Personal injury law is designed to protect people from the negligence of others. In successful lawsuits, compensation may be awarded to those who have suffered loss as a result of someone else’s negligent act or failure to act.
A personal injury lawsuit may be pursued where injury or harm has been caused by another person. Personal injury claims, also known as tort claims, have to address two issues—liability and damages. A personal injury attorney must prove that the defendant is liable for the damages sustained and if so, the extent of damages sustained.
If a person is injured and liability and damages can be proven, a personal injury claim could be pursued. Examples of personal injury claims include serious injury from car accidents, trucking accidents, or medical malpractice.
Finding the best personal injury attorney requires trust. Atlee Hall’s experienced injury attorneys, alongside our in-house nurse specialist, work diligently to hold negligent parties accountable for the injuries they caused.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you feel you may have a personal injury case, you can contact the Atlee Hall team for a free consultation, and we will help evaluate your matter. Atlee Hall’s experienced Investigation Team of Intake Coordinators, Attorneys, and In-House Legal Nurse Consultant will gather your initial information, review the details, and may request further records and expert opinion to help determine whether you have a case.
The length of time you have to file a claim after an injury differs in each state. In Pennsylvania, a personal injury suit can be filed up to two years from the date of injury. This is known as the statute of limitations. In rare circumstances, there are exceptions to this time limit, for example, in medical malpractice cases, the deadline for filing may be extended if you did not discover the injury until much later after the actual event. Another exception is the injury of a minor. A case can be filed on behalf of a minor up to two years after his or her 18th birthday. It is important, therefore, to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the incident who can look at the details of your case to determine when the statute of limitations expires.
In the state of Pennsylvania, compensation for personal injury that individuals can recover (referred to as damages) are broken down into different classes. There are four main categories and recovery depends on each person’s specific situation:
Economic Damages – These are intended to compensate you for present and future lost monetary expenses. Medical bills, lost wages, lost future earning capacity, and out-of-pocket expenses, such as maintenance services you can no longer perform on your own, are all classified as economic damages.
Non-Economic Damages – These can be more difficult to determine because they are not tangible losses like economic damages. In Pennsylvania, non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, embarrassment and humiliation, and the loss of enjoyment of life. At trial, a jury will consider factors such as the severity of the injury, the permanency of the injury, the duration and extent of the party’s pain and suffering, and the party’s age and life circumstance, among others, to determine the amount of noneconomic damages that are recoverable.
Wrongful Death and Survival Damages – Wrongful death damages are those that can be recovered by the decedent’s surviving family members, such as a spouse, child or parent. Types of recoverable damages in a wrongful death lawsuit include medical, funeral and estate expenses, loss of future support and/or clothing, education, shelter and food contributions of the decedent, among others. Survival damages are those are recovered on behalf of the person who passed away. Types of survival damages that can be recovered include the loved one’s conscious pain and suffering prior to death and the loved one’s lost earnings.
Loss of Consortium – If you are married, your spouse may be entitled to a loss of consortium claim. This type of claim is designed to compensate the spouse of the injured person for loss of services and companionship. More specifically, these damages include the loss of company, society, cooperation, affection, support, comfort, assistance, association, companionship, and the loss of ability to engage in sexual relations.
While damages are obviously a crucial part of any personal injury case, the types of compensation and how much you can recover will depend on your specific circumstances. In addition, none of these damages are recoverable if a breach in the standard of care as well as causation cannot first be proven or established. It is important to contact an attorney who can help guide you.
At Atlee Hall, our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not collect a fee or recover the costs we have advanced on your behalf in preparation of your case unless we obtain a settlement or a verdict for you. You pay nothing up front or out of your own pocket. If we do not obtain a settlement or verdict for you, Atlee Hall does not take a fee or recover our costs. In addition, we do not charge a fee for consultations. If you think you may have a personal injury case, please get in touch.
The length of a case from intake to resolution can vary greatly. No two cases are the same, with different fact patterns, parties involved, injuries, and circumstances surrounding the injury. Atlee Hall’s attorneys communicate closely with clients to help you understand the process and what to expect during your case.
It is very difficult to predict how much a personal injury claim is worth. Each case is unique and there is no predetermined amount or formula that defendants, insurance companies, or juries use for non-economic damages (see section 3 on types of damages in a personal injury case). We first need to prove liability (that there was a breach of the duty of care owed, for example, by a doctor to a patient, or by a driver to other road-users, and that the breach of the duty led to the injury sustained. Once those elements are proven, we need to establish the nature and extent of the damages. The experienced team of attorneys at Atlee Hall will investigate cases to determine liability and will gather evidence to support the level of damages. Our team will guide you based on our experience.