The Statute of Limitations on Premises Liability in Pennsylvania
Any person who is injured on the property of another person should be aware of the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations dictates the amount of time a plaintiff has to file an injury claim against the defendant. In comparison to many other states, Pennsylvania gives plaintiffs only a short period of time to file an injury claim. Therefore, if you or a family member was injured on another person’s property, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer today. The attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm have over 35 years of experience dealing with premises liability lawsuits in Pennsylvania, and can assist with all aspects of your claim.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability refers to an area of law dealing with injuries caused by poor maintenance of a property. Property owners have a duty to keep their property devoid of dangerous conditions that could injure guests or other members of the public. Unfortunately, not every property owner is diligent when ensuring their property is free of defective conditions.
The most common type of premises liability claim is a slip and fall claim. Slip and fall injuries can occur in a variety of ways for a variety of reasons. For example, you could suffer a slip and fall injury by tripping over a section of cracked pavement in front of a restaurant. You could also slip over a puddle in a retail store that was not cleaned up despite ample time for retail staff to handle it. Our slip and fall lawyers can help you understand whether you have a claim.
Swimming pool accidents can also trigger premises liability claims. Property owners who do not take measures to protect their pools from children may be held liable for their actions. This is because Pennsylvania treats swimming pools as “attractive nuisances” which pose a high risk to children who are easily enticed or influenced. If you or your child suffered a pool injury, our Philadelphia swimming pool accident lawyers may be able to help.
Premises liability can include many other accidents that are not listed above. To learn more about premises liability claims in Pennsylvania, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
How Long Do I Have to File a Premises Liability Claim in Pennsylvania?
As mentioned above, the statute of limitations determines the date by which you must file a premises liability lawsuit in Pennsylvania. Premises liability cases are considered personal injury cases, which means they share the same filing deadline as other types of personal injury actions.
The statute of limitations for premises liability cases, like other injury claims, is normally two years from the date of the injury in Pennsylvania. If you do not file your claim within two years, the court may bar your claim, and you will be unable to receive compensation for your injuries.
The statute of limitations only applies to how long you have to file your injury claim. This means it does not matter how long the case takes, as long as you filed on time.
Extending the Statute of Limitations
Failing to file your injury claim before the statute of limitations expires may bar you from recovering compensation for your injuries. However, there are some methods that can extend or “toll” the amount of time you have to file your case.
If you are under the age of 18 when you suffer an injury on another person’s property, the statute of limitations may be paused until you reach the age of majority. This means once you turn 18, you will have two years from the date of your birthday to file your case. This method for pausing the statute of limitations is also known as “infancy.” Additionally, if you are a minor when the accident occurs, your parent or legal guardian can also file the premises liability claim on your behalf.
If you were suffering from a legal disability when the accident occurred, this might also pause the statute of limitations. Once you are deemed to be cured of the disability, the clock on your case will begin to tick again.
Pennsylvania also has a discovery rule which can act to toll the statute of limitations. The discovery rule states that when a person is not aware of an injury or has no reason to be aware of an injury, the statute of limitations will run from the date they discover the injury. This means if you slip and fall and cause an unnoticeable injury, the statute of limitations deadline will not run until you discover the injury. While victims of a slip and fall often suffer spinal injuries, it is possible they can suffer a nerve injury which is difficult to detect.
Philadelphia Slip and Fall Attorneys Filing Premises Liability Lawsuits
If you or a family member suffered an injury because of a defective condition on another person’s property, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Pennsylvania today. The legal team at The Reiff Law Firm is prepared to tirelessly work to pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (215) 709-6940, or reach us online.