If you were the victim of a motorcycle crash in Pennsylvania, you should not waste time in filing your case. The statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing injury lawsuits that you must adhere to – or risk losing the right to pursue compensation. If you or a family member was injured in a crash, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer today. A serious motorcycling accident can change your life, but the legal team at The Reiff Law Firm is here to provide you with dedicated legal representation. In this article, The Reiff Law Firm explain the statute of limitations on motorcycle accident claims in Pennsylvania.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is a law that sets the amount of time the plaintiff has to file a lawsuit against the defendant. Pennsylvania, like every other state, has a statute of limitations for injury claims and various other types of legal claims. Motorcycle accidents fall under the umbrella of personal injury claims, and must be filed within the respective time limit Pennsylvania law has set.
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of the motorcycle accident. This means you cannot file your injury claim after two years, or the court may bar your claim. Additionally, the statute of limitations does not apply to the length of time it takes to adjudicate a case; it only applies to how long an injured party has to file their case.
While the statute of limitations sets a strict deadline, there may be various ways to extend or pause the deadline. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer or personal injury attorney can help you understand the timeline of your claim.
Extending the Statute of Limitations Deadline
There are exceptions to the statute of limitations that can allow you to extend or delay your filing date. The discovery rule is one exception to the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania.
The discovery rule applies to cases where the injured party does not know or could not reasonably be aware of his or her injuries. For example, nerve injuries often take some time to develop, and a person may not show symptoms for weeks or months. While the injuries from a motorcycle accident are likely to be noticeable, you should not rule out the possibility of sustaining an injury you may not know about.
Another method for delaying or “tolling” the statute of limitations is referred to as infancy. If you were under the age of 18 when you suffered a motorcycle injury, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until you reach the age of majority. However, your injury claim can still be filed on your behalf by a parent or legal guardian before you turn 18.
Fraudulent concealment is another reason why the statute of limitations can be paused. If the defendant acts to conceal or alter information that proves their negligence, they are guilty of fraudulent concealment. This means you can extend the deadline on your case because the information that you need to prevail in your case is being hidden from you.
When to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Pennsylvania
You may have two years to file your motorcycle crash claim, but there are several good reasons to file sooner. One reason to file your personal injury case early is to keep witness testimony and evidence fresh. If you take too long to file your case, the memories of your witnesses may fade, and their testimony will be unreliable. Poor witnesses can have a negative impact on your case.
Additionally, your motorcycle accident attorney will be able to gather evidence quickly if you file your case as soon as possible. Evidence can be lost or destroyed if you wait a substantial amount of time to file your case.
Next, if you suffered severe injuries like a spinal injury, you will need money for medical bills and other expenses that may arise. The motorcycle accident may have affected your ability to work, and seeking compensation immediately can help to keep you afloat financially.
Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Handling Injury Lawsuits
If you or a family member was the victim of a motorcycle collision, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. The legal team at The Reiff Law Firm have over 40 years of personal injury experience that we can utilize to represent you. Our firm has extensive experience in dealing with motorcycle accidents and various other vehicle accident cases. To schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys, call us at (215) 246-9000, or contact us online.