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Statute of Limitations

When someone is injured in an accident because of the negligence of another, the injured person often needs compensation to cover their losses. The statute of limitations describes the time limit for bringing forth certain types of legal actions.

The statute of limitations requires a party asserting a cause of action to use all reasonable diligence to be properly informed of the facts and circumstances upon which a potential right of recovery is based and to institute suit within the prescribed period.

The statute of limitations begins to run as soon as the right to institute and maintain a suit arises. The statute of limitations is not normally tolled by a lack of knowledge, mistake or misunderstanding.Once the prescribed statutory period has expired, the party is barred from bringing suit unless it is established that an exception to the general rule applies which acts to toll the running of the statute.

In Pennsylvania, the applicable statute of limitations in a wrongful death and survival action is two years, but, with respect to a survival action, the discovery rule does apply. The "discovery rule" is an exception to the general rule. It arises from the inability of the injured person, despite the exercise of due diligence, to know of the injury or its cause.

After two years after the injury or death has passed, a claim can no longer be filed or if filed may be liable to be struck out, except otherwise provided by law.

Attorney for The Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania

The attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices can help you determine how the statute of limitations might apply in your case before it becomes too late to file a claim. Our attorneys understand the importance of these rules and determining how they might apply to your case.

The main goal of filing a civil claim to seek damages is to restore victims back to the place they were before the injury took place. Call us at (610) 719-3190 today for a free evaluation of your case.

Our main office is located in West Chester, PA. We also have offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Springfield, Plymouth Meeting, Radnor, and Kenneth Square.

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Why Does the Statute of Limitations Exist?

The statute of limitations exists to prevent claims from being brought after evidence is lost and memories begin to fade. If a person waits too long to file a claim, the other side has more trouble using evidence that can become altered, changed or even disappear entirely. For example, some companies dispose of records that might be important to disputing the claim.

The best time to bring forth a lawsuit is while evidence is fresh and as close as possible to the time injuries or death occurred. As the injured party, it is your responsibility to make a legal claim within the statute of limitations.

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How the Discovery Rule Impacts the Statute of Limitations 

The “discovery rule” is an exception to the statutory of limitations time period for bringing forth a claim within two years of an injury or death. This rule provides that when the existence of an injury is not known to a complaining party and such knowledge couldn’t be reasonably determined within the prescribed statutory period.

When the discovery rule applies, then the period for the statute of limitations won’t begin to run until the discovery of the injury is reasonably made.

A popular example of someone using the discovery rule can be found in asbestos cases. Exposure to cancer causing agents can occur years before the injury is discoverable. The discovery rule allows the statute of limitations to begin running from the discovery of the illness, and not from the unknown exposure to the asbestos.

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Additional Resources

§ 5524- Two-Year Limitation– Visit the website of the Pennsylvania’s State Legislature to read Section 5524 which explains the two-year statute of limitations that applies to various types of claims including an action to recover damages for injuries or for the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.

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Attorney in Pennsylvania for The Statute of Limitations

If you or loved one have been injured or died as the result of an accident caused by the negligence of another, then contact the personal injury lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices. With offices in West Chester, Radnor, Plymouth Square, Malvern, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Lancaster, and Kennett Square, we have successfully represented a variety of personal injury victims for many years.

The attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices understand the stress people face when they are involved in serious accidents. Our attorneys work hard to recover compensation for clients and families of injured parties.

Every case is different so it is important to speak with an attorney at Ciccarelli Law Offices. If you have questions about the statute of limitations in a wrongful death or survival action in Pennsylvania, then call (610) 719-3190 today for a free consultation.

This article was last updated on January 10, 2017.