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Why Is It Important To Know Your Rights After An Injury In Philadelphia?

Posted on March 14, 2024

Why Is It Important To Know Your Rights After An Injury In Philadelphia?

Suffering a personal injury can be a life-altering experience, and understanding your rights under Pennsylvania law is crucial to navigating the claims process. 

Timely Action: The Statute of Limitations

One of the primary reasons to be aware of your personal injury rights in Philadelphia is the statute of limitations. The state imposes a strict time limit of two years within which you can file a lawsuit. 

Title 42 – Statues of Pennsylvania § 5524

“The following actions and proceedings must be commenced within two years:

(2)  An action to recover damages for injuries to the person or for the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.”

There are few exceptions, and if you miss this deadline, you will likely lose your right to pursue compensation. It is important to note that this time limit does not apply to insurance claims, which should be filed promptly after an injury.

Government Claims

For claims against the Commonwealth or local government employee or agency, a notice of a claim must be filed with the government unit within six months of the accident. 

Title 42 – Statues of Pennsylvania § 5522

“(a)  Notice prerequisite to action against government unit.–

(1)  Within six months from the date that any injury was sustained or any cause of action accrued, any person who is about to commence any civil action or proceeding within this Commonwealth or elsewhere against a government unit for damages on account of any injury to his person or property…”

Comparative Negligence: Understanding Liability

Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence rule, allowing you to pursue compensation even if you bear some responsibility for the incident. However, under 

“(a)  General rule.–In all actions brought to recover damages for negligence resulting in death or injury to person or property, the fact that the plaintiff may have been guilty of contributory negligence shall not bar a recovery by the plaintiff or his legal representative where such negligence was not greater than the causal negligence of the defendant or defendants against whom recovery is sought, but any damages sustained by the plaintiff shall be diminished in proportion to the amount of negligence attributed to the plaintiff.”

According to this statute, if you are 51% or more to blame you cannot receive compensation. Additionally, your compensation will be reduced according to your degree of fault. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 and found 40% at fault for your injury, you will receive 60% of the award or $60,000. 

How To Prove Another Party is Liable in Philadelphia Personal Injury Claims

To hold another party accountable for a personal injury accident, you must be able to establish that their negligence was responsible. Successfully establishing negligence involves demonstrating the following four key elements:

Duty of Care

The plaintiff (injury victim) must establish that the defendant (at-fault party) owed them a duty of care. For instance, in a car accident case, drivers are obligated to adhere to traffic laws to ensure the safety of others on the road.

Breach of Duty

Demonstrating that the defendant did not act reasonably and breached their duty of care. This could include actions such as texting while driving or operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


Establishing a direct link between the defendant’s actions and the plaintiff’s harm. This requires demonstrating that the defendant’s negligence directly caused the accident and resulting injuries.


The plaintiff must show that they suffered damages due to the defendant’s negligence, for which they are entitled to compensation. This includes medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other tangible and intangible losses.

Speak to a Lawyer Today

For any questions or further explanation of your rights related to your unique situation, contact our Philadelphia personal injury lawyer at Rosenbaum & Associates. We offer free consultations, call (215) 774-5509 or send us a message online today.