Every type of civil lawsuit has a statute of limitations imposed by the state. The statute of limitations prevents potentially negligent parties from having the threat of a lawsuit pending with no end in sight. How soon you must take legal action in Pittsburgh, PA, depends on the civil lawsuit you will be filing. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand the type of case you have and its respective filing deadline.
The lawyer who represents you can also make sure you understand the range of recoverable damages you are entitled to receive. He will help identify the negligent party and handle the insurance company, claim forms, and requests for information. He can negotiate on your behalf and ensure your case is accurately valued before a demand letter is sent or settlement talks begin.
Pennsylvania’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
An injury caused by another person’s negligent action or by their failure to take action could entitle you to compensation. That can include car, bicycle, or motorcycle accidents, accidental falls, and dog bites.
The Pennsylvania personal injury statute of limitations is generally two years, according to Pa. C.S.A. § 5524. The date of the accident can be established with a police or incident report and hospital records.
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Pennsylvania’s Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Your loved one’s death is deemed wrongful when it results from negligence. The state’s definition encompasses intentional violence, including physical assaults. It also includes medical errors or mishaps, car accidents, and slip and fall accidents. A wrongful death action can also spring from any negligence-based injury that would have entitled your loved one to personal injury compensation had they survived.
Pa. C.S.A. § 5524 generally allows you to file your lawsuit for up to two years from the date of your loved one’s demise, not the date of their accident. The date can be established with hospital records and your loved one’s death certificate.
Pennsylvania’s Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
A medical malpractice lawsuit can be born from a misdiagnosis, missed diagnosis, and surgical or medication error. It is deemed malpractice when it veers from the acceptable standard of care a health care peer would have provided.
Pa. C.S.A. § 5524 generally allows you to file your medical malpractice lawsuit within two years from the date the injury occurred. It can be difficult to ascertain the exact date a medical injury occurred. A personal injury lawyer can help you prove the right date and file your lawsuit on time.
Damages You Can Pursue If You File Your Case on Time
The damages you can request from the negligent party will vary according to the outcome of the accident. If you or a loved one are filing a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit, you can request the following recoverable damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
In a wrongful death case, you can pursue damages to cover:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of familial contributions
- Loss of consortium and companionship
You do not have to assess the value of your case on your own. Neither do you have to risk leaving out expenses that the at-fault party should cover. A personal injury lawyer can help assess your damages, ensure the assigned value is accurate, and ensure your case meets its statutory filing deadline.
If you are seeking damages by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you can request many of the same damages of a personal injury case. In some cases, if the negligent party’s actions are deemed egregious or intentional, you will be eligible for punitive damages. A personal injury lawyer will inform you if your case qualifies for this added compensation.
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The Danger of Not Filing Your Potential Lawsuit on Time
The state takes its statutes of limitations seriously. If you miss the filing deadline that corresponds to your type of personal injury case, you will not be allowed to file your lawsuit at all.
The representative for the at-fault party will pay careful attention to the statute of limitations as well. If your lawsuit is filed too late, they will point it out to you and the court system. They are likely to request an immediate dismissal of your case. This request will probably be granted, and you will be left with no further recourse for compensation.
Review Your Personal Injury Case at No Cost to You
If you or your loved one was injured due to someone else’s negligence, our personal injury team can determine how soon you must take legal action in Pittsburgh, PA. We can also help you comply with the filing deadline, gather evidence, and prove your right to compensation. Find out how hard we work for you by calling one of our Berger and Green case review team members at (412) 661-1400 today.