Personal Injury Law in Erie, PA

Were you hurt due to another’s negligence in Erie? If so, it may have far-reaching consequences such as a loss of wages or extensive medical treatment. Personal injury law allows an injured person to get damages if the responsible person acted recklessly. A personal injury attorney in Erie, PA can help navigate the lawsuit to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law in Erie relates to the legal process of getting compensation for an injury caused by someone else’s negligent behavior. These cases involve one party, the plaintiff, trying to seek financial compensation for expenses incurred and money lost as a result. These cases involve both parties’ insurance companies and may even settle before proceeding to litigation.

Examples of Personal Injury Claims in Erie, PA

Some personal injury claims are more common than others. However, almost any incident that ends with a physical or mental injury could qualify, depending on the circumstances.

A few of the most common personal injury claims are:

  • Car Accidents
  • Slip and Fall
  • Dog Bites
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Workplace Accidents
  • Burn Injuries

Most Common Injuries in Erie 

The Combined Injury Report from the Pennsylvania Department of Health reports 13,210 hospitalizations in Erie from 2010 to 2014. According to the most recent data from the CDC, accidents are the 3rd leading cause of death. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania ranks 4th in the U.S. for this particular statistic. So, to reduce the effect of injuries, the Erie County Department of Health promotes highway safety and other programs. 

Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Erie, PA

Once you determine that you wish to proceed forward with a personal injury action in Pennsylvania

A lawsuit begins when a complaint is filed with the court and served on the defendant. The complaint alleges your assertion as the plaintiff that the defendant’s negligent behavior resulted in damage to your body or mental state. As the process proceeds forward, you may have to go through depositions, independent medical evaluations, and document production. This discovery process is lengthy and ends in either settlement or a court appearance.

Most cases settle out of court to avoid costly court and lawyer fees for an uncertain judgment from a jury. Your personal injury attorney in Erie may obtain an offer from the defendant at any time leading up to a jury’s deliberation. However, if you cannot reach an agreement, your arguments could play out in court over weeks, months, or even years of hearings.  

Pennsylvania Personal Injury Settlement

With most personal injury cases, insurance companies and injured parties prefer settlement negotiations rather than going to court for a trial. You may wonder how much you should seek in your settlement and factors that impact the final amount.

The total for hospital charges in Pennsylvania in 2019 reached over $11.2 billion. Injury statistics gathered by the Pennsylvania Department of Health estimates over $215.7 million of those costs came from Erie County. Occupants in motor vehicle accidents in the area needed over $17.3 million for their injuries alone. 

Costs like medical bills and work loss compensation tend to make up the majority of the compensation needed for a personal injury case. However, there may be less clear costs, like pain and suffering, that could influence your total settlement in Erie.

If the other party has insurance, the insurance company likely wants to settle out of court. Settlements benefit injured parties as much as they do insurance companies. This is because accepting a settlement means you receive compensation sooner rather than later. Also, by going to court in PA, that means you risk not receiving any compensation at all.

Damage Awards in Pennsylvania

If your Pennsylvania personal injury lawsuit goes before a judge or jury, your legal team will be ready with a request for damages. In personal injury cases, there are three types of damage awards a court may order the defendant to pay to compensate you for the damage inflicted.

Special compensatory damages reimburse you for things such as lost income, bills, and deductibles. You submit receipts proving these losses.

General compensatory damages are subjective. If you receive special compensatory damages, you may also collect general damages. If your injury was particularly painful, you might request that the judge order the defendant to compensate you for the pain and anguish.

Punitive damages are the most rarely awarded and are up to the court. The judge or jury may determine that the defendant’s negligence was particularly heinous and the resulting injury to you was equally horrific. 

Pennsylvania does have caps for different types of civil suits, except for personal injury claims. A jury in Erie can award any amount they deem for both economic and non-economic damages. 

Statute of Limitations in Erie, PA Personal Injury Law?

The injured party may have a set amount of time to file suit for a personal injury case. State law establishes statutes of limitation. Commonly, the plaintiff’s injury or discovery of the injury begins the statute of limitations. However, the latter factor is trickier, as the plaintiff will have to prove when the injury was first realized.

Erie residents have up to 2 years from the qualifying event to file a personal injury lawsuit at the time of writing.

We recommend you speak with a personal injury lawyer for this matter. Don’t wait too long and miss out on receiving the compensation you deserve for your injury. 

Work With an Experienced Erie, PA Lawyer

Pursue a personal injury claim in Erie against the responsible person if you are dealing with an injury caused by someone else. One of our experienced lawyers can help you navigate your personal injury claim. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Pennsylvania state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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