Statutes Of Limitations For Personal Injury Claims In Pennsylvania

Like every other state, Pennsylvania has “statutes of limitations,” which in civil law define the time limits for parties filing lawsuits. They are usually determined by the type of cause of action in an individual case. Once the statute begins to run, a civil lawsuit must be brought against a party within the time prescribed by the applicable statute of limitations. The time period prescribed by these statutes is almost always for a term of years. Once a civil statute of limitations expires, a lawsuit may no longer be filed by a plaintiff.Statutes Of Limitations For Personal Injury Claims In Pennsylvania

Injured parties must determine and know the nature of their particular cause of action to find which statute of limitations pertains to their case. The lawyers at Powell Law can help injured parties ascertain the elements of each potential cause of action to determine the correct statute of limitations. The following are various Pennsylvania Statutes of Limitations for civil tort causes of action:

Assault and Battery, 2 years 42 Pa. C.S.A.. § 5524(1)

False Imprisonment, 2 years


42 Pa. C.S.A.. § 5524(1)


Fraud, 2 years


42 Pa. C.S.A.. § 5524(7)


Legal Malpractice, 2 or 4 years


42 Pa. C.S.A.. § 5524(7); 42 Pa. C.S.A.. § 5525(3),(8)


Libel, 1 year


42 Pa. C.S.A.. § 5523(1)


Medical Malpractice, 2 years


42 Pa. C.S.A.. § 5524(2)


Personal Injury, 2 years


42 Pa. C.S.A.. § 5524(2)


Product Liability, 2 years


42 Pa. C.S.A.. § 5524(2)


Property Damage, 2 years


42 Pa. C.S.A.. § 5524(3)


Slander, 1 year


42 Pa. C.S.A.. § 5523(1)


Trespass, 2 years


42 Pa. C.S.A.. § 5524(4)


Wrongful Death, 2 years


42 Pa. C.S.A.. § 5524(2)


When Does the Statute Start to Run?

Typically, a statute of limitations in Pennsylvania begins to run as soon as the right to institute and maintain a suit arises. Pocono Int’l Raceway, Inc. v. Pocono Produce, Inc., 468 A.2d 468, 471 (Pa. 1983). However, the running of the statute of limitations is affected by the discovery rule, which Pennsylvania courts have described as a “‘judicially created device which tolls the running of the applicable statute of limitations until the point where the complaining party knows or reasonably should know that he has been injured and that his injury has been caused by another party’s conduct.’” Coleman v. Wyeth Pharm., Inc., 6 A.3d 502, 510 (Pa. Super. 2010), 24 A.3d 361 (Pa. 2011). Thus, the discovery rule tolls, i.e., pauses, the statute of limitations from running during the period of time a party who has not suffered an immediately discoverable injury is unaware of such injury. This lack of awareness must be reasonable. Fine v. Checcio, 870 A.2d 850 (Pa. 2005).

As to statute of limitations issues, it is important that potential plaintiffs are reasonably aware of their injury or condition, and their time to file a lawsuit for any subsequent recovery of damages. As mentioned, statutes of limitations generally vary by cause of action. Each case must clearly demonstrate the elements of a cause of action to recover for a damages claim. Sorting out all of this information requires the experience and expertise of the  personal injury attorneys at Powell Law.

If you have been injured and require assistance in determining the time limits in which you have to file a potential cause of action, contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE and you don’t pay anything unless we win.

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