Helping Injury Victims In and Around Philadelphia Rebuild
A serious injury can change your life in an instant. When that injury occurs because someone else was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation. A personal injury settlement or award of damages at trial can provide the support and security you and your family need after an injury-related setback. However, the average person doesn’t have the knowledge and experience necessary to successfully navigate a personal injury claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you!
When you retain us to handle your personal injury claim, we’ll put our experience to work for you while you rest, recover, and rebuild.
About Pennsylvania Personal Injury Claims
In Pennsylvania, you may generally pursue compensation from a person or entity (such as a business) if:
- The person or entity failed to fulfill a legal obligation or standard of care;
- That failure caused the injury; and
- You sustained actual damages as a result
This may sound technical and complicated in the abstract, so here’s an example:
The owner or operator of a retail business has a legal obligation to maintain the premises in reasonably safe condition for customers. If grocery store employees mop the floor and leave it wet and slick, with no warning signs, while customers are coming and going from the store, the store has likely failed in its duty. If a customer slips on the floor, that’s an injury sustained as the result of the store’s failure to maintain the premises in safe condition. The injured shopper’s medical bills and lost wages are examples of actual damages.
You may be entitled to damages even if you were partially responsible for your own injury. For instance, in the example above, the injured shopper might still be entitled to compensation if he had been running in the aisle, or had been looking down at his phone when he stepped onto the slick surface.
Comparative Negligence in Pennsylvania
Under Pennsylvania law, an injured person can recover damages even if he or she contributed to the incident that caused the injury. Under the comparative fault system, the party seeking damages must not bear greater responsibility than the defendant or defendants. And, the damage award will be reduced in proportion to the injury victim’s responsibility.
For example, if the injured party’s damages are $100,000, but he is found to have been 30% responsible for his own injury, he will be entitled to recover $70,000 ($100,000 minus 30%). If, however, he is found to have been 51% responsible, then he will not be entitled to recover damages at all.
Where contributory negligence is at issue, it is particularly important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. Determining percentage of fault is a complex and somewhat subjective process that must be managed carefully to preserve the injury victim’s right to recover damages.
The Pennsylvania Personal Injury Timeline
The statute of limitations for most personal injury, wrongful death, and similar cases in Pennsylvania is two years. That means that the injured party or surviving family has two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. Missing this filing deadline is typically fatal to the claim, meaning that the victim can no longer pursue compensation from the responsible party.
While it’s critical to know and comply with the statute of limitations in an injury case, the two-year cut-off isn’t the only timing issue. For example:
- Certain types of claims, such as claims against certain governmental entities, may have much shorter notice periods
- Critical evidence may be lost or destroyed over time
- Witnesses may become more difficult to locate with the passage of time
- Witness memories may be less clear and be considered less reliable months or years after the event
In addition, settling or litigating a personal injury claim may take months, or even years. The sooner you retain an experienced local personal injury attorney, the sooner your attorney can begin collecting evidence and moving the case forward.
There are also a great many case-related deadlines after your personal injury lawsuit is filed: deadlines for discovery requests, exhibit lists, witness lists, pre-trial motions, and more. Once you retain us to handle your personal injury case, we’ll take charge of managing those deadlines and filings—you won’t have to worry about technical procedural rules jeopardizing your claim.
Damages in Personal Injury Cases
The compensation available in a personal injury case depends on a wide variety of factors, including:
- The degree of fault attributable to each party
- The nature and extent of the injury
- Whether physical impairment is temporary or permanent
- The age of the injured party
- The earning capacity of the injured party prior to and after the injury
- The likelihood that future or ongoing medical care will be required
Because there are so many variables, including human variables such as the judge assigned to the case and the jury selected, no attorney can tell you exactly what you can expect in terms of compensation, nor guarantee you a particular outcome. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can account for the known factors and offer an educated opinion as to the likely range of possible compensation.
Some damages commonly awarded in personal injury cases include:
- Reimbursement for medical costs incurred
- Projected future medical expenses
- Costs of other necessary assistance, such as physical therapy or counseling
- Lost wages
- Projected future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney
In the aftermath of a serious injury, the combined stress of pain, medical limitations, loss of income, growing medical bills, and concerns about the long-term impact of the injury can be overwhelming. Under pressure, it’s easy to make mistakes that can hurt your chances of receiving fair compensation. The sooner you put your case in the hands of a qualified personal injury attorney, the better opportunity that attorney will have to build a strong case on your behalf.
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210 West Front Street Suite 210 Media, PA 19063