Most people will experience a
car accident during their lifetime, whether as a witness or as a victim. In 2015, more
than 4 million people were injured in car accidents, costing more than
$65 billion worldwide. Almost 300,000 of those were in the United States,
totaling nearly $30 billion. Depending on the severity of your accident,
the last thing on your mind might be suing your insurance company, or
that of the other driver if another car was involved. However, you only
have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit, called a
statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations is set by the state where you live. State law
dictates how long you have to file a
personal injury lawsuit, after which time you have no legal grounds for compensation.
While you do have a time limit placed on your lawsuit, the clock doesn’t
start until you realize you’ve suffered harm and fully understand
how it could affect you. This is called the
discovery of harm
rule. For example, let’s say the car accident caused a slight muscle
tear your doctor was unable to detect or unwilling to investigate. Over
time, the damage worsened until it caused you constant pain. You go back
to another physician, who determines you had a muscle tear that allowed
bacterial growth in the tissue. Because you will need antibiotics, and,
potentially physical therapy to repair the damaged tissue, you can then
begin to pursue legal action to ensure your health care is fully covered.
In a worst-case scenario, that bacterial growth might become so toxic
that it causes necrotic damage in the leg, meaning your doctor must amputate.
If your job is highly physical in nature, you will then be required to
go on permanent disability. In cases like these, it’s imperative
that you have sufficient funds to cover your cost of living if you can
no longer work.
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is
2 years from the date of injury or from the time of discovery of harm. However,
if your claim is against a government body, such as a city, state, or
agency, you must file within
If you’re ready to pursue a personal injury claim, make sure you
have experienced legal representation.
Contact us to speak with a Philadelphia personal injury attorney for a free consultation today!