Have you seen lawyer ads on TV that tell you “Act now! You may lose your rights.”?
These ads are referring to the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is the time period after an accident within which a personal injury lawsuit can be filed. This time limit varies by state. In Pennsylvania, an accident victim generally has two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. However, there are some important exceptions to the rule.
One of these exceptions is for lawsuits involving the injury of a minor child. When a child under the age of 18 is injured, Pennsylvania law delays the period of the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for a minor does not start until the child’s 18th birthday. So, most children have until their 20th birthday to file a lawsuit for injuries caused by accidents.
This rule benefits parents because children can’t always tell adults about their injuries. A hidden injury may not be discovered until after the statute of limitations has nearly elapsed.
The extension of the statute of limitations for children is also important because parents often put their lives on hold when a child is seriously hurt. A parent who is spending all of his or her time with a child in the hospital barely has time to earn a living, take care of other children, and deal with everyday needs such as meals and showers. It can be very hard to find the extra time needed to visit a lawyer and file a case.
This doesn’t mean that you should always wait to seek legal advice. Medical expenses incurred because of a child’s personal injury claim may be the parent’s responsibility. The ability to claim compensation for those expenses can expire within two years of the accident.
Filing an accident claim also requires evidence. The sooner you speak to an attorney, the sooner the lawyer can start gathering evidence needed to support your child’s claim. If you wait two years or six years or ten years, some of the evidence may be unavailable. This can affect the outcome of your case.
Ostroff Injury Law knows that your child is your highest priority. We want to support you and do what we can to help. If your child has been seriously injured because of another person’s negligence, give us a call at 800-818-8148. Our operators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’ll schedule a free consultation at a time and place that works for you.