Bethlehem, PA Personal Injury Lawyer
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    Bethlehem, PA Personal Injury Lawyer

    A personal injury cause of action may be accrued when a person suffers an injury due to the negligent actions of another. For example, if a negligent driver causes a collision that leads to a victim sustaining bone fractures and other injuries, the victim could pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.

    While car accidents are a top cause of personal injury lawsuits in Bethlehem, victims can typically file claims against any party who acted negligently and caused them injury. For example, victims can bring personal injury cases for slip and fall accidents, instances of medical malpractice, or defective products incidents. Determining whether or not you can sue is important, as you will only have a two-year window to do so following an incident. To ensure your claim is as strong as possible, begin gathering evidence immediately after you are injured. Although sometimes daunting, going to trial might enable you to claim greater damages than settling.

    To discuss your case for free with The Reiff Law Firm’s Bethlehem, PA personal injury lawyers, call us now at (215) 709-6940.

    When to Sue for Personal Injury in Bethlehem, PA

    In most cases, victims can sue for personal injury if they were harmed by another party’s negligent or intentional wrongful act. This includes instances of medical malpractice, assault, workplace injuries, and auto accidents, among many others.

    It is not uncommon to pursue litigation following an accident caused by another party in Bethlehem. While it can sometimes feel uncomfortable for victims to file lawsuits, the reality is that they are entitled to compensation from the negligent party because of that party’s actions. Certain personal injury claims, like premises liability claims, can sometimes be harder for victims to pursue, especially if they know the defendant personally.

    Other times, victims might think that their injuries are not serious enough to file a lawsuit. While that is an understandable thought, if you incurred any damages whatsoever because of someone else’s negligence, you deserve payment for those losses. You should not have to foot the bill because of someone else’s mistake or intentional act.

    If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit in Bethlehem, know that you will only have two years to sue, according to 42 Pa.C.S. § 5524(2). If you do not bring your claim before the deadline, you will not be able to recover compensatory damages against the negligent party responsible for your injuries.

    Damages Incurred by Injury Victims in Bethlehem, PA

    Generally, injury victims incur medical damages because of their injuries in Bethlehem. Other losses, both financial and emotional, are also compensable in personal injury claims. To recover such damages, you will have to prove that they exist.

    Medical Expenses

    Often, the bulk of expenses victims seek compensation for following a personal injury in Bethlehem are related to their medical treatment. Whether you were hurt in a slip and fall accident or motor vehicle crash, you may need extensive and expensive medical care. Your treatment plan might require you to get surgery or receive physical therapy for some time. Some personal injury victims need to take prescription medications to deal with their injuries. For some victims, full physical recovery is unlikely, and they will need consistent medical care for the rest of their lives.

    If your claim is successful, you can recover compensation for all medical expenses related to your injuries. If you need care past the conclusion of your lawsuit, we can get statements from medical experts and those closely involved in your medical care to confirm as much so you can recover compensation for future damages not yet incurred.

    Lost Wages

    Various types of personal injuries can leave victims unable to return to work. Going back to work after a few weeks or months is possible for some victims. For others, returning to the same earning capacity or job might be impossible. Our personal injury lawyers will use various pieces of evidence, like past paystubs, your previous tax returns, and employment records, to carefully calculate your lost wages to date and your expected future lost wages. Recovering compensation for lost wages is crucial so that you can supplement your income while you physically recover from your personal injuries in Bethlehem.

    Pain and Suffering

    There are other losses that are also compensable in a personal injury lawsuit in Bethlehem. Non-economic damages are not capped in cases of personal injury in Pennsylvania, and a judge or jury will award such damages based on the evidence they see at trial. Pain and suffering damages are subjective, which is why it is important to put forth a compelling case for your recovery. To accomplish this, our personal injury lawyers might request that you speak with a therapist, keep a journal, or confide in those you trust about your internal struggles following an incident. Such individuals might be able to give statements in support of your recovery.

    Collecting Evidence for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Bethlehem, PA

    If you sustained an injury in Bethlehem due to the actions of a negligent person, you are likely concerned about how you can hold them accountable for their actions. To support a personal injury lawsuit, a victim should ensure they have sufficient evidence.

    It is important to note that the evidence you need to prove your case may vary depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, you should ensure you have a plethora of information concerning factors that led to the accident. If a driver ran through a stop sign and collided with your vehicle, you can take photos of the intersection where the accident occurred. There are other valuable pieces of evidence that can help you prove a car accident lawsuit, including photos of the damage to your vehicle, statements from witnesses that observed the accident, the name of the other driver and their insurance company, the name of the company that employs the driver if it was a commercial vehicle accident, and any weather that may have attributed to the accident.

    Or, if you were injured in another type of accident like a slip and fall, the evidence you need to prove your claim might be different. For example, it would be wise to take pictures of the area where you were injured when gathering evidence for a slip and fall claim, especially if the hazard that caused your injuries is visible.

    Documenting your injuries is also an essential part of proving your case. It would be best if you got medical attention for your injuries from an accident as soon as possible. A doctor can help you understand the severity of your injuries and the treatment you will require to recover from them. If you sustained an injury that will affect you for the rest of your life, like disfigurement, this is valuable information that is needed to determine the damages for your injuries.

    Taking Your Personal Injury Case to Court in Bethlehem, PA

    In civil claims, defendants often want to settle out of court to avoid being found liable for a victim’s injuries and having to fully compensate them for their losses. Our lawyers understand this, which is why we often urge victims to take their cases to trial in Bethlehem.

    Going to court can be intimidating, and that is understandable. However, it also gives victims the opportunity to submit their evidence and hold a negligent party accountable. When you win at trial, it can be very rewarding, especially when compared to the feeling of settling a case.

    Furthermore, presenting your case in front of a jury can open the door to greater damages. Typically, defendants are unwilling to put forth a settlement offer that includes sufficient compensation for pain and suffering. Going to trial also opens the door to recovery of punitive damages if the defendant was grossly negligent when causing your injuries in Bethlehem.

    Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Bethlehem, PA

    The evidence you collected in anticipation of litigation will be vital when trying to prove your case. Personal injury lawsuits typically operate on a theory of negligence. This means that the plaintiff is required to show which of the defendant’s actions were negligent and thus caused the accident.

    A plaintiff must submit evidence that shows that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, the defendant breached the duty of care (e.g., caused a car crash), the plaintiff was injured or suffered other losses due to the defendant’s breach, and the plaintiff sustained an injury or losses that is compensable by a court of law.

    Once a plaintiff has proven these elements, they can be awarded damages for their injuries and losses. Note, however, that Pennsylvania’s negligence laws might affect how much a plaintiff can receive in damages.

    Pennsylvania operates on the modified comparative negligence rule. This modified comparative negligence rule states that a plaintiff’s contributory negligence will not bar their damages as long as the plaintiff is not more negligent than the defendant. As a result, a plaintiff’s level of fault cannot exceed 50%; if it does, the plaintiff will be barred from recovery. For example, if a court finds that a plaintiff was 51% negligent for a car accident, the plaintiff cannot receive damages.

    Additionally, the plaintiff’s damages will be decreased by the amount of their negligence. This means that if a plaintiff was found to be 30% negligent, they would lose 30% of their awarded damages. To avoid having your damages affected by the modified comparative negligence rule, it is vital to gather extensive evidence to prove that you did not act negligently during the course of an accident in Bethlehem.

    Contact Our Experienced Bethlehem, PA Attorneys to Discuss Your Personal Injury Case

    To schedule a free case assessment from our personal injury lawyers, contact The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940.

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    1500 John F. Kennedy Blvd #501
    Philadelphia, PA 19102
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