If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania then you need to know what the time limit is to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitation provides a certain amount of time for a plaintiff/victim to file a personal injury lawsuit against a defendant/at fault party. Motorcycle crashes are in a niche referred to as personal injury law and any claim must be filed within two years of the date of your accident.
You cannot file a claim after the filing date has passed, as it would be barred by the court. It should be noted that the statute of limitations is only applicable to how long the injured party has to file a case.
Ways to pause the statute of limitations
Even though the law states that there are two years to file a motorcycle accident claim, there are ways to pause the deadline, effectively extending or delaying it. One way to extend the deadline is through the discovery rule.
The discovery rule applies in Pennsylvania to cases where the injured party does not know or could not reasonably be aware of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. For example, it is possible to sustain injuries that may not manifest themselves for weeks or months.
Hidden injuries can cause havoc for someone recovering from a motorcycle accident. Do not rule out the possibility of any other injuries that are not clearly visible.
If you are under the age of 18 and were involved in a motorcycle wreck, the statute of limitations does not start to run until you reach majority in Pennsylvania. The age of majority in the state is 18 years old. That said, a claim may still be filed for you by a legal guardian or a parent.
One other way to pause the statute of limitations is due to fraudulent concealment. For instance, if the defendant in your case conceals or changes information that is proof of their negligence in causing the motorcycle accident, that person is then guilty of fraudulent concealment. Put another way, the deadline to file your case can be delayed because you were unable to get the information you need for your case because the defendant was hiding it.
Do not wait to file a motorcycle accident claim
While the law in Pennsylvania says you have two years to file a claim, it is not a good idea to wait that long. Instead, file as soon as possible for the best chance of compensation for your injuries and property damages. If you file quickly, all the crash details are fresh in everyone's minds.
Eyewitnesses are going to be far more effective if asked questions within a week or so of your accident rather than waiting for up to two years. Memories fade and their testimony becomes problematic and unreliable.
The other reason to file quickly is to preserve evidence at the crash site. Without an attorney at the scene as soon as possible, evidence of the wreck and its aftermath can be lost or even destroyed.
The nature of your injuries also needs to be factored in to how quickly you need to call a motorcycle accident lawyer. You may have lost a leg, broken a limb or suffered a traumatic brain injury. That means you are going to need funds to pay for your medical expenses. You may not be able to work. Your other bills need to be paid. If you file a lawsuit seeking compensation as soon as you can, you have a better chance at remaining financially stable until you win your case.