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Ask a Lawyer About Your Case's Statute of Limitations


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What is the Minor's Tolling Statute?

It is never an easy thing to deal with the impact of a serious tort. Whether one has to deal with the aftermath of injuries resulting from product liability, medical malpractice, fraud, personal injury, a great deal of stress can be inflicted on the injured party. In some instances, regardless of the injured party's physical or mental condition, it may be mandatory to bring a suit forward as soon as possible. This is because once the statute of limitations expires on a legal claim a case can not be brought forward. This is a very serious issue because financial need may necessitate moving forward. This may create extreme stress due as one must "beat the clock" to avoid the expiration of the statute of limitations.

Now, if such a situation would be seriously stressful for an adult, the impact of the stress would be tenfold to a child. Yes, as much as we do not like to think about it, minors are often the victims of negligent actions. Thankfully, there are certain rules and exceptions found within the law that provide added protections to a minor. One of the most common examples of these exceptions is found in the Minor's Tolling Statute which centers on tolling a statute of limitation.

By a legal definition, "tolling" refers to setting aside the rigid rules of the statute of limitations by amending them. When minors assume the role of a plaintiff into a civil proceeding, a modification to the statute of limitations occurs. Specifically, this statute of limitations does not be in to go into effect until the minor has reached the age of 18 PROVIDED the minor is not emancipated from his parents. However, if a plaintiff is an emancipated minor (no longer under the care of parental authority due to court ruling) then the minor's suit will be subject to the same statute of limitations that an adult would be subject to unless otherwise provided an exception under the law.

Obviously, this latter point can involve some rather complex legal issues. Novices should avoid making any and judgments regarding how statutes of limitations apply to an emancipated minor. Instead, such assessments should be left to qualified legal professionals with experience in this area of the law. In general, the laws in the state of Pennsylvania lean towards tolling statutes. This makes litigation (and life) much less stressful for the minor as a result.