Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. One moment you're working away or driving from one job to another. The next, you're waking up in the hospital in extreme pain. For some people, their family members are devastated when they never regain consciousness. Whatever the circumstances, if there is someone or something responsible for yours or a loved one's work related death or injury, there is a time limit involved with filling a claim.
The time limit associated with personal injury cases is called the statute of limitations. This is associated with any lawsuit in connection with an accident or injury. If a case is not filed within the relevant time limit, the injured person's (or their family's) legal claim will be refused and the right to sue will be lost forever. This could be problematic for the injured or their family, if there are medical bills or other expenses related to a loved one's injury or death.
Each state sets its own statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is two years from the incident, generally speaking. There are certain exceptions for special cases, especially in relation to medical malpractice or involving government bodies. It is important to understand that time may not be on yours or your loved one's side after an injury. It would also make it true that time is of the essence in cases where negligence is attributed to a work related injury or death of a loved one.
It is usually an emotional time for all of those affected by a work related death or injury. There are usually many questions during this confusing time. Understanding the time restraint in personal injury cases is key to knowing how time can work against the injured party.
Source: FindLaw, "Time limits to bring a case: The 'Statue of Limitations'," Accessed March 21, 2016