Pennsylvania Personal Injury
If you suffered personal injuries in an accident in Pennsylvania and it was someone else's fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Types of Personal Injury Cases in Pennsylvania
Personal injury generally refers to mental and physical injuries to a person's body that are caused by someone else's negligence. These injuries may be minor or may be so severe as to cause the person's death. Personal injury does not include damage or destruction to your property (such as your car or house).
Personal injuries can occur in any number of ways, but causes often include:
- Automobile accidents in Pennsylvania
- Motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania
- Boating accidents in or around Pennsylvania
- Trucking accidents in Pennsylvania
- Railroad accidents in or near Pennsylvania
- Dog bites in Pennsylvania
- Medical malpractice in Pennsylvania
- Nursing home abuse in Pennsylvania
- Sexual abuse in Pennsylvania
- Slip-and-fall accidents in Pennsylvania
How Is Fault Determined in Pennsylvania Personal Injury Cases?
To collect money stemming from a personal injury claim, Pennsylvania law requires you to prove another party was negligent. You must show:
- The party causing your injuries had a responsibility not to injure you and failed to live up to that responsibility
- There is a connection between the other party's responsibility and your injury
- You suffered damages, or a financial loss, as a result of your accident
Pennsylvania law will reduce the total amount you can recover if it's found that your carelessness contributed to your injuries. If it is determined that you are at least 51 percent responsible for your accident, you cannot recover any money from the other party.
Whether you live in Erie, Lancaster, Penn Hills, Chester, or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, your Pennsylvania personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal options and collect money from the party at fault in your accident.
Types of Pennsylvania Personal Injury Compensation
If it's determined that another party's negligence was responsible for your injuries, they may be required to pay for:
- All medical bills for treatment related to your injuries
- Permanent disability and disfigurement stemming from the accident
- Emotional distress from the accident
- The repair or replacement of any property damaged or destroyed in your Pennsylvania accident
- Lost wages for time off from work (including time spent going to doctor's appointments and physical therapy) as a result of your personal injury accident
- The cost of hiring someone to do household chores that you're unable to do because of your injury that occurred in Pennsylvania
- Any other costs you've incurred because of the accident
If you were injured because of a crime committed by someone else, that person may be prosecuted under Pennsylvania criminal laws. However, you may still have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Pennsylvania courts to recover money to pay for your injuries.
How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania law gives you two years from the date of your personal injury to file a bodily injury claim against the party at fault. (This time limit is known as the statute of limitations.) If you and your Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer are unable to negotiate a settlement with the other party (or their insurance company), you should consider filing a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out. If you do not file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, then you give up your right to sue the party responsible for your injuries.
Where Do You File a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawsuit?
For Pennsylvania personal injury claims worth more than $8,000, you would file your lawsuit in the appropriate Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas.
If your Pennsylvania personal injury accident claim is for less than $8,000 ($10,000 for the Philadelphia municipal court), you would file your personal injury lawsuit in the Pennsylvania District Court or Justice Court (or the municipal court for cases in Philadelphia) that has jurisdiction.
Your Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer can tell you which specific court is the appropriate venue to resolve your dispute.