Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Pennsylvania
Personal injury covers a wide range of legal areas, but what all personal injury claims have in common is that some person or entity caused the injury either by negligence, recklessness or intention. For example, property owners have a duty to keep their premises safe. If you fell and broke your ankle at a supermarket because the floor was wet but there were no warning signs or barriers in the area, you might have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Types of Personal Injury
Perhaps the most common causes for a personal injury claim are motor vehicle accidents. Pennsylvania is a no-fault state for auto insurance, so most drivers have their medical bills and other injury-related expenses no matter who was at fault for the crash. However, when someone is seriously injured in a car accident and faces permanent disability or impairment, it is often possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Other types of personal injury include:
- Medical malpractice
- Animal attacks
- Premises liability – also known as “slip and fall”
- Product liability – a product caused harm when used as directed
- Defective drugs
If someone assaults another person and is arrested, they will go through criminal proceedings. The injured party cannot receive compensation from the person responsible via the criminal courts. However, victims may be able to recover some of their injury-related expenses by filing a civil lawsuit against the individual.
Statute of Limitations
In Pennsylvania, injury victims must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the incident. If a person dies from these injuries, the personal representative of the estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the death date, with some exceptions.
It is a different situation if the personal injury occurred on government property, such as a slip and fall on public school grounds or a park, or if a car accident involves a collision with a government vehicle, such as a public school bus. In these cases, the time to file a claim is much shorter, just six months from the date of the accident.
A person filing a personal injury lawsuit may recover damages, or compensation, for their injuries. Such damages may include:
- Medical expenses – current and future
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Unlike some states, the Commonwealth does not put a cap on personal injury award amounts determined by a jury. When the defendant behaved in a truly egregious manner, the jury might award punitive damages, which are meant to punish the behavior and deter others from similar actions. Punitive damages cannot exceed twice the amount of actual damages.
Bucks County Car Accident Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Help Personal Injury Victims Recover Maximum Compensation
If you or a loved one was injured due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, you need the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Call us today at 888-999-1962 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation with a knowledgeable and highly skilled Bucks County car accident lawyer. With office locations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, we proudly serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.