Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Statutes of Limitations: How much time do you have to file your lawsuit?

Most civil lawsuits have a set period of time under which a person can bring a claim. If, for example, someone is injured in a car accident, he or she can only bring a claim in the two years that follow the date the injury occurred.

The laws that describe how long a person has to file a claim are called "statutes of limitations." There are unique statutes of limitations for each cause of action and for each state.

Statute of limitations for premises liability lawsuits

Premises liability claims are claims against property owners, property managers and other occupiers of a property for an injury occurring on the property. Like personal injury claims, a plaintiff has two years to file a premises liability claim or he or she may not be able to recover compensation for his or her injuries.

However, there are some exceptions to the rule that will shorten the two-year time frame. For example, someone who was injured on government property must provide notice of a claim against the government no later than six months after the injury occurred.

What if you didn't know you were injured?

In Pennsylvania, and most other states, a person can sometimes file a claim after the usual statute of limitations has elapsed if he or she did not know that he or she was injured until a later date. In these cases, the statute of limitations begins the moment that the plaintiff knows of an injury or should have known of the injury and the injury was caused by someone else's negligence. This is called the "discovery rule."

Statute of limitations for asbestos lawsuits

The discovery rule is necessary for lawsuits involving illnesses and diseases caused by asbestos exposure. Generally, exposure to asbestos can take years, even decades, to appear in the form of lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma or another disease. Therefore, the statute of limitations (which is also two years) begins to run from the time that the disease caused by asbestos exposure is discovered.

Act quickly

As you can see, you do not have all the time in the world to file an injury claim. Do not wait to see if your injury is "bad enough" to file a claim. Instead, start the process now by contacting an experienced attorney.

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Toll Free: 866-466-5789
Phone: 412-567-1232
Fax: 412-391-7453
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