All claims against others for injuries have important time limitations within which you must either resolve the claim through settlement or file a formal lawsuit to preserve your claim. This is called a statute of limitations or limitation of actions. Different types of injury claims have different limitations periods. For example, a workers’ compensation claim has a three year statute of limitations, while most personal injury claims have a two year statute of limitations. The procedures for meeting your statute of limitations varies depending on the type of claim. In workers’ comp, you must file a formal claim petition with the Workers Compensation Bureau in Harrisburg if the employer and comp carrier do not appropriately recognize your injury with a legally appropriate document. In most personal injury cases, you must file a formal lawsuit, most often in the form of a complaint in civil action or writ of summons, with the appropriate court. Failure to file the appropriate, formal legal documents within the limitations period will forever bar any recovery to which you may be entitled. Also, when dealing with a personal injury claim it is not wise to wait until the last minute to file the action for a variety of reasons, one of which is the inability to correct unforeseen errors in the documents that cannot be corrected after the period expires. This can result in dismissal of your action. While these are general guidelines, there are also exceptions that can significantly shorten the time you have to prefect your claim. For example, if your personal injury claim is against the Commonwealth or a governmental unit within the Commonwealth, you must give written notice to them within six months of the injury date of your intention to proceed against them. This notice must contain specific facts about your claim, governed by statute. It is therefore not wise to wait to see how your case progresses on your own before contacting an attorney and the statute of limitations is only one, very important reason for this. Contact our office as soon after an accident or work injury as possible to assure that important, time sensitive issues can be addressed in a timely fashion.