Main Line, Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney
Nobody should have to go through a car accident. Unfortunately, thousands of drivers face this frightening reality on a daily basis – and in many cases, the scene of the crash is a highway. With so many drivers fighting for a spot on a busy, high-speed road, an...read more
According to the Philadelphia Vision Zero Alliance, traffic crashes are a public health crisis in Philadelphia. Penn Dot reports more than 56,630 crashes occurred in the city of Philadelphia from 2013 to 2017. Pedestrian deaths tend to be higher in Philadelphia than the national average. Philadelphia is also notorious for slip and fall accidents, frequently occurring in the workplace, nursing homes, schools, and pedestrian walkways, among others.
The devastating and often catastrophic consequences of personal injuries suffered as a result of someone’s negligence can lead to great health and financial difficulties. It’s heartbreaking to go through this experience, but also to see a loved one suffering an injury due to another person’s the lack of care, negligence, oversight, or misconduct. A personal injury claim is filed to recover the costs of medical bills and all other expenses associated with the injury. These costs add up quickly. A lawsuit can help defray these expenses and make it possible to obtain compensation for future losses related to lifestyle changes, wages, and quality of life.
If you or a loved one gets injured due to the negligence of another person, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your losses. Our personal injury practice encompasses the areas where victims can be most vulnerable in Philadelphia, the Main Line, Montco, and Delco. With over 80 years of combined experienced, the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys of Jacobs & Fishman, P.C. display an unwavering commitment to representing clients who have been harmed by the negligence of others. For a free legal consultation, call Jacobs & Fishman, P.C. today at (610) 941-4250, or contact us online.
Proving Negligence in a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Claim
The legal theory or basis for a personal injury claim is negligence. Negligence claims are based on the conduct of the person or entity responsible for the injury and how the person’s actions resulted in or contributed to creating the harm. The injury has to be a foreseeable result. Foreseeability means average persons could predict or foresee that the accident or harm could occur. A strong negligence claim can include that precautions were known to avoid or reduce the risk of harm and that these were patently ignored.
Since each case of negligence is primarily fact-based, if the claim goes to trial, it will be presented to a jury. The jury will be instructed or requested to review the information with a perspective of what the average person would do.
How Much Time Do I Have to File A Lawsuit in Philadelphia?
Ordinarily, Pennsylvania has a two-year limit to file a personal injury lawsuit. This period begins to run upon discovery of the wrongdoing. However, if the problem doesn’t come up within the two years, there are limited exceptions that will exempt the two-year limit.
The legal rule of this exception is known as “tolling.” The meaning of tolling is that the time limit for filing a lawsuit begins to run when the person learns about the injury if there are valid reasons for not noticing the negligent harm.
Examples of tolling include medical mistakes that are not discovered immediately after the medical malpractice occurs. Another example is when the side effects of water contamination or environmental hazards are discovered after many years pass.
In addition to the statutory toll exceptions, there is also a concept known as “equitable tolling” that applies to special or limited circumstances. In general, this exception is raised in situations where a court may find a public interest or that it’s fair to excuse the failure to bring the claim within the two years.
Partial Fault in a Personal Injury Claim
You may still have a viable claim even when you had some responsibility. Pennsylvania follows a rule known as the “comparative negligence” or “the 51 percent rule.” When the injured party is partly responsible for the injuries, his or her negligence or oversights doesn’t have to bar recovery of damages. However, the other party’s level of responsibility must be greater than 51%.
Highway traffic accidents often illustrate comparative negligence. For example, one driver collides after making an imprudent U-turn. While the other vehicle in the collision drives over the speed limit. Both drivers’ failures can constitute negligence and recovery will be based on a quantifiable comparison of each party’s level of fault.
While this rule may seem confusing, it doesn’t have to be. Our law firm has professionals with extensive experience and will work with experts to properly quantify levels of legal responsibility.
What Information Do I Need to File a Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
Gathering key records is important to establish details concerning the accident and injuries. These records can include ambulance, hospital, physicians, therapist, and other significant information. Attorney Joanne Fishman is uniquely prepared to assist in this aspect with her experience working as a therapist in a rehabilitation hospital before becoming an attorney.
If you’re considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, it will be helpful to understand at the onset that the party filing the lawsuit has to show what is known as the “burden of proof.” The term “burden of proof” is used generically to address the evidence or level of proof that will be required to establish the validity of the legal claim pursued.
A skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine the best course of action and what information will be necessary through the process. Ordinarily, we accept negligence cases on a contingency basis. Therefore, the review of your documentation will be free. Our fees are usually paid if the claim is successful.
Main Line, Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys Offering Free Consultations
The law firm of Jacobs and Fishman serves the communities of Delco, Montco, Philadelphia and the neighboring Main Line suburbs. We are known for our work to protect and uphold our client’s legal rights. Our results-oriented approach has helped our clients and their families cope with the enormous stress and pain that comes with a personal injury. Call your Main Line Philadelphia personal injury attorney at (610) 941-4250 to schedule a free consultation.