- Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
- The Process of Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Pennsylvania
- Who Is Liable for My Personal Injuries?
- Should I Handle My Personal Injury Claim on My Own?
- How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
- What Types of Compensation Can Be Recovered From a Personal Injury Claim?
An unexpected, catastrophic event can turn your world upside down in an instant. The stability you once knew gives way to anxiety as you miss several days or weeks of work to tend to your physical and emotional trauma. Also, 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 and damages after suffering harm in an accident.
Perhaps this is the first time you are considering hiring a lawyer. The road to obtaining compensation for the damages you incurred in the accident is difficult.
For over 40 years, our firm has been helping accident victims and their families secure compensation for their injuries and other losses. By working with an Altoona personal injury lawyer from our firm after your Altoona accident, you will be taking the first step toward protecting your rights and regaining normalcy in your life. Our personal injury lawyers in Altoona, PA want to help, and we can offer you 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 be able to file a personal injury claim against them.
- Slip and fall accidents: 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 be able to file 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 any of these cases, you can file a personal injury claim against the designer, the manufacturer, or a related party.
- Medical malpractice: Doctors and other medical personnel must follow accepted professional guidelines when providing medical services. If a doctor failed 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. In certain situations, you can seek worker’s compensation or additional funds after suffering an on-the-job injury.
- Dog bite injuries: You and a lawyer from our firm can potentially hold the dog owner accountable for the dog’s actions.
- Premises liability: Your landlord may be responsible for your injury on his/her property.
- Social Security Disability: If you’re disabled and unable to work, we can help you obtain benefits.
- Truck accidents: Truck accidents can be devastating, but we can help you cover your medical costs and other damages.
Wrongful Death Cases
These cases are personal injury cases involving loss of life. Our firm manages these cases in addition to other personal injury cases, so if you lost a loved one in a tragic accident, you can reach out to us. We will introduce you to one of our Altoona wrongful death attorneys.
For a free legal consultation with a Personal Injury lawyer serving Altoona, call 412-661-1400
The Process of Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Pennsylvania
When another person is responsible for causing an accident, it is only fair they cover the damages. This idea is the basis for personal injury lawsuits. However, it is often difficult to prove with absolute 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 protocols to prevent their patients from getting hurt. Property owners have a duty of care to their guests to keep their property reasonably safe.
- Breach of duty: Once you establish the person owed you a duty of care, you must prove they failed to uphold that duty. An example would be a driver running a red light, changing lanes without signaling or checking his/her blind spot, and crashing into you.
- Causation: Next, you must prove the person’s negligent action caused your injuries. If you suffered a neck injury after another driver collided 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 damages.
Altoona Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Who Is Liable for My Personal Injuries?
In a personal injury case, a single party can be liable for the incident, or multiple parties can share liability. An example of shared liability could be a pedestrian accident case in which a motorist drove recklessly, the city government left oil on the road, and both issues contributed to the accident.
In your case, any of the following parties may be liable for your incident and your injuries:
- A motorist
- A commercial truck driver’s employer
- A construction company
- A vehicle designer
- A vehicle parts manufacturer
- A designer or manufacturer of consumer goods
- A caretaker
Your Altoona personal injury lawyer can help to identify each liable party in your case and then help you hold them all accountable.
Should I Handle My Personal Injury Claim on My Own?
Some cases may not require help from an attorney, such as when there are minor injuries that do not require ongoing medical care and when there’s little property damage. However, if you suffered severe injuries, lost wages, and need long-term medical care, you may stand to lose a lot when you forgo a professional’s help.
It is tough to go up against giant entities like insurance companies. 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, it may be wise to hire a professional who can protect your rights and look out for your best interests.
The personal injury attorneys in Altoona from our firm possess the know-how to communicate a strong case to the insurance company. We can handle the settlement negotiations and cover the full extent of your damages. Should out-of-court negotiations fail, we can take your case to trial to fight for the compensation you deserve.
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How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
Under Pennsylvania law, you generally have two years from the time of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit, according to Pa. C.S.A. § 5524. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. If you do not act quickly, you risk forfeiting your right to 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 our firm as soon as possible.
What Types of Compensation Can Be Recovered From a Personal Injury Claim?
Every personal injury claim is unique, but if your claim is successful, you may 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
Wrongful Death Damages
In a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, you can demand compensation for other damages, such as:
- A lower income for your family
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Lost parental guidance
- The cost of the funeral
Valuating Your Damages
To determine the value of your tangible, financial damages, like your lost wages, your lawyer can simply look at your financial documents, like your paychecks. However, it isn’t that easy to determine the value of your intangible damages, like your pain and suffering. Your lawyer may have to use other methods and their experience to valuate such damages.
However, you can be sure your lawyer will valuate your damages. This will help ensure your payout compensates you for claimable losses.
About Our Altoona Personal Injury Lawyers
As personal injury lawyers, our team works with victims of personal injury accidents and the families of these victims. We understand you and your family have been going through a lot recently, and we want to be your advocates. We’ve assisted tens of thousands of people like you, already.
Let us put our 40 years of personal injury case experience to work for you. We’ll take over your entire case from you, relieving you of legal and some financial burdens, and then we’ll take on the other party, including their insurance company and opposing attorneys. We’ll fight hard for you even if it means taking your case to court and arguing there for a fair verdict.
Meet With a Personal Injury Lawyer in Altoona
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 our opinion about your case. You’ll be under no obligation to hire our firm, but should you do, you’ll pay us no upfront fees to get started. Moreover, we do not collect payment for our legal services until and unless we win your case. Contact Berger and Green today for your free consultation.