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Danger can lurk around every corner.
No, we are not talking about a James Bond movie or another escapist film where the hero seems to find trouble every five minutes. We are talking about personal injury incidents. From slipping and falling in a movie theater bathroom to sustaining one or more injuries caused by medical malpractice, it is not an exaggeration to say danger does lurk around every corner. The question is not whether you will get hurt at some point during your life, but instead, the question is what are you going to do about it.
Falling victim to a personal injury incident can generate plenty of confusion. You have to deal with sustaining one or more injuries, as well as take steps to report the personal injury incident. Getting the names and contact information of witnesses helps you submit the most persuasive insurance claim to recover financial losses. With a full plate to deal with after a personal injury incident, one step to take right away involves contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia.
An experienced personal injury lawyer removes much of the stress associated with the aftermath of a personal injury incident. Your attorney reviews the formal incident report, whether the report comes from a law enforcement agency or the owner of a business. Gathering and organizing physical evidence is a priority, as your personal injury lawyer determines whether your case meets the four elements of proving negligence. If your attorney can prove another party committed at least one act of negligence, you might have a strong enough case to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
At Morgan and Morgan, We have represented clients in personal injury cases since 1988. Over the span of more than three decades, our personal injury lawyers have recovered more than $15 billion in monetary damages for our clients regarding all types of personal injury cases. In addition to recovering financial losses through the United States judicial system, we also help our clients file insurance claims that present overwhelming evidence for a claim to receive approval.
If you sustained one or more injuries as a result of a personal injury incident, be proactive by scheduling a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer at Morgan and Morgan.
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What Types of Personal Injury Incident Happen the Most Often in Philadelphia?
During a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer from Morgan and Morgan, you present information that helps your attorney determine the cause of the personal injury incident. Before determining the cause, your legal counsel discovers the type of personal injury incident that produced your injuries.
With more than 30 years of litigation experience, the personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan have compiled a list of the most common types of incidents that are reported in the City of Brotherly Love.
With a labyrinth of roads and highways twisting and turning in Philadelphia, it is not a surprise to learn that car accidents sit at the top of the list of the most common types of personal injury cases in the region. Two of the busiest interstates in the nation (76 and 95) meet in the heart of Philadelphia, which means the sheer volume of traffic alone is reason enough for the area to experience a high number of car accidents. Vehicle collisions produce a wide variety of injuries, some of which are serious or even life-threatening such as brain trauma and spinal cord damage.
When you meet with a personal injury lawyer from Morgan and Morgan, your attorney examines the evidence to determine whether the other party violated a traffic law that led to the crash in which you sustained one or more injuries.
Several world-renowned hospitals and healthcare centers operate in greater Philadelphia, such as the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Although the city is known for its high quality of medical care, healthcare providers still make mistakes that cause patients harm. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice cases include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and prescribing the wrong medications. Going up against a healthcare provider is a daunting task for a victim of medical malpractice. With the legal support of an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can build a strong enough case to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
Slip and Fall Incidents
The recent success of local teams like the Eagles and Phillies has attracted sold-out crowds to their respective venues. Arenas and stadiums represent one of the most common locations where victims slip and fall. Several factors can cause slip and fall accidents, with negligence playing the most common role. Slip and fall accidents also are common at grocery and convenience stores where beverage stations are the prime sources for causing slick floor surfaces. A slip and fall accident can generate severe injuries, such as a compound fracture of one or both wrists.
Do All Civil Lawsuits Reach the Trial Phase of the Litigation Process?
If you file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages, should you expect the case to reach the trial phase of the litigation process? Despite the publicity given to high-profile personal injury cases, the fact remains that most personal injury cases never see the light inside of a courtroom. Instead, both parties agree to negotiate a settlement. If the Morgan and Morgan personal injury lawyer representing you recommends negotiating a settlement, your attorney follows a three-step process in an attempt to get you the compensation that you deserve.
Calculate a Reasonable Value for Compensation
The word “reasonable” is often defined differently by different parties. What does reasonable mean for calculating the value of a legal settlement? Calculating a fair value for compensation begins when your attorney adds up every tangible expense, from medical bills to the receipts associated with property damage. Your personal injury lawyer also calculates an accurate value for lost wages. What gets tricky is trying to calculate a value for non-economic damages, such as the damages caused by the development of mental and emotional distress issues.
