Were you hurt in an accident due to another person’s negligence? Let our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys fight for you.
Personal injury cases can encompass a wide range of accidents, from car accidents and dog bites to slip-and-fall accidents. The common denominator in each is that someone else’s negligence caused the accident — and they should be the ones to pay for your resulting expenses.
If you were injured in an accident that was another person’s fault, you need an experienced personal injury attorney in Philadelphia to advise and represent you. Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore are committed to helping you move forward from your personal injury accident and hold the responsible party accountable. This includes specialized support from Philadelphia’s truck accident lawyers for those involved in truck-related incidents.
Let us fight for compensation on your behalf; schedule a consultation today.
Read our client reviews to learn how we have recovered more than $250,000,000 for past clients.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
“Personal injury” is an umbrella term for any accidents that occur due to another person’s negligence, when that person owed the victim a duty of care. Our personal injury attorneys have experience representing accident victims across a wide range of cases.
Car accidents are some of the more common types of personal injury accidents. When another driver is at fault for an accident that leaves you with serious injuries and damage to your vehicle, they are financially liable for your expenses. But establishing fault in auto accidents can be tricky, which is why it helps to have an experienced attorney on your side.
We’ve helped victims across the greater Philadelphia area pursue compensation after all of the following auto accidents:
- Passenger vehicle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
Pedestrian or Bike Accidents
Accidents that involve pedestrians or bicyclists often lead to devastating injuries. Did a car strike you while you were crossing the street at a crosswalk? Or did a vehicle hit your bicycle while you were riding on a public road? We can help you gather evidence demonstrating that the driver was 100% at fault for the accident.
Slip, trip, and fall injuries often involve premises liability. Property owners are responsible for creating safe environments for visitors, which includes removing hazards that could cause you to slip or trip. The property owner may be liable for your accident if any of the following hazards were present, causing your injury:
- Wet floors (without a warning sign present)
- Bunched carpeting
- Uneven flooring
- Merchandise in the aisleway of a store
Pennsylvania follows a strict liability statute for dog bite claims, which means that the dog’s owner is always responsible for bites that occur when you are lawfully on the owner’s property or on public property. Our attorneys can help you fight for maximum compensation after a dog bite in Philadelphia.
Premises liability encompasses any accidents that occur due to a property owner’s negligence. Slip and fall accidents are just one example of premises liability claims; they can also include:
- Swimming pool accidents
- Dog bites
- Elevator accidents
- Accidents due to inadequate premises maintenance
- Amusement park accidents
- Stair collapses
- Inadequate security accidents
We can help you hold the property owner accountable through a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit.
When someone’s negligence causes another person’s death, it’s known as a “wrongful death” case. In Pennsylvania, the personal representative of the person who passed away can file a wrongful death claim to seek financial compensation.
Determining Fault in a Personal Injury Case
Fault in personal injury cases isn’t always straightforward. To prove that someone was responsible for your accident, you need to show that all of the following are true:
- The person owed you a duty of care.
- The person breached that duty of care.
- An accident occurred because of a breach of duty of care.
- You suffered injuries from the accident.
“Duty of care” is the key component in premises liability cases. It means adhering to a standard of reasonable care to protect the safety and well-being of others. So who owes you a duty of care?
- Other drivers, when you are sharing the road with them
- Property owners, when you are lawfully on their premises
- Manufacturers, when you use their products
- Dog owners, when you are lawfully in the vicinity of their dogs
If there is ever a time when someone reasonably could have or should have done something to prevent your injury, yet they didn’t, they’re likely negligent in your accident.
However, fault usually isn’t an “all or nothing” concept. The insurance company or judge may assign a percentage of fault to multiple parties in personal injury claims.
Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence policy, which means you may seek compensation after an accident as long as you were less than 51% at fault. A qualified personal injury attorney in Philadelphia with our firm can help you gather compelling evidence to show that another party was responsible for your accident and owes you damages.
Methods of Seeking Compensation in Philadelphia
After a personal injury accident, you have two main methods of seeking compensation from the at-fault party: an insurance claim and a lawsuit.
Pennsylvania has slightly different processes for insurance claims depending on the type of insurance policy you’re filing the claim through.
Auto Insurance Claim
Vehicle liability insurance is mandatory for all drivers in Pennsylvania. However, Pennsylvania also follows a “no-fault” system for car accident cases. After a car accident, you typically file a claim with your own insurance company, regardless of who was at fault.
The only time you can hold another driver liable for a car accident is if your case meets a “serious injury” threshold. There’s no exact definition of “serious injury,” and your attorney can help you argue that your case does meet this threshold.
