If you’ve been seriously injured in Pennsylvania due to another person’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. Whether the injury is physical or emotional, a Butler County personal injury attorney can help you determine who was at fault and compel the responsible party to compensate you for your losses.
Common causes of serious injuries include product liability, medical malpractice, assault and battery, car and truck accidents, or trips and falls. These dangerous situations can lead to catastrophic traumas such as brain injuries, amputations, and even death. A lawyer can help you get the money you need to cover medical bills and long-term care.
How Do You Know If You Have a Personal Injury Case?
There are two parts to a personal injury case. First, you must be injured physically or emotionally. Second, the injury must be someone else’s fault. You might be surprised to find out that some personal injury claims are based on nonphysical harms and losses. For example, if you expected harm to come to you when someone threatened you with assault, you don’t need to prove actual physical harm. Other examples would be if someone invades your privacy, attacks your reputation, or inflicts other emotional distress.
How Quickly Do You Have to File a Lawsuit After Being Injured?
Every state has a different set of statutes of limitations that govern how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. Once the statute of limitations expires for your case, you will no longer be eligible to file. In general, you must file a personal injury lawsuit in Pennsylvania within two years of the accident date. There are some situations where the statute of limitations is shorter, such as when you sue your municipality or state, so contacting a Butler County personal injury attorney as soon as possible is in your best interests.
What Is Negligence?
The crucial factor in most personal injury cases is whether a person acted like an “ordinary reasonable person” would have acted. If they failed to act in a reasonable manner, they are considered negligent. Usually, the matter of whether a given person has met the “ordinary” standard is decided by a jury after your lawyer presents argument and evidence at trial.
Will the Court Punish the Negligent Party?
Not in the traditional sense, no. Bringing a civil action against a defendant doesn’t lead to criminal fines or jail time. However, sometimes a court or jury will award punitive damages to punish a defendant who has behaved intentionally or recklessly against the public’s interest. It’s the court’s way of trying to discourage the defendant from continuing to engage in harmful behavior in the future.
Do You Need an Attorney?
When you’ve been seriously injured in Pennsylvania, the SMA Law Group is here to help. Call us before you sign any papers or make any official statements that may limit the amount of money you receive. Pennsylvania has specific statutes of limitations. If you delay, you may lose out on obtaining compensation for your medical care and lost wages. Contacting an attorney is the best way to know how long you have to file a case, and plaintiff’s who hire lawyers receive up to three times more money than those who represent themselves in a personal injury lawsuit.