If you have suffered a personal injury in the state of Pennsylvania due to someone else’s negligent or deliberate actions, you have a right to receive compensation for your medical expenses and damages. Generally, most personal injury cases involve accidents, such as a car accident, in which another person is legally responsible. When you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, it is done through civil court. It is worth knowing about the personal injury laws in Pennsylvania in the event you ever suffer injury due to no fault of your own.
How are Personal Injury Disputes Resolved?
There are two ways in which a personal injury dispute can be resolved. They are as follows:
- Formal Lawsuit: A civil complaint is filed against another person in civil court. In the lawsuit, the injured party, the plaintiff, alleges that the defendant was negligent or careless in regard to an accident or incident that caused the plaintiff’s injury.
- Informal Settlement: Many personal injury claims are resolved through an informal early settlement. In this scenario, it is wise to hire personal injury lawyers in Pennsylvania who can handle the matter for you. This is because an attorney is better equipped to get the best possible settlement for your injury that is fair and satisfactory. A process of negotiation occurs during settlement and is followed by a written agreement that states that both parties will not take the matter further, such as in a lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Lawsuits
All states have a time limit for when you can file a personal injury lawsuit with the court. In Pennsylvania, that amount of time is two years from the date of your injury. This is also known as the statute of limitations. If you fail to file your lawsuit with the court within that period of time, the court will not hear your case, which means you will not be able to receive compensation for your injury and any damages. However, if your personal injury lawsuit is against a county, city or state government agency, you are required to file a notice of intent to sue within six months.
Pennsylvania is one of the states that follows the shared fault rule. This is also referred to as the “modified comparative negligence rule.” It means that in some cases, you may be found partially at fault for the accident or incident that caused your injury. For instance, if you were struck by another vehicle that was speeding but you were crossing the street in the middle instead of at the crosswalk – in other words, jaywalking – you could be found partially responsible for the accident. If the court determined that you bore 10 percent of the fault and you were suing for $10,000, you would then receive $9,000.
Pennsylvania follows the no-fault system in car accident cases. That means that after an accident, the injured party must go through their own insurance company to cover their medical expenses and other things like loss of wages, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. The only way you can hold another driver liable for your injuries following a car accident is if it is considered a “serious” injury.
If you have been injured due to someone else’s actions in Pennsylvania, it’s important to hire the right personal injury attorney. It is your best chance at recovering compensation for your injury and damages.