There are unfortunate times in life when people are blindsided by a personal injury. When this happens, it is important to know the law regarding these cases and how it can aid in receiving a settlement.
The Key Details of Personal Injury Law
Someone who has suffered an injury can benefit from learning the particulars of personal injury law in the state of Pennsylvania.
1. The Legal Definition of Personal Injury
A personal injury occurs when a person has been injured in a physical, emotional or psychological manner due to the negligence of another person. People who have so been injured may be entitled to receive monetary compensation as a result.
2. Types of Cases
There are numerous types of personal injury cases. A few of the most common types are automobile and motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, dog bites, slip and fall incidents, faulty medical devices and drug injuries.
3. Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the law that states the amount of time a victim has to file a claim. In Pennsylvania, residents typically have six months to two years to file. This varies depending on the nature of the injury, so it is important to discuss it with a lawyer as soon as possible. If a person does not file during the necessary time frame, it may cost them the opportunity to collect a settlement in the case.
4. Recouping Damages
When victims file a claim, it is done to recover damages. The damages are losses that are in relation to the sustained injury. There are three main types of damages that can be recouped in court: punitive, economic and noneconomic.
Punitive is the type of damage used to punish the guilty party and prevent the type of sustained injury the victim has from happening to someone else. It is most often given in cases of severe negligence, such as a person who has driven while intoxicated. Economic damage is recovered when a victim has financial losses due to the injury suffered. This may refer to medical expenses and the inability to work as a result of the injury.
Noneconomic damages are the physical, emotional and psychological damage a victim may experience following the injury. This can include the loss of a loved one, emotional distress, disfigurement or a poor quality of life.
5. Shared fault
In personal injury cases, victims who share fault in the accident are still eligible to receive compensation. Pennsylvania has a modified comparative fault rule. This means the amount of damages that can be recovered is diminished; how much is received is dependent on the fault of the victim. A victim who is more than 50% responsible will be unable to collect any compensation.
It is useful for injured victims in Pennsylvania to be aware of the state laws regarding personal injury. By knowing the facts and receiving help from a lawyer, victims can help themselves receive the compensation they deserve.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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