Car accidents are a negative experience and we do what we can to avoid them by paying attention and driving safely. But there’s not much you can do about other drivers, particularly the negligent ones. And it’s important to understand that, when they injure you, there’s a time limit on you taking action.
The legal time limit
Pennsylvania requires every driver to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. When they do not – when they fail in their duty and injure you in the process – they are considered legally negligent. In order for you to be made whole again, Pennsylvania gives you the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.
However, at the same time that Pennsylvania gives you the right to sue, it also places a time limit on that right. This is known as the statute of limitations and it begins immediately. From the date of your accident, you have 2 years to file your lawsuit. If you do not file it within that time, you lose the right to do so forever.
There’s also a practical time limit
Two years may sound like a long time but there’s more to it than just the statute of limitations. The strength of your lawsuit depends on the evidence gathered. The problem is that evidence can begin to deteriorate and the more time that passes, the more it can degrade. Witness memories will fade and necessary documents or other physical evidence may become unavailable.
The sooner you act, the sooner the investigative and evidence-collection processes can begin. This ensures that your personal injury lawsuit will be as strong as possible, greatly increasing your chances of collecting the compensation to which you are entitled and holding the negligent party responsible.