To calculate a reasonable value for non-economic damages, your personal injury lawyer uses a formula that factors in the value of economic damages.
Send the Other Party a Demand Letter
The next step toward avoiding a costly and time-consuming trial involves sending the defendant a demand letter. Your attorney also can request to negotiate a settlement with the appropriate insurance company, which requires the submission of a demand letter as well. The demand letter sent should include the names and contact information of the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s legal representative. Next, a detailed description of what transpired before, during, and after the personal injury incident should be accompanied by the physical evidence collected at the scene of the personal injury incident. After the detailed description of what happened, your attorney presents the value of the compensation sought, as well as an explanation as to how your personal injury lawyer calculated a reasonable value for compensation.
The other party, whether it is the defendant or the appropriate insurance company, can either accept or reject the initial offer listed in the demand letter. If the other party rejects the initial offer, the other party can submit a counteroffer that you and your attorney either accept or reject. Several rounds of counteroffers might follow until both parties reach a settlement or decide to move on to the trial phase of the litigation process.
Negotiations can occur during any phase of the litigation process, but they typically unfold during the discovery phase when both parties exchange physical evidence and the statements provided by witnesses.
What Are the Four Elements of Negligence?
The most effective way to move the negotiation process along at an acceptable pace is to prove the other party committed at least one act of negligence. Your personal injury lawyer must demonstrate the presence of four elements.
Duty of Care
Proving duty of care is usually the easiest element of negligence to prove. Duty of care means another party assumes responsibility for your well-being. For example, a healthcare provider assumes a duty of care to deliver superior medical services to nurse patients back to full health. Another example concerns businesses that operate in every industry. They have a duty of care to ensure both customers and visitors remain safe while on the premises.
Breaching the Duty of Care Doctrine
Element number two frequently is the element that is the most difficult to prove. It involves showing the judge hearing your case that the other party committed an act that violated the duty of care doctrine. In other words, element number two requires your personal injury lawyer to prove the other party committed one or more acts of negligence. For a medical malpractice case, your attorney must submit physical evidence the healthcare provider committed an act that caused you harm.
Submitting compelling physical evidence and the statements given by witnesses form the evidential foundation of proving the second element of negligence.
The Personal Injury Incident Caused You Harm
Proving that a personal injury incident has caused you harm involves submitting copies of medical records that demonstrate you sustained one or more injuries as the result of the personal injury incident under investigation. The insurance company or the attorney representing the defendant might claim you sustained your injuries from another incident. For instance, let’s assume you got involved in a vehicle collision that produced a dislocated shoulder. The other party’s attorney might claim you sustained the dislocated shoulder injury while participating in a sporting event.
To receive just compensation to recover financial losses, you must show the personal injury incident cost you money. Copies of bank statements and medical bills go a long way toward convincing a judge or insurance adjuster that a personal injury incident has put you in financial distress. If you missed work because of the need to recover from your injuries, copies of timekeeping records prove you lost wages.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
The personal injury lawyer that you hire from Morgan and Morgan provides several types of legal support, one of the most important of which involves ensuring you file a civil lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations. Each state has established a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit, with most states granting plaintiffs between two and four years to take legal action. However, a few states have set a deadline as long as six years and as short as one year. Pennsylvania grants plaintiffs two years to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. The clock starts ticking on the filing of a personal injury lawsuit on the date of the incident. The only exception to the rule concerns a personal injury incident in which a victim sustained one or more injuries that develop delayed symptoms.
Although two years is more than enough time to build a strong case, you should act with a sense of urgency for two important reasons. First, you are obligated to take care of all the expenses associated with your case. Medical bills can quickly run into thousands of dollars, all of which you must pay off regardless of whether you have received compensation from an insurance company or a legal judgment. Second, your personal injury lawyer needs to speak with witnesses as soon as possible after a personal injury incident. Witness accounts tend to be more reliable the closer they are given to the date when you sustained one or more injuries as the result of the negligence of another party.
If you fail to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages before the expiration of the statute of limitations, you can expect the court clerk processing your claim to remove it from the judicial docket.
Get the legal support that you deserve from a highly-rated personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia by scheduling a free case evaluation today with Morgan and Morgan.