Homeowners’ or Business Insurance Claim
If your accident happened at another person’s home, you may be able to file a claim through their homeowners’ liability insurance. The same goes for accidents that happen on commercial property, as many business owners also have liability insurance. However, this type of insurance isn’t mandatory for homeowners or business owners.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
In a personal injury lawsuit, you would either sue the at-fault party directly or sue their insurance company, depending on whether the responsible party has insurance. Lawsuits may feel intimidating, but your personal injury attorney in Philadelphia will guide you through every step.
Many personal injury lawsuits settle out of court. If your attorney and the at-fault party can reach an agreement, you may be able to avoid going to court altogether.
A lawsuit may allow you to recover more compensation than you could through an insurance claim. Your attorney can advise you on whether proceeding with a lawsuit makes sense for your situation. In some cases, both an insurance claim and a lawsuit are warranted to seek adequate compensation to cover all expenses incurred from the accident.
When to Consider a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If the at-fault party has the right insurance coverage, and your case meets the “serious injury” threshold, an insurance claim can help you pay for your medical bills and other direct expenses from the accident. But there are a few circumstances that could inhibit your ability to recover compensation through an insurance claim, such as:
- The at-fault party not having liability insurance
- The insurance policy not having high enough coverage limits to pay for all your expenses
- The insurance company denying your claim
- The insurance company failing to offer adequate compensation for all your expenses
In these cases, a personal injury lawsuit may provide a higher payout.
What Compensation Can You Seek in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A few different types of compensation may be available to you depending on whether you pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Compensatory damages directly compensate you for the losses you incurred from the personal injury accident. There are two main types of compensatory damages:
Economic damages make up for the direct economic impact the accident caused. You can seek these damages through an insurance claim or a lawsuit, and they cover expenses such as:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Time off work
- Loss of ability to work
- Future medical expenses
- Loss of income (in a wrongful death case)
One benefit of pursuing a lawsuit over an insurance claim is the opportunity to claim non-economic damages. These damages make up for the other losses the accident caused that you can’t put a price on. They may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship (in a wrongful death case)
- Loss of quality of life
Your attorney can help you calculate a monetary amount to assign to these non-economic damages. Often, the more severe your injuries, the greater the non-economic damages you can pursue.
Your case may also warrant punitive damages, which punish the at-fault party for particularly egregious or careless behavior. The liable party pays these directly from their bank account.
A few examples of cases that warrant punitive damages include:
- Drunk driving accidents
- Dog bite cases in which the dog’s owner provoked the dog to bite the victim
- Premises liability cases in which a property owner intentionally left a serious hazard on their property
When personal injury cases involve malicious intent, the at-fault party may also be subject to criminal charges. But your personal injury lawsuit would be a civil lawsuit, which is separate from any criminal proceedings the defendant may face.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Philadelphia?
If you’re considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll need to make sure you do so within the statute of limitations. Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations is two years from the accident date for both personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
If you miss this deadline, the court will likely dismiss your case, and you’ll miss your opportunity to secure compensation. However, the court may extend the statute of limitations in some cases, such as if:
- You were under 18 when the accident occurred. The statute of limitations would not begin until you turned 18.
- The defendant was unreachable for more than four months. If the defendant was outside Pennsylvania for at least four months or concealed their identity before you filed the lawsuit, the period they were unreachable would not count within the two-year statute of limitations.
If you’re nearing the two-year deadline or have already passed it, reach out to a personal injury attorney in Philadelphia to learn your options.
Why Work With a Personal Injury Attorney in Philadelphia?
If you’re recovering from a personal injury accident, you’re probably dealing with one of the hardest chapters in your life. An experienced attorney can lighten your load, allowing you to keep the focus on your recovery while pursuing maximum compensation from the at-fault party. This is exactly why you need a personal injury lawyer: to guide you through these challenging times with expertise and dedication.
A personal injury attorney can:
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- Communicate with the at-fault party and their insurance company or legal representative on your behalf
- Help you file your insurance claim
- Complete the necessary paperwork for you
- Represent you in court
Navigating a serious personal injury case without legal assistance may be futile. You would need extensive experience with the legal system and knowledge of Pennsylvania’s unique statutes to successfully represent yourself and secure maximum compensation. An attorney can keep your case on track, provide legal advice and guidance, and often improve your case outcomes.
At the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore, we’re committed to fighting for your right to compensation after a personal injury accident. Learn more about our team.
Seek Guidance From a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney in Philadelphia
The aftermath of a personal injury accident can be painful, overwhelming, and chaotic. Let our attorneys at the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore give you peace of mind by taking the responsibility for your case off your shoulders.
Our attorneys have extensive experience across numerous personal injury cases, and we’ll put our knowledge and skills to work to fight for you.
Call the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore today at 1-800-CANT-WORK for your consultation with a personal injury attorney in Philadelphia, PA.