Truck Crashes in PA - Is There A Time Limit To File A Lawsuit?

If you or someone you know is a fallen victim to a truck related crash, the time limit to file a lawsuit in Pennsylvania is 2 years from the date of the crash. Specifically, 42 Pennsylvania Code section 5524 says that “an action to recover damages for injuries to the person or for the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another” must be brought within two years

Pennsylvania’s Car Crash Statute of Limitations

A “statute of limitations” is a law that sets a time limit on your right to bring a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline set by this law and you try to file your case after the deadline has already passed, the Pennsylvania court system can dismiss your case, bypassing any rare exceptions that apply to extend the deadline. 

While some exceptions do exist to the statute of limitations, including injuries that fail to show themselves until long after the crash, if you wait until after the statute of limitations has passed to file your claim, you may find it exceedingly difficult to get any compensation for your injuries, much less the full compensation you deserve.

Two years may seem like a long time, but it is surprising how fast 24 months can pass when you are going through medical treatments and recuperating from your injuries. It is also best to leave yourself with plenty of time to file a lawsuit because of the unexpected delays that may arise.

What About Insurance Companies?

Negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company does not pause the clock on the statute of limitations. You must actually file a lawsuit with the court before the time limit expires. The claim adjuster knows the deadline for your case.

Some claim adjusters drag out the negotiation and claim process in hopes  you will not know about the statute of limitations. The adjuster might ask you to get more documents, like medical bills, as an excuse for the delay in settlement. 

You might think that the insurance company is negotiating with you in good faith, but things will change drastically as soon as the deadline passes.

When to Contact a Lawyer

Although you have 2 years under Pennsylvania law to file your claim, that does not necessarily mean you should wait until the very end of that 2 year period before you hire a truck crash attorney and begin the claim process. Ideally, you want to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the crash. The longer you wait, the more trouble you may have collecting compensation for your injuries.

We strive to maximize recovery for our clients and to help them get their lives back on track. Our attorneys thoroughly investigate truck-related crashes and present each case thoughtfully and effectively. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a crash, we encourage you to contact our team of attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. today.


Sources:

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/pennsylvania-car-accident-laws.html

https://statelaws.findlaw.com/pennsylvania-law/pennsylvania-accident-and-injury-laws.html