If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, it is important to talk to an attorney about your injuries. Even if your case seems minor, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and financial losses related to the accident. With car accidents, people commonly understand that they can seek compensation for their losses. Still, many people do not pursue the same compensation for issues like slip and fall cases, product injury cases, and other accidental injury cases.
The West Chester personal injury lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm have decades of experience handling personal injury cases on behalf of accident victims and their families. Our attorneys are available for free consultations on new matters. Call today to learn what compensation you might be entitled to in your injury case and to see what our attorneys can do for you. For a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (215) 246-9000.
Types of Personal Injury Cases Our West Chester Lawyers Handle
Pennsylvania law allows victims of many types of accidents to recover compensation if they were severely injured in West Chester. Some injury cases involve small accidents with little to no injury. Still, if you faced expensive medical bills or had to miss work because of your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. In addition, the compensation for pain and suffering can be substantial in some cases. Many of the following accidents and injuries commonly lead to personal injury lawsuits in West Chester.
Car Accident Cases
Car accidents are incredibly common, to the point that most drivers will be involved in a car accident at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, many car accidents lead to severe injuries and even death. This is especially true if a car crash is caused by drunk driving (DUI) or distracted driving; you may be entitled to substantial compensation for the injuries you faced in the car crash. Car insurance may be available to cover many car accident cases, but PA law still allows you to take many of these cases to court if you suffered a severe injury.
It is also important to note that a victim of a car accident may not receive the compensation they deserve by filing an insurance claim. The negligent driver that struck the victim may only have a car insurance policy that covers the bare minimum in order to avoid violating Pennsylvania law. As a result, a victim of a car accident could be successful in an insurance claim and may still have to contend with expenses caused by the crash. That is why it may be wise to pursue a personal injury lawsuit to avoid a scenario where the victim receives insufficient compensation for their injuries and other losses.
Slip and Fall Cases
Falling down may not seem like the most severe accident under certain circumstances. However, if you are an older adult or already suffer from injuries or handicaps, falling can cause a serious injury. Falling on your head or back can cause permanent injuries that can affect you for years to come. Even less severe injuries may include things like broken bones, which can keep you from returning to work. If the slip and fall were caused by an icy sidewalk or an uncleared spill in a store, your case may be very strong. There are other circumstances that could lead to a slip and fall accident:
- Poorly lit areas
- Unstable staircases, banisters, or hand railings
- Malfunctioning escalators
- Portions of cracked sidewalk
- Inadequately marked construction areas
Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical malpractice includes any cases where a doctor or other caregiver fails to provide the proper medical care expected of them. This includes surgical error cases, such as issues where a doctor might cut too deep or nick an artery. It also includes serious mistakes like failure to diagnose or delay in diagnosis. If the doctor misses a serious condition like cancer, your condition might worsen while you go untreated.
If you were injured due to the negligence of a doctor in West Chester, the doctor and their employer could be held liable for the doctor’s actions under the doctrine of respondeat superior. The doctrine of respondeat superior states that an employer can be vicariously liable for the negligent acts of an employee that occur within the scope of their employment. For example, if a surgeon left an instrument inside a patient during surgery, the doctor’s mistake could be attributed to the hospital that employs the surgeon.
Note, however, that some hospitals may hire doctors as independent contractors to avoid the vicarious liability for the negligent acts of a doctor. Nurses and other similar staff are typically hired as full-time employees.
Product Liability Cases
Dangerous designs or manufacturing errors can create products that are extremely dangerous. Household devices, kitchen appliances, power tools, and even motor vehicles can all have design flaws or problems with their equipment that injure the user. Other dangerous product cases may arise from items that have few safety precautions and lack warnings about their dangers.
There are multiple parties that could be held liable in a product liability claim. As you might expect, the manufacturer of the product would be responsible if it malfunctioned. However, there are some circumstances where other parties in the chain of distribution could be held liable for the defective product.
Workplace Injury Cases
If you suffered an on-the-job injury, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit to recover compensation. Especially if you were harmed by someone’s intentional actions or injured while working as an independent contractor, you may be able to take your employer or your client to court, seeking compensation.
The Reiff Law Firm handles many other types of personal injury claims that are not discussed above. To learn more about filing a personal injury lawsuit against the person or entity responsible for your injuries, continue reading and speak with an experienced West Chester personal injury attorney.
Lawsuits for Personal Injury in West Chester, PA
After facing an injury, you may be tempted to file through insurance. Some Pennsylvania car accidents require you to file with your no-fault insurance carrier first, but you may ultimately be entitled to more compensation through a lawsuit. In many cases where the defendant is insured by homeowners’ insurance or another insurance carrier, you may also be entitled to higher damages if you take your case to court rather than settle.
To prevail in a personal injury lawsuit, a plaintiff will have to show how a defendant acted negligently. That is why it is important for a plaintiff to gather evidence that can help prove the defendant’s negligence. For example, a victim of a car accident should have pictures of the damage to their vehicle and the injuries they sustained. Specifically, a plaintiff will have to prove the following elements to prevail in their case:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant violated the duty of care owed to the plaintiff
- The plaintiff suffered an injury or other losses due to the defendant’s breach
- The plaintiff sustained an injury or losses that are compensable by a court of law
Lawsuits for personal injury can recover compensation for any harms that stem from the injury. Compensatory damages can be divided into economic and non-economic losses. This includes medical expenses, lost wages you face during recovery, ongoing wages you will miss if you cannot return to work, pain and suffering damages, damages for your spouse if you have diminished capacity for work around the house, and other financial harms.
Lastly, it is important never to settle your personal injury case until you consult with a lawyer. It is difficult to know what your case might be worth until you talk to an experienced attorney to learn more about your options.
When to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in West Chester, PA
If you were the victim of an accident, you should consider taking your case to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Any substantial delays in the filing of your case could cause issues with the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations determines the length of time that a person has to file a lawsuit with a court of law. The timeframe set by the statute of limitations is subject to change depending on the circumstances of the plaintiff’s case.
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the injury. If a plaintiff fails to file a personal injury lawsuit within two years, the defendant can move to dismiss the case due to the violation of the statute of limitations. As a result, a victim may be unable to pursue compensation for their injuries.
Under certain circumstances, a plaintiff may be able to delay the filing deadline set by the statute of limitations. However, a potential plaintiff should not assume that they have the ability to toll the statute of limitations. If you are concerned about the filing deadline for your case, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Our West Chester, Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help If You Were Hurt in an Accident
If you or a loved one was injured in the Borough of West Chester, talk to a personal injury lawyer about your case. Especially if your loved one was killed in an accident, you might be entitled to substantial compensation to help support your family in their difficult times. To schedule a consultation with our West Chester personal injury attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm, call (215) 246-9000 today.