The most common causes of personal injury are crashes involving motor vehicles. Other common causes are medical and hospital malpractice, construction injuries, products liability claims, aircraft failures, dog attacks, slips and falls, nursing home abuse, and sexual abuse.
If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury due to the negligence or fault of someone else, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical and hospital bills, destroyed property, lost wages, future lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of life’s pleasures. However, Pennsylvania personal injury law is complex; there are time limits for filing; and if you don’t handle your claim correctly, you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to. It’s essential to get legal assistance to make sure your case is handled promptly and properly.
Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement. Our seasoned personal injury lawyers have helped hundreds of people file successful lawsuits. With decades of experience and an excellent reputation in the legal community, we are well positioned to handle even the most difficult cases. Our lawyers have successfully represented clients in personal injury cases of all kinds. We offer a free consultation to carefully examine the individual facts in your case and determine the best way to handle it. Contact us for a free consultation with a highly experienced personal injury lawyer or call 800-326-9259.
In Pennsylvania, compensated costs and losses fall into two categories: economic damages, and non-economic damages.
For you to win a personal injury claim, you must be able to prove another party was at fault and negligent by showing:
Also, Pennsylvania has a “modified comparative negligence rule.” Compensation is reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault. If you are more than 50 percent at fault, you can’t collect anything from other at-fault parties. There is a different rule concerning products liability claims, and sometimes statutes and specialized cases may come into play with respect to fault.
In Pennsylvania, there is a statute of limitations that allows you two (2) years from the date of an injury to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. (42 Pa. Con. Stat. Ann. section 5524). You must file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out or the Pennsylvania civil court system will likely refuse to hear your case, and you will lose the right to get compensation. Also important is Pennsylvania’s statute of repose that comes into play in a number of different types of cases and the discovery or tolling rule. These are all very complex matters that require valuation by an attorney.
If your claim is against a city, county, or state government agency, there are times where a notice of intent to sue within 6 months is required. Sovereign immunity in Pennsylvania is another area of great complexity. In federal cases, the Federal Tort Claims Act controls and sometimes there are even opportunities to obtain damage for personal injuries under the civil rights laws.
Pennsylvania has something called the Financial Responsibility Law. Cliff Rieders wrote the book on the subject, and the book is available from Amazon. Medical and hospital reimbursement is handled from the victim’s own coverage, up to the limits of coverage purchased. There is then tort coverage and the all-important underinsurance. Many people take less underinsurance than they should. Sometimes we can get around this, and other times not. Certain forms must be executed before underinsurance can be cut by the insurance company. Also extremely important in Pennsylvania is that you can choose between “full tort” and “limited tort” insurance coverage. “Limited tort” prohibits you from suing unless the accident resulted in “serious injury.” If you are able to prove serious injury or if you have “full tort” coverage, you can seek compensation from an at-fault party. It is extremely important that an attorney look at this because there are times when it is possible to get around the tort waiver where the proper forms have not been executed. We have experience working with physicians in terms of obtaining information on whether a serious injury has occurred.
Pennsylvania statute (3 Pa. Stat. § 459-502 (b)) makes the owner “strictly liable” for injuries to others. This means that even if this is the first time the animal has injured someone, the dog owner may be responsible.
Pennsylvania’s constitution prohibits the limitation of damages in cases involving injury and death. The only limitation is a cap on punitive damages in medical malpractice cases. However, state laws do limit the amount of compensation you can recover when the defendant is a local or state government entity, such as a school district. The law is different with respect to the Federal Tort Claims Act and where civil rights laws may be applicable.
Typically, in personal injury cases, the attorney receives payment through a contingency fee agreement. Attorneys often lay out the costs for filing the case and do not get paid until a settlement is reached, when they get a percentage of the settlement funds. If you are seriously injured, need surgery, have large medical bills, miss a great deal of time from work, or are unable to work again, your personal injury case is worth more money.
If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury or someone has died as a result of another person’s negligence, you should get legal assistance to protect your rights at every stage of your claim.
Personal injury attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome. With our experienced staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.
Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award. Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice, including the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania, and he wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state. Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.
If you or your loved one has suffered personal injury harm, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling 800-326-9259, or by using our online contact form. Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.