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What Is The Statute of Limitations on Car Accidents in Pennsylvania?

If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident in Pennsylvania, understanding the timeframe within which you must take legal action is important to secure the compensation you deserve. One of the most pressing concerns on your mind is likely, “How long is the statute of limitations for car accidents in Pennsylvania?” 

Throughout this blog, we offer guidance for those involved in car accidents in Philadelphia. Our main focus is on the statute of limitations for personal injury cases so you know when to file a car accident lawsuit. Beyond timelines, we cover differences in filing for civil versus government car accidents, emphasize the importance of swift action in preserving evidence, and discuss common auto accident injuries.

Additionally, we address key concerns like partial fault scenarios, settlement timelines, insurance company obligations, available compensation types, and Pennsylvania’s no-fault accident status. We stress the importance of seeking legal counsel promptly by providing insight into why consulting a Philadelphia car accident lawyer, like those at Cousin Benny, is needed for handling car accident claims in Pennsylvania and securing your rightful compensation.

Contact us at Cousin Benny today to file a personal injury claim with a Pennsylvania car accident lawyer.

Difference in Statute of Limitations for Civil vs. Government Entity Accidents

Understanding the distinction between the statute of limitations for civil and government entity car accidents is crucial in Pennsylvania’s legal landscape. For civil personal injury cases, such as car crashes or medical malpractice, the state imposes a two-year statute of limitations that starts from the date of your injury. 

Different deadlines apply when filing claims against government entities in Pennsylvania. For claims involving city, county, or state government agencies, you have just six months from the date of injury to file a notice of intent to sue. Subsequently, you have two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury lawsuit against the government. 

Failure to adhere to these deadlines, including the requirement to send a notice of intent to sue, can result in the dismissal of the car accident claim. 

Why You Should File Your Car Accident Case as Soon As Possible

Filing your car accident case promptly is important for several reasons. Taking swift action allows for the preservation of vital evidence from the scene of the accident, increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome. Additionally, timely filing with a car accident lawyer ensures compliance with PA’s statute of limitations, safeguarding your right to pursue legal action and seek compensation for damages incurred.

What Happens If You Miss The Statute of Limitations Deadline in PA?

Missing the statute of limitations deadline in Pennsylvania can have severe consequences. It typically results in the dismissal of your case, barring you from seeking compensation for personal injuries, including minor and severe injuries like a collapsed lung, sustained in the car accident. 

However, there are instances where exceptions may apply, necessitating legal expertise to assess your options and potentially salvage your car accident claim.

Common Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania law provides for certain exceptions to the statute of limitations in car accident cases. For instance, if the injured party is a minor at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations may be tolled until they are 18 years old. 

Additionally, the statute of limitations may be extended if the defendant leaves the state for more than four months or conceals their identity to evade service of process. You should understand these exceptions to ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the opportunity to pursue legal action and obtain compensation for your injuries.

Steps To Take Immediately After A Car Accident

Understanding the steps to take immediately after a car accident is essential for safeguarding your well-being and legal rights. By following these steps promptly, you can ensure proper documentation of the incident and begin the process of seeking compensation for any injuries or damages incurred.

1. Call The Police & Necessary Emergency Services

Immediately after a car accident, it’s important to contact the police and emergency medical services if needed. Their timely arrival ensures safety and assists in documenting the accident for insurance and legal purposes. Obtaining a police report is crucial as it provides an official record of the accident, which can be invaluable when filing insurance claims and determining fault.

2. Get The Other Driver’s Information

Following a car crash, you should exchange contact and insurance details with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Gathering this information is vital for filing insurance claims and initiating potential legal proceedings. Additionally, obtaining contact information from any witnesses of the accident can provide valuable testimony for your claim.

3. Document All Injuries & Photograph The Scene

Thoroughly document all injuries sustained in the car accident and carefully photograph the crash scene from multiple angles. It’s imperative to photograph any visible damage to vehicles and make detailed observations of road conditions, as these elements can bolster the strength of your case. 

By diligently recording and photographing the accident scene, you improve your chances of a successful outcome in seeking compensation for your injuries and damages.

4. Speak To An Attorney Before Accepting Fault For An Accident

Before admitting fault or discussing the details of the auto accident with insurance companies, it’s advisable to consult with a seasoned car accident attorney, like the team at Cousin Benny. Their guidance can protect your rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages without inadvertently accepting liability for the accident. 

Speaking with a car accident attorney can also provide valuable insights into the complexities of personal injury law and help handle the claims process effectively.

Other Related Car Accident Injury FAQs

If I am partially at fault for the car crash, can I still recover compensation?

Yes, you can still recover compensation even if you are partially at fault for the car crash. Pennsylvania follows a comparative negligence system for an at-fault driver, meaning that your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. As long as you are not more than 50% at fault for the accident, you can still pursue a claim for damages. 

However, it’s essential to have legal representation from auto accident lawyers for cases involving comparative negligence to ensure you receive fair compensation.

What happens if I file a car accident claim after the statute of limitations has expired?

If you file a car accident claim after the statute of limitations has expired in Pennsylvania, the court will likely dismiss it. The statute of limitations sets a strict deadline for filing lawsuits, and missing this deadline forfeits your right to seek legal action for damages.

There may be exceptions or circumstances where the statute of limitations can be tolled or extended, although these instances are rare and require legal intervention.

How long does an insurance company have to settle a claim?

Your insurance company must respond in writing within 15 business days of filing a claim, either accepting or rejecting it. If complications arise, they may request more time and must update you after 30 days and then every 45 days until settled. Once terms are agreed upon, they are required to send payment promptly.

What types of compensation can I expect from a car accident case?

In a car accident case, you may be entitled to various types of compensation, including economic damages, non-economic damages, punitive damages, and wrongful death damages. Economic damages cover financial losses such as medical expenses and lost wages, while non-economic damages compensate for pain, suffering, and emotional distress. 

Punitive damages may be awarded to punish the at-fault party for egregious behavior, and wrongful death damages can compensate the surviving family members of a deceased victim. The specific types and amount of compensation depend on the circumstances of the case and the extent of the damages incurred.

Is Pennsylvania a no-fault accident state?

Yes, Pennsylvania is a no-fault accident state. This means that after a car accident, each party’s own insurance company covers their medical expenses and other financial losses, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. 

However, PA also allows individuals to choose between no-fault insurance and traditional tort-based insurance. Under the tort system, you have the option to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company through a personal injury lawsuit.

Speak to the Philadelphia Car Accident Injury Lawyers at Cousin Benny

In the aftermath of a car accident, the Philadelphia car accident injury lawyers at Cousin Benny are ready to step in and handle your case. With over 25 years of collective experience and a proven track record of recovering millions for clients like you, they advocate for your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve to take of your car accident injuries.

Contact us at Cousin Benny today for a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer to file your claim within the statute of limitations.

Benjamin Hoffman

Benjamin Hoffman is a practicing attorney licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Benjamin handles cases for individuals who have been injured as a result of an accident, slip/trip and fall or medical negligence.

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Benjamin Hoffman
Benjamin Hoffman is a practicing attorney licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Benjamin handles cases for individuals who have been injured as a result of an accident, slip/trip and fall or medical negligence.
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