Personal injury law, also known as tort law, allows people to claim compensation when someone else’s negligent actions caused them harm. Negligence is an act of carelessness or recklessness. Nearly all personal injury claims in Philadelphia rest on the concept of negligence.
There are many different scenarios that can lead to a personal injury case. However, not all accidents involve liability. It is important to understand the different types of personal injury law so that if you are in an accident, you can determine if someone else is liable for it.
Below are some of the most common types of personal injury in Philadelphia that can result in a claim.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car accidents are the most common of all personal injury claims. When a motor vehicle crash occurs, it is typically due to the fact that one driver was negligent. When that is the case, anyone who is injured may have a personal injury claim.
Pennsylvania is a no-fault auto insurance state. As such, injured individuals must go through their own insurance to claim coverage for a car accident. In the case of serious injury, injured individuals can file a lawsuit directly against the driver. Pennsylvania law defines serious injury as death, serious impairment of a bodily function, or permanent serious disfigurement.
Most motor vehicle accidents involve smaller passenger cars and SUVs. Accidents involving commercial trucks and buses are less common, but the injuries are typically much more severe. Least common of all are motorcycle crashes. When these occur, there is a strong possibility that the biker will sustain serious injuries.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents
When pedestrians and cyclists are hit by motor vehicles on the road, the results are often catastrophic. Pedestrians have no protection when they are out walking.
Cyclists have very little protection other than a helmet and perhaps some protective clothing. When a vehicle hits either a pedestrian or cyclist, the driver typically walks away unhurt. Pedestrians and cyclists however, sustain extremely serious, often life-long, injuries. Those injuries are painful, and costly to treat.
Many pedestrian and bicycle accidents are the result of motorists not paying attention to the road. When this is the case, injured pedestrians can hold negligent drivers liable.
Doctors are supposed to care for their patients to the best of their ability at all times. When they fail to do so, injured patients can hold them liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, not all unsuccessful results or treatments are considered medical malpractice.
In order to prove medical malpractice occurred, patients must show doctors did not provide a reasonable standard of care. This is extremely difficult. It requires expert testimony from another doctor in the same field as the defendant.
Medical malpractice cases often focus on misdiagnosis, birth injuries, surgical errors, and prescription errors.
Under Pennsylvania law, property owners must keep their property in a safe condition at all times to avoid injuries to visitors. When they fail to do so, those hurt can generally hold property owners liable.
Not all injuries that occur on someone else’s property are a result of negligence, however. It will depend on the facts surrounding the case. It also depends on the type of visitor that got hurt. Property owners do not owe a high duty of care to trespassers, for example. Business owners on the other hand, owe a very high duty of care to their customers.
Slip and fall cases are the most common type of premises liability cases. Slip and fall accidents are most commonly caused by uneven or broken flooring, slippery floors, inadequate lighting, and snow and ice accumulation.
Dog bite law in Pennsylvania is sometimes confusing to understand. In Pennsylvania, a dog may be deemed a dangerous dog if it has attacked someone before without provocation.
Pennsylvania law requires all dogs, even those not deemed dangerous, to be confined, or under the reasonable control of a person. If a dog owner fails to keep a dog under control and it bites someone, those hurt can hold the dog owner liable for their injuries.
Dog bites may not sound like serious accidents, but they often are. When a dog attacks someone it can result in serious injuries, scarring, and disfigurement.
Consumers use a number of products throughout the day. When they do, they do not expect the product will hurt them. When a product is defective or faulty and causes someone else injury, those hurt can hold manufacturers liable.
Sellers, retailers, distributors, and anyone else who handled or stored the product can also be held liable. Failing to warn customers of dangers and risks associated with using a product is also considered negligence.
When someone’s negligence has caused an accident so severe someone has died as a result, it is known as a wrongful death lawsuit. The only person that can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Philadelphia is the personal representative of the estate. However, they file these claims on behalf of the deceased’s surviving loved ones.
Compensation in wrongful death claims is intended to compensate the family for their loss. Damages may include loss of companionship and support, loss of future income, and loss of household services.
In Pennsylvania, the personal representative of the estate can also file a survival claim. These are similar to, but separate from, wrongful death claims. A survival claim seeks compensation for any loss the deceased incurred before their death. Essentially survival claims are personal injury claims the deceased could have filed had he or she survived the accident. Damages in survival claims can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost income.
Have You Been Hurt? Call Our Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been in an accident and sustained serious injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney.
At Abramson & Denenberg, P.C., we fight for the rights of accident victims.
We understand that when you are hurt through no fault of your own, you should not be held financially responsible for your injuries. We want to help you get the full amount of compensation you need.
Call us today at (215) 475-5431 or contact us online to learn how we can help with your personal injury claim.