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  • Writer's pictureDavid Manes

How Many Years Do I Have to Sue a Contractor?

The law places a time limit on lawsuits against contractor fraud and breach of contract. To know how much time you have to file, you must know where your circumstances fit best. Contractor statutes of limitations, the legal time limit for a lawsuit, are outlined in federal and state law.

How Many Years Do I Have to Sue a Contractor?

In Pennsylvania, the shortest time for contractor statutes of limitations is two years, and this time limit is set for negligent or intentional actions that results in injury to people or property. A longer statute of limitation of four years is given to cases where a breach of contract has occurred. If you believe you have a case, you should consult a lawyer to determine if it is still viable under law.

Contractor holding hard hat

Pennsylvania law also provides the Statute of Repose, which gives a 12-year time limit for bringing a legal action against someone who has been a part of property construction or improvement. This statute includes a person who planned, supervised, and observed the work as it was completed.

According to the Statute of Repose, a property owner can seek to recover damages for any of the below situations.

  1. A flaw in planning or implementation

  2. Injury to property or person due to construction flaw

  3. Wrongful death

  4. Costs involved with previously mentioned injury

But let’s back up and look at contractor statutes of limitations in more detail. As you already know, basically a statute of limitation is a time limit that determines how long you have to file a lawsuit. When that time limit is exceeded, a lawsuit can no longer be filed.

Move quickly to avoid timing out of your statute of limitations.

How Does a Statute of Limitation Begin?

A statute of limitation begins in one of three ways as determined by the situation. The key is to know when the illegal action occurred.

Date of Harm

The day you experience a car accident or some other injury to you or your property is the beginning of your statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit.

Date of Discovery

Contractor Fraud: Let Us Help You Fight

Some harm may occur without you knowing that it has happened until a later date. For example, hidden property damage may not be revealed until injury or inspection occurs.

Date of Should-Have-Discovered

Sometimes the statute of limitation begins on the day that the court deems you should have realized a problem had happened. Although a less common standard, it still can have legal repercussions on your case.

Whether you watch legal television series or cop shows, you probably know that the statute of limitations can make or break a case. To ensure that you can pursue your rightful damages after experiencing a defect in your building construction or renovation, pay attention to your statute of limitations and speak with a lawyer to determine your case eligibility.

Chat with an employment attorney: (412) 626-5626 or

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