An unexpected, catastrophic event can turn your world upside down in an instant. The stability you once knew gives ways to anxiety as you miss several days or weeks of work to tend to your physical and emotional trauma. And, paying for medical care and everyday necessities becomes increasingly difficult.
Fortunately, there is a way to recover your losses and safeguard your financial future. The State of Pennsylvania affords injured parties certain legal protections after suffering harm in accidents.
Perhaps this is the first time you are considering hiring a lawyer, and for a good reason. The road to obtaining compensation for the damages you incurred in the accident is winding and riddled with landmines.
For over 40 years, Berger and Green have been helping accident victims and their families secure maximum compensation for their injuries and other losses. By working with a personal injury lawyer after your Altoona accident, you are taking the first step toward protecting your rights and regaining normalcy in your life. But you have to act fast. Call us at 412-661-1400 to schedule a free evaluation of your case.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
In Altoona, Pennsylvania, the most common types of personal injury cases involve:
- Car accidents: Whether you were driving, riding a bike, crossing the street or walking on a sidewalk, if a negligent driver struck you, you might have a personal injury claim against them.
- Slips and falls: Property owners have a legal duty to keep their premises reasonably safe and free of dangerous conditions. If you suffered injuries at a restaurant, store, or another public place because of a dangerous condition on the property, you might have a personal injury claim against the property owner.
- Defective products: Poorly designed or manufactured products can sometimes cause serious accidents. For example, defective car parts, elevators, and automatic tools can cause severe injuries. In these cases, you can file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer.
- Medical malpractice: Doctors and other medical personnel must follow accepted guidelines when providing medical services. If a doctor fails to follow these guidelines and caused you harm, you might have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
- Work injuries: Some occupations are inherently dangerous, like construction work and commercial truck driving. In certain situations, you can seek worker’s compensation or additional funds after suffering an on-the-job injury.
The Process of Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Pennsylvania
When another person is responsible for causing your accident, it is only fair s/he cover the damages. This idea is the basis for personal injury lawsuits. However, it is often difficult to prove with 100 percent certainty who or what caused the accident. To be successful in your personal injury claim, you will have to demonstrate the following:
- Duty of Care: Did the person who caused you harm have a legal responsibility to adhere to a standard of care while performing the action(s) that led to the accident? For example, drivers must follow traffic laws, so they do not cause harm to other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Similarly, medical professionals must follow specific protocol when performing procedures to prevent their patients from getting hurt. Property owners have a duty of care to their guests to keep their property reasonably safe.
- Negligence: Once you establish the person owed you a duty of care, you must prove they failed to uphold that duty (the negligent act). An example would be a driver who runs a red light or changes lanes without signaling or checking his/her blind spot and crashes into you.
- Causation: Next, you must prove the person’s negligent action caused your injuries. If you suffer a neck injury after another driver collides with your car, you can argue the injury occurred as a result of the other driver’s negligent action.
- Damages: Finally, you must prove you have real, measurable damages. Medical records and expert testimony typically serve as evidence of your damages.
Should I handle my personal injury claim on my own?
Some cases do not require help from an attorney, such as when there are minor injuries that do not require ongoing medical care and little property damages. However, when you suffer severe injuries, loss of wages, and need long-term medical care, you stand to lose a lot when you forgo a professional’s help.
It is tough to go up against giant corporations. Insurance companies are experts in handling claims and will employ tactics to reduce what they have to pay out. Insurance adjusters are trained to protect the companies they work for, not you. Therefore, you would be wise in hiring an experienced professional who can protect your right and look out for your best interests.
The Altoona personal injury attorneys at Berger and Green possess the know-how to communicate a strong case to the insurance company. We can handle the settlement negotiations to ensure you receive a settlement that covers the full extent of your damages. Should out-of-court negotiations fail, we can prepare to take your case to trial to fight for the compensation you deserve.
How long do I have to file a claim?
Under Pennsylvania law, you have two years from the time of your accident to file a claim. This deadline is known as the Statute of Limitations. If you do not act quickly, however, you risk forfeiting your right financial recovery altogether. It takes time to gather evidence and build a strong case. Additionally, negotiations can take months. Therefore, we encourage you to meet with an injury attorney at Berger and Green as soon as possible.
What are types of compensation can be recovered from a personal injury claim?
Every personal injury claim is unique, but, if your claim is successful, you can expect to recover compensation for:
- Your current and past due medical expenses.
- Over-the-counter and prescription medications.
- Future medical expenses, including physical therapy and surgery.
- Lost wages.
- Decreased earning capacity.
- Property damage.
- Pain and suffering.
Meet with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Altoona for FREE
We invite you to take advantage of our firm’s free initial consultation. During this meeting, you can ask your most pressing questions and receive a professional’s opinion regarding the value of your case. You are under no obligation to hire our firm, but should you do, you pay us no upfront fees to get started. Moreover, we do not collect payment for our legal services until we win your case. Call us now at 412-661-1400.