clock only starts running from the date when you knew, or you should have known, about your injury. If it would not have been reasonable for you to have discovered your injury at the time of the accident, then the statute of limitations can be delayed. But, invoking the discovery rule, to move your delayed claim forward, is certain to be fiercely contested by the opposing party.
Contact An Experienced Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer
You do not want to mess around with the Pennsylvania statute of limitations. Do not let your legitimate injury claim be lost on a legal technicality. Your claim deserves a fair review on the merits of the case. You need to act within the time limits to make this happen. The best thing you can do is to get your case in the hands of an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer as soon after the accident as possible. Your lawyer will be able to determine which steps you should take next and will be able to make sure that you do not lose out on any legal rights.