Court Ruling Extends Statute of Limitations for PA Accident Victim

Court Ruling Extends Statute of Limitations for PA Accident Victim

Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers Saves Injury Case for PA Accident Victim Filed After Two-Year Statute of Limitations

If you had limited tort and right now, it is a little more than two years since the date of your accident, CALL US.  Do not despair.  We may still be able to help you, if your injury was “serious” and you didn’t know it right away because your doctor didn’t realize it either.  We just saved a case in which the two year time period to sue had already passed when the lawsuit was filed.

What Does Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations Mean to Your Accident Case?

You may have noticed that car accident lawyers advise you to “act fast” to protect your rights. This isn’t an advertising ploy; Pennsylvania has a two year statute of limitations for victims of car accidents. This means that if you are injured in an accident, you have two years to file a lawsuit against the person who caused the crash.  Once the statute of limitations expires, you lose the right to sue.

Most of the time, this works fine.  The accident victim is diagnosed with a serious injury at the time of the crash. He or she contacts a lawyer, and the attorney begins the process of seeking compensation for the victim’s medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The lawsuit is filed within two years of the crash.

But, what happens if the victim doesn’t know that their injury is serious until well after the time of the accident? Is it Too Late to File My Pennsylvania Accident Claim?

In May 2009, Donna Varner-Mort hurt her back in a car accident. She went to the emergency room and was told that her injury wasn’t serious. Since Ms. Varner-Mort chose the limited-tort option when buying auto insurance, she did not contact a lawyer. She knew that she could only recover damages if she suffered a “serious” injury.

Although Ms. Varner-Mort followed her treatment plan, the pain did not improve.  In August 2009, an MRI showed that she had suffered a back sprain during the crash. A torn ligament was responsible for the pain in her back and the tingling and numbness in her legs.

Ms. Varner-Mort sought treatment from an orthopedist. Since Ms. Vander-Mort was physically fit and had no prior back problems, her doctor believed there was a chance that she would fully recover from her injuries. She and her doctor agreed to try conservative treatment measures before resorting to surgery.

Unfortunately, non-surgical treatment was not effective and symptoms began to worsen. In June 2010, it became obvious that non-surgical, non-invasive treatment would not alleviate Ms. Varner-Mort’s nerve pain and impairment. She was re-diagnosed with a serious injury that would require extensive and costly surgery.

The medical bills were adding up, but not until it was more than a year after the accident. Would there be time to file a personal injury lawsuit?

PA Superior Court Rules There Are Exceptions to Statute of Limitations in Some Limited Tort cases.

Ms. Varner-Mort contacted a lawyer and filed a claim. Her case was initially rejected because the statute of limitations had expired. Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers stepped in. The law firm used an 18-year-old case to argue that the statute of limitations should start on the day that the client was first told that she had a serious injury, not on the day of the accident. Our legal team used detailed medical records and doctor affidavits to show that there was no way for the woman to know she had a serious injury until she received the diagnosis by her doctor.  The court agreed Ms. Varner-Morthas the right to prove she had a serious injury.

Is Your Injury Getting Worse? Call Us

Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers May Be Able to Help Even if Other Lawyers Have Said You Don’t Have a Case

It’s not uncommon for accident victims to hear that their injuries are minor. However, minor injuries get better with therapy. If your pain is getting worse despite conservative treatment, we urge you to seek a second opinion.

If you are diagnosed with a serious injury, such as a herniated or protruding disk, radiculopathy, or bone fracture, call Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers – call us even if your case was rejected by another law firm. If you have a case, we won’t give up. Call us to talk with a lawyer who fights for his clients.