Personal Injury Matters
Every person has a duty to act reasonably and not put others in harm’s way by behaving in a manner that is inappropriately negligent or reckless given the circumstances they are in. When someone fails to meet that obligation and their actions cause a physical or emotional injury to another, the victim may be entitled to financial compensation for the harms they suffered.
The most serious injuries — such as traumatic brain damage, the loss of a limb, or severe disfigurement — demand the most significant compensation because they can result in intense and lasting pain and a reduced quality of life.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
- Defective consumer and industrial products (household products, machinery)
- Defective medical products (medical devices, medicines)
- Slip and fall accidents
- Public transportation incidents (SEPTA, PATCO)
- Traffic accidents (cars, trucks, motorcycles)
- Workplace injuries
- Medical malpractice (birth injuries, missed diagnoses)
- Food poisoning
- Gun injuries
- Toxic exposure (environmental contaminants)
- Dog and animal attacks
- Sports concussions
- Theme park accidents
Statute of Limitations
Every state has laws limiting how long an injured party can wait before filing a claim alleging a personal injury and requesting compensation.
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is two years, with a few exceptions. One exception is if the injured individual was a minor when the event occurred, the clock doesn’t start (or toll) until they turn 18 years old. Also, in some medical malpractice cases, the statute doesn’t toll until the patient becomes aware (or reasonably should have become aware) of their injury.
Workplace Injuries, Traffic Accidents, and Animal Attacks
Certain types of personal injury cases are affected by state and federal statutes that govern them differently than all others.
Any injury that occurred at work in the course of an employee’s duties will likely be covered by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance regardless of who was at fault for the event.
However, if a third-party that was not directly associated with the employer contributed to the injury, a claim can potentially be made against the third-party.
In Pennsylvania, most car accidents are covered under no-fault insurance policies. That means the injured person’s own insurance will pay for medical expenses and other compensation regardless of whether they were to blame for the accident. Injured passengers are compensated by the driver’s no-fault insurance.
Only in situations where the injury is deemed to be serious (“personal injury resulting in death, serious impairment of body function or permanent serious disfigurement”) can the other driver be held liable for their negligence on the road.
Certain animal attack personal injuries, notably dog bites, are covered by state statutes. Some states have what is called a “one bite rule,” which protects dog owners to some degree the first time their pet bites and injures a person if the animal had never shown a propensity for aggression or bitten anyone before.
Pennsylvania does not follow that rule, however, and instead uses a strict liability standard, which holds the pet owner responsible if their dog bites and injures a person, regardless of the dog’s past behavior.
After successfully settling their case or receiving an award in the form of a judgment, the injured party can be compensated for their suffering, including through ongoing payments for lifetime medical care if it is required and payments to offset a reduction in their earning capacity caused by the injury.
Some states, including Pennsylvania, consider whether the injured party shares some responsibility for the event. In cases where there is shared fault, Pennsylvania uses a modified comparative negligence rule. That means the total amount of compensation the injured party will receive if they win their claim will be reduced by the amount the court determines they were also responsible for the event.
For example, suppose someone slips and falls outside of a store and injures themselves on a sidewalk that was improperly maintained and a court determines they are entitled to $50,000 to pay for their medical expenses and the pain they endured. However, the court also finds that the injured party was looking at their phone at the time and not paying attention and thus determines they were 20% at fault. The total award will then be reduced by 20% to $40,000.
Get the Legal Guidance You Need to Recover From Your Injury
An experienced personal injury lawyer can protect your rights to a settlement and ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation for any medical expenses, lost wages, loss of life enjoyment, loss of earning capacity, and potentially replacement or repair of damaged property.
The legal experts at Pond Lehocky Giordano will evaluate your case, consider all potential claims, identify possible defendants, and investigate the material facts surrounding the injurious event, including physical evidence, public records, witnesses, and expert testimony.
Most importantly, we will support you against insurance companies, opposing legal counsel, and in courtrooms — negotiating and advocating on your behalf to protect your rights and maximize your compensation.