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Everyone must take reasonable care to avoid injuries to others, but not everyone upholds that obligation. A personal injury attorney’s job is to hold the negligent parties accountable and secure reasonable compensation for the harm people suffer from others’ recklessness.
A Philadelphia personal injury lawyer could investigate an incident, identify negligent parties, and demand compensation for your losses. Damages might include your medical expenses, lost wages, and payments for your diminished quality of life.
You stand a far better chance of receiving an adequate settlement if you work with a dedicated attorney, but you must act quickly. There is a limited time to file a lawsuit, and the sooner you pursue legal damages, the more time a legal representative will have to develop a strong case.
Speedy Action Gets Better Injury Case Results
In most cases, the Commonwealth requires people seeking damages for injuries to file a lawsuit within two years of the incident that caused the harm. Unlike many states, the law here contains no provision extending the time for minors, so parents generally must bring a suit on behalf of an injured child within the two-year timeframe.
Many personal injury cases implicate the state or a local government. Seeking damages after an accident involving a school or city bus, a vehicle accident where the at-fault driver was a public employee on the clock, or a fall or other mishap on government property usually involves claiming against a local government. In such cases, Pennsylvania Statute §5522 requires an injured person to file a notice with the local government office within six months.
Consulting with a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia immediately after an accident could preserve a person’s right to sue all potentially responsible parties. Waiting to engage a legal representative also risks that valuable evidence could be lost or destroyed, and witnesses might become unavailable or their memories fade.
Negligent Conduct Supporting a Personal Injury Lawsuit
An injured person (plaintiff) must prove another party (defendant) was negligent to obtain damages for their losses. The defendant could be a person, business, manufacturer, or government. In most cases, the plaintiff must provide evidence that a defendant did not exercise the appropriate degree of care the circumstances required and that failure directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In some cases, the plaintiff’s burden decreases because a defendant is strictly liable.
An attorney in Philadelphia handles personal injury cases resulting from many types of careless conduct. An injury lawsuit could result from a:
- Motor vehicle crash
- Boating wreck
- Defective product
- Elevator or escalator accident
- Slip or trip and fall
- Dog bite or other animal attacks
- Accident in a recreational facility
- Medical error
- Nursing home neglect
A legal professional could collect evidence of negligence that led to an injury and contact the potentially responsible parties. In most cases, negotiations result in the injured person receiving an appropriate settlement compensating for their losses. If negotiations fail, a legal team could file a lawsuit and make a case for reimbursement before a judge and jury.
Could a Plaintiff’s Negligent Conduct Impact Compensation?
The Commonwealth follows the comparative fault rule, meaning a reckless plaintiff cannot collect 100 percent of their damages. Instead, they could collect the portion of their losses attributable to others’ negligence. If a judge or jury finds a plaintiff is more than 50 percent responsible for the harm, a plaintiff cannot collect any damages.
The comparative fault rule incentivizes careless defendants to find evidence against a plaintiff to reduce or eliminate their liability. It is essential for individuals who may have some responsibility for an accident to have skilled legal counsel combat a defendant’s attempt to shift blame onto the plaintiff.
A lawyer in Philadelphia could fight until the negligent defendants take responsibility for their part in a personal injury. By presenting evidence of a defendant’s negligence and explanations for a plaintiff’s conduct, a legal professional could ensure a person receives fair compensation for their losses.
Pursue Your Claim with a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney
If you were hurt in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you might have a viable claim for damages. A consultation with a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer soon after an accident could inform you of your options and preserve your legal rights.