What is the Statute of Limitations on Lawsuits for Brain Injuries in Pennsylvania?
Brain injuries can cause a victim to suffer long-term and even permanent issues. If you were the victim of a brain injury, you likely want to hold the negligent party responsible for your injury accountable for their actions. You should not have to deal with expensive medical bills and various other issues as a result of an unexpected accident. If you or a family member suffered a brain injury due to the negligence of another, contact an experienced Philadelphia brain injury lawyer today. At the Reiff Law Firm, we know how a severe brain injury can affect your life, and we are here for you. Our firm is here to explain the statute of limitations for brain injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania.
How the Statute of Limitation Can Affect Your Case
The statute of limitations is a law that determines the amount of time that a plaintiff has to file a civil lawsuit against a defendant. The statute of limitations even plays a role in when criminal cases must be filed. A plaintiff that misses their filing deadline may have to contend with a number of issues.
If you suffered a brain injury in an accident, you should know what type of case you want to file as this may affect your filing date. For example, if you want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit because your doctor caused you to suffer a brain injury, the statute of limitations may differ from another type of case.
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice or personal injury claim is two years from the date of the injury. If a plaintiff does not succeed in filing their case within the filing deadline, the court may bar their claim. This means the plaintiff will not have an avenue to pursue compensation for their injury.
However, it is important to note that there may be a way for a plaintiff to delay the filing date for their case. One possibility that could allow a plaintiff to delay their filing deadline is if the plaintiff was under the age of majority when they were injured. The statute of limitations would not begin to run until the plaintiff reached the age of 18. Additionally, the plaintiff would still have two years from the date they reached the age of 18 to file their case. However, a parent or legal guardian may be able to file a claim on the minor’s behalf.
Another scenario that could result in a plaintiff having their personal injury lawsuit delayed is being disabled to the point where they cannot pursue their claim. When this happens, the disabled person’s claim will be delayed until or if they recover from their disability.
However, you should not assume that you can delay your case under these circumstances. An experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer can help you with any issues regarding your brain injury case.
Why the Statute of Limitations is Necessary
If you suffered a serious brain injury, it may seem unfair or odd that you have to pursue an injury lawsuit within a certain amount of time or risk losing compensation for your injury. However, there are multiple reasons why the statute of limitations is necessary for civil cases.
One of the first reasons the statute of limitations is needed is to ensure that a plaintiff is serious about pursuing a legal cause of action. By placing a time limit on a certain type of case, the plaintiff will presumably take all the steps needed to file their claim with the court. By allowing a plaintiff to have several years or an infinite amount of time to file, they could make mistakes that will hurt their case. For example, failing to preserve evidence needed for the case could make it difficult to litigate the case later.
Another reason for the statute of limitations is fairness to the defendant. It is unreasonable to expect a plaintiff to be ready to defend against a lawsuit at any time. The defendant could move to a new state or country or may not even remember they could be held liable in a personal injury case.
The statute of limitations provides benefits for both the plaintiff and the defendant.
Work with Our Trusted Philadelphia Brain Injury Attorneys Today
If you sustained a brain injury due to a serious accident, you should contact an experienced brain injury attorney today. The injury attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm possess decades of combined legal experience that we will utilize to help you build your personal injury claim. You do not have to fight your injury case alone. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options, contact the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 392-6142, or contact us online.