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Understanding Pennsylvania's Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases

Ryan M.
HKQ Attorney

Jun 17, 2024

How long do you have to file a personal injury lawsuit?

In personal injury law, understanding the statute of limitations is crucial for anyone considering legal action after a crash or injury. In Pennsylvania, like in many other states, the statute of limitations sets strict deadlines on when a lawsuit must be filed in order to preserve a person’s legal rights to seek compensation for damages.

Overview of Pennsylvania's Statute of Limitations

Pennsylvania law sets specific time limits, known as statutes of limitations, for filing different types of lawsuits, including those related to personal injury. The statute of limitations varies depending on the nature of the claim and the circumstances surrounding the incident.

General Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases

For most personal injury cases in Pennsylvania, including those arising from car crashes, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and others, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the incident. This means that if you are injured, you generally have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and related losses.

Exceptions for Minors

Pennsylvania law provides a special provision for minors who are injured because of negligence or wrongful actions. If the injured party is under the age of 18 at the time of the incident, they have until two years after their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit. This extension allows minors to pursue legal action after they become an adult, making sure they have adequate time to assess and address the full extent of their injuries.

Discovery Rule Exception

In some cases, injuries may not be immediately apparent or may manifest over time because of medical conditions or latent effects of an accident. Pennsylvania recognizes what’s called the discovery rule. It suspends, or tolls, the running of the statute of limitations when the individual can show the inability, despite the exercise of due diligence, to know of the injury or its cause . 

Importance of Timely Action

It is crucial to follow Pennsylvania's statute of limitations when pursuing a personal injury claim. If you fail to file a lawsuit within the time limit, you can lose your right to seek compensation through the legal system. If you have been injured in a crash or other incident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to understand your legal options and make sure you comply with the statute of limitations.

Legal Guidance from Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn

At Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn, our team of knowledgeable personal injury attorneys is dedicated to helping accident victims navigate Pennsylvania's legal landscape. We provide compassionate and effective legal representation to clients seeking compensation for injuries caused by negligence or wrongdoing. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling all types of personal injury cases, including those involving complex statute of limitations issues.

Contact Our Legal Team Today

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a crash or other incident, and are not sure how the statute of limitations might apply, don't hesitate to reach out to us for help.. Understanding and complying with Pennsylvania's statute of limitations is critical to protecting your legal rights and getting fair compensation for your injuries.

For more information on our legal services or to schedule a consultation with one of our Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn personal injury attorneys, please call us at 570-287-3000 or email us at


Navigating Pennsylvania's statute of limitations in personal injury cases requires a thorough understanding of the applicable laws and deadlines. By seeking timely legal counsel from experienced attorneys at Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn, you can make sure your rights are protected and that you have the best possible chance of getting the compensation you deserve.

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