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Navigating the aftermath of a serious injury can be overwhelming. Right now, you should be focused on getting the medical care you need and taking time off work to heal—not on fighting with the insurance company for a fair settlement. You shouldn’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay for your medical bills and everyday expenses, but, unfortunately, the reality is that many serious injuries result in significant financial hardships for victims and their families.
At Luxenberg Garbett Kelly & George, we recognize the challenges you’re facing, and we want to help. Our Butler personal injury lawyers offer comprehensive legal counsel throughout the entire process, providing you with the communication and information you need to move forward. We truly care about our clients and are proud to have a nearly 100-year-long history of serving individuals, families, and communities throughout Western Pennsylvania.
Understanding Pennsylvania Personal Injury Law
Under Pennsylvania personal injury law, nearly anyone who is injured or otherwise harmed as a result of someone else’s negligent or wrongful conduct, under strict liability rules, or by default has the right to bring a personal injury claim. Specific rules may apply depending on the circumstances—for example, victims of motor vehicle accidents must meet certain requirements if they wish to go outside the no-fault car insurance system and bring a third-party personal injury claim against a negligent motorist—but, in general, you are entitled to compensation if you were harmed by another person or party’s reckless, careless, or unlawful actions or inactions.
Most often, you will need to prove the following things to succeed in your personal injury case:
- The defendant had a legal responsibility to avoid actions or take certain measures to prevent you from being injured (duty of care)
- The defendant failed to uphold his or her responsibility to you, typically by acting negligently or wrongfully in some manner (breach)
- If you were partly at fault for the incident that led to your injury, you were not more than 50 percent at fault (comparative negligence)
- You suffered actual injuries, whether physical or otherwise, which led to measurable economic and/or non-economic damages (injury)
- The defendant’s actions or inactions were the direct or proximate cause of your injuries and resulting damages (causation)
It is important that you understand your rights after a serious accident or injury. Insurance companies are not on your side; in fact, they will often utilize various tactics to dispute, devalue, or even deny your claim. We strongly recommend that you consult an experienced personal injury attorney, like those at Luxenberg Garbett Kelly & George, before talking to the insurance company. Additionally, you should never sign anything or provide an official statement to an insurance adjuster without talking to a lawyer first.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Lawsuits?
The “statute of limitations” is the legal term for how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. In nearly all cases, if the statute of limitations expires before you file a lawsuit, the court will dismiss your case, and you will be unable to seek compensation for your damages.
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations on personal injury cases is two years from the date of injury (or two years from the date of death in wrongful death cases). There are some exceptions to this rule; for example, cases against government officials and entities have different deadlines and filing requirements. Additionally, if the injury was not immediately discovered/discoverable, the two-year deadline may extend from the date on which the injury was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. However, in most cases, it is imperative that you file your personal injury lawsuit before two years have passed.
What Is Comparative Negligence & How Does It Affect Your Claim?
Comparative negligence refers to instances in which there is shared fault. For example, while some accidents are entirely the fault of a single person or entity, many result from a combination of actions or inactions by several parties. When this is the case, fault is shared between multiple parties. Under comparative negligence rules, someone who is partly at fault for an incident that led to his or her injury can still be entitled to compensation for his or her resulting damages.
Because Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence rule, however, you cannot file a personal injury claim if you were more at fault than the other party. In other words, if you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault for the incident that led to your injury, you cannot file a claim or recover compensation for your damages.
Additionally, if you are found to share 50 percent or less of the fault for the injury-causing event, while you can still recover compensation, the amount you can recover will be limited. Your recovery will be reduced by the same percentage of fault you are found to have. So, if the insurance adjuster and/or court finds you 25 percent to blame, you can only recover 75 percent of the amount you are seeking in damages. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the extent of your damages, this could equate to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars that you cannot receive. Because of this, it’s important that you work with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who knows how to effectively advocate for you.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer from Luxenberg Garbett Kelly & George Can Help
Our team is here to guide you through every stage of the legal process, from filing your initial claim to communicating with the insurance company to preparing your case for litigation and representing you at trial, if necessary. We know that this is an extremely stressful time in your life, and we want to help ease some of the difficulties you are facing.
Our Butler personal injury lawyers represent clients in all types of cases, including but not limited to:
- Car, truck, motorcycle, bus, and other motor vehicle accidents
- Workplace Injuries
- Catastrophic injuries, including spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Airplane crashes and other aviation accidents
- Drunk driving accidents and hit-and-runs
- Wrongful death
- Slip and falls, dog bites, and other premises liability matters
- Defective products, including dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices
- Medical malpractice and birth injuries
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Construction accidents, industrial accidents, and oil and gas worker injuries
We also help clients with insurance bad faith claims, as well as all aspects of workers’ compensation, including filing initial claims, appealing denied claims, and more.
No matter how complex or challenging your case may be, our team is ready to fight for you. We seek the maximum compensation our clients are owed for their medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages, always with the goal of helping them obtain justice and move forward with their lives.
We've been designated Pennsylvania Super Lawyers for over 15 years, and we have Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating for legal ability and ethics as determined by peers in the legal community.
We have been a staple in this community for over 80 years representing our friends and neighbors.
ResultsWe have recovered over $200 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
IntegrityAt LGKG, we do what we say we are going to do. Earning your trust is paramount to us, and we've been keeping our promises for over 80 years.
ExperienceOur team has over 100 years of combined legal experience.
CommitmentAt LGKG, it's not about us, it's about you.
Your Success Is Our Success
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