Personal injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania generally involve an accident or injury where the injured person files a claim for money damages. The most common types of personal injury claims involve car accidents or slip and fall injuries but can include any event that involved a physical or mental injury.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in Northwest Pennsylvania, contact an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer who will fight to make sure you get the money you deserve for your injuries.
Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits
A personal injury claim allows injury victims to recover damages for physical injuries caused by the negligence or intentional actions of another. The injury victim files a complaint against those liable for the damages. Personal injury claims in Pennsylvania can include:
- Car and truck accidents
- Dog bite injuries
- Construction accidents
- Slip and falls
- Premises liability
- Workplace injuries
- Wrongful death
- Products liability
- Medical malpractice
The person who causes the accident may not be the only party liable for damages. For example, employers are generally liable for the wrongful actions of their employees while on the job. When a dangerous product injures someone, the parties that made or sold the product may also be liable for the damages. Talk to a personal injury accident lawyer to find if you have a legal claim after an accident or injury in Pennsylvania.
What Damages Are Available in a Personal Injury Accident?
Damages available in a personal injury accident can include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include those that have a dollar-value attached, including:
- Lost wages from not being able to work,
- Medical expenses,
- Property damage,
- Future lost earnings, and
- The cost of ongoing medical care.
Non-economic damages can be more difficult to measure, but can include the value of the pain and suffering the victim had to endure as the result of the accident.
If someone dies as the result of negligence, the beneficiaries can recover damages for “wrongful death.” A wrongful death claim is filed by the deceased person's personal representative, and can include a demand for funeral expenses, lost wages the deceased would have provided, and other losses to the family caused by the death of a loved one.
How Long Do I Have to File an Injury Claim?
The time limit to file a claim is the “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations for each case depends on the type of case, the injury victim, and where the accident occurred.
The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims in Pennsylvania is two (2) years from the date of the accident or injury. However, there is generally a shorter time limit for claims against the government.
There may be exceptions based on the age of the injury victim and where the injury was discovered after the negligent act occurred. If a minor, under the age of 18, suffers an injury, the time does not begin to toll until the child turns 18. Additionally, the “discovery rule” generally provides that the time does not begin to run until the injury victim knows or should have known about the injury (such as medical malpractice cases).
Don't wait until the last minute to file your claim. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to make sure you don't lose out on your chance to recover damages for your injuries.
Personal Injury Claims Against the City, County, or State
Personal injury claims against the city, county, or Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are generally treated differently than other claims. Generally, there is a shorter window to file a timely personal injury claim against a government entity. This applies to most government entities and agencies in Pennsylvania, including:
- Pennsylvania agencies (PennDOT)
- County agencies
- Boroughs and Townships
In most cases, individuals have to file a notice of intent to sue within six (6) months of the accident. If you do not file your claim in time, your claim may be denied.
Finding the Right Personal Injury Attorney
When looking for a personal injury attorney, you should look for an experienced lawyer, familiar with the laws and courts in your local area. Contact the attorneys for a phone on in-person consultation to help you get a feel for if the lawyer will be available to answer your questions and fight for your interests.
An experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney can review your claim, make sure your case is filed on time, negotiate to get the best recovery, defend your interests in court, and work to get you the full damages you deserve.
Some people worry that they cannot afford an attorney for their case. However, most personal injury cases are handled on a “contingency fee basis,” meaning you should not have to pay anything up-front and only pay if you win your case.
At the Shafer Law Firm, we will never ask you to pay a fee unless we are able to win your case. We also offer a free consultation and will give you an honest assessment of your claim and what we can do to help you recover damages for your injury.
Crawford County Personal Injury Lawyer
For 29 years, Crawford County attorney Jeffrey Millin at the Shafer Law Firm has been representing injury victims and their families in all types of personal injury cases across Pennsylvania. Experienced. Proven. Contact Jeffrey Millin or Jason Reagle in Meadville, Titusville or Conneaut Lake today for a free consultation.