If you recently suffered a serious personal injury due to someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior, you may be able to recover monetary damages for your injuries, loss of wages, and future losses.
If you have experienced a devastating accident, consider talking to an Elk County personal injury lawyer. With guidance and support from a seasoned personal injury attorney, you could put yourself in a better position to recover the monetary damages you deserve.
The Concept of Legal Negligence
When someone is held civilly liable for causing another person’s injury, the case against him or her is almost always based on a theory of legal negligence. This concept allows injury victims to hold a third party accountable for their damages if all the following criteria are true:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to act responsibly and safely around the injured party;
- The defendant “breached” that duty by acting recklessly or carelessly in some way;
- The defendant’s breach of duty directly and proximately caused an accident, and
- The accident caused the injured party to suffer compensable damages.
The applicable “duty of care” can vary based on the particular circumstances of an accident. For example, everyone who drives on a public road in Pennsylvania owes everyone else on that road a duty to drive safely and in accordance with traffic laws. Similarly, the owner of a property has a duty to maintain the property in a reasonably safe manner, such as by removing snow/ice and repairing any defects such as broken steps.
Surgeons working in emergency rooms may be given some leeway for certain mistakes because of the high-stress environment they are working in, but they still must meet the standard of care expected of reasonable doctors working in such environments. A personal injury law firm in the area could help a victim determine his or her options for filing suit.
What Could Hinder a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Local personal injury suits are subject to a modified comparative negligence system that applies to cases in which both the defendant and the plaintiff have some degree of fault. Any plaintiff found more than 50 percent at fault for his or her own injuries cannot file suit for personal injury compensation. A plaintiff holding a smaller portion of fault would have his or her total recoverable damages reduced by that same percentage. For example, a plaintiff who is 20% at fault will have his or her award reduced by 20%.
Additionally, 42 P.S. §5524 sets a deadline of two years following a personal injury for a plaintiff—or an injury law firm working on his or her behalf—to file suit. Failure to abide by this deadline may prevent an injured person from recovering anything at all, but there are exceptions under specific circumstances that an injury attorney in the community could explain in more detail.
Speak with an Elk County Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you were hurt in a serious accident that was not your fault, you may not know how to seek justice for yourself. Fortunately, an experienced Elk County personal injury lawyer could work with you to reach a positive outcome from your potential case. Call today to schedule a free initial consultation.