Tag Archives: Personal Injury Lawyer In Philadelphia

The Ultimate Guide to Statutes of Limitations

The Ultimate Guide to Statutes of Limitations

Overview of the Statute of Limitations:

Any lawsuit resulting from an accident must be lodged within a specific time limit under a legal rule referred to as the “statute of limitations,” or the aggrieved person’s legal claim will be invalid, and their right to sue would be permanently gone. Every state has established its statute of limitations, which requires any personal injury action to be filed in court within a certain amount of time following the event or injury. Each state has its restriction, which varies from one year to six years.

Different Time Limits for Various Types of Claims:

The kind of personal injury lawsuit may also influence the time limit in certain jurisdictions. Several defamation cases and claims involving children (those under the age of 18), for example, may have more significant time restrictions. In contrast, medical negligence statutes of limitations may have lower time limits.

In many cases, the statute of limitations in a suit for minor injuries does not begin to run until the minor reaches 18. Assume a person gets wounded in a vehicle accident on his 17th birthday.  He will have three years to file a personal injury case in a jurisdiction where the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years.

The Rule of “Discovery of Harm”:

Whereas a statute of limitations may state that a personal injury claim must be filed under a certain period after an illness or incident, that time does not usually begin to run until the person filing the suit knew that they had suffered harm and the nature of that harm.

 Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania:

Each state has its own statute of limitations, which dictates that any personal injury claim must be submitted in court within a particular time frame after the occurrence or injury.

Limitation of Liability:

The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania restricts the timeframe an affected patient has to bring a medical malpractice claim in court. In Pennsylvania, the time limit for filing such a claim is two years after the plaintiff learns or substantially should recognize all of the following:

  • The occurrence of an injury;
  • The behavior that resulted in the injury; and
  • The connection between the injury and the action that resulted in it.

Regardless of those three criteria, a personal injury claim must be filed within seven years of the date of the damage unless the harm was caused by an item left within the body. If wrongful death was caused by medical malpractice, a case must be filed within two years after the date of death. A person who is harmed by medical negligence as a youngster has seven years after the date of his 20th birthday to file a lawsuit, regardless of when the damage happened.

Damage Limits:

Like many other states, Pennsylvania limits damages in medical negligence lawsuits, but the limitation is exact. Pennsylvania does not place any restrictions on either economic or non-economic damages, which are the two primary types of compensation that a wounded patient may obtain.

The only limitations on judgments in medical malpractice lawsuits in Pennsylvania relate to “compensatory damages,” which are given as punishment for exceptionally egregious or hazardous conduct. Punitive damages in malpractice lawsuits in Pennsylvania are limited to twice the number of actual damages in the case.

It’s essential to remember that punitive damages are uncommon in personal injury cases, so any claim you file will undoubtedly be uncapped in Pennsylvania.

Payments:

Pennsylvania even has a “periodic payments rule,” which requires compensation to be paid in stages if the case’s potential damages exceed $100,000. “Future damages” are compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings, and other damages that the injured individual is likely to suffer in the future due to incapacity or continuing medical care for the harm caused by the medical neglect. Until the injured plaintiff disagrees, periodic payments are made automatically in instances involving more than $100,000 in future damages.

Requirements for Expert Testimony:

Pennsylvania also has several criteria for expert medical witness evidence, both when a personal injury claim is filed and when it goes to trial.

According to the declaration of merit requirement, a plaintiff’s counsel must submit a written statement or “certificate of merit” within 60 days after initiating a medical malpractice case. The lawyer and state must sign the official document that an expert provided a written statement asserting one of the following:

  • There is a significant possibility the defendant compromised the standard of care.
  • The plaintiff was accountable for the person who violated the standard of care.
  • Expert testimony is not required to pursue the claim.

When a defendant files a counterclaim, they must also submit an affidavit of merit.

In addition, expert medical witness evidence is required at trial by the lawyers to demonstrate the proper medical level of care and that the defendant violated it unless negligence is apparent to a layperson.

An expert who testifies at trial must be:

  • A physician who is actively practicing or teaching and has expertise in the area at hand,
  • Of the same or a comparable specialty as the defendant,
  • Committee certified if certification is obtainable and the defendant is board certified.

However, suppose it can be shown that a specific expert has adequate training, experience, or expertise acquired from actively practicing medicine or teaching within five years of the date of the damage. In that case, the court may waive these criteria.

Purpose of Statuary Limits:

Statutory limits serve to protect defendants. Their enactment is motivated by three factors:

  • A plaintiff who has a legitimate right of action should prosecute it with reasonable zeal.
  • A defendant may have lost evidence that may have been utilized to oppose a stale claim by the time it is pursued.
  • Bringing a long-dormant claim to trial may result in far more suffering than justice.

You may be eligible to collect damages if you were injured due to another person’s deliberate or negligent acts and you did not exceed the time limit. In certain instances, the statute of limitations is ambiguous. To understand more about the time limitations for filing a lawsuit, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.

You can learn more about statutes of limitations by getting in touch with us.  You can contact one of our attorneys from our law firm at https://philly-injury-law.com/ for a free consultation.

Sexual Abuse Laws: What To Do And Where To Go

Overview of Sexual Abuse Laws in Pennsylvania

Anyone engaging in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with another person without their consent is already considered a crime in Pennsylvania. According to Philadelphia injury attorneys, the defendant may be facing statutory sexual assault if the victim (complainant) is a minor or below 16 years old and the defendant is four years older than the victim and both aren’t married to each other at the time the offense was committed.

In Pennsylvania, there is also a separate sexual assault charge called “indecent assault” where it is quite similar to sexual assault. For this type of assault, there should be presence of indecent contact with the victim (complainant) and that includes as well the victim’s contact with the defendant’s urine, seminal fluid, or feces with the intention of arousing sexual desire in the victim or defendant and done without consent on the part of the victim, done with force or threat or conducted under some conditions like the victim is unconscious, mentally disabled, intoxicated or minor.

If you want to learn more about the complete details of Pennsylvania’s sexual assault laws, below is a list:

Indecent Assault: Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18 §    3126

  • Statutory Definition of Sexual Assault – A person commits a felony of the second-degree when that person engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a complainant without the complainant’s consent.
  • Statutory Definition of Indecent Assault — A person is guilty of indecent assault if the person has indecent contact with the complainant, causes the complainant to have indecent contact with the person or intentionally causes the complainant to come into contact with seminal fluid, urine or feces for the purpose of arousing sexual desire in the person or the complainant and:

The person does so without the complainant’s consent; the person does so by forcible compulsions; the person does so by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person or reasonable resolution; the complainant is unconscious or the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the indecent contact is occurring; the person has substantially impaired the complainant’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants, or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance; the complainant suffers from mental disability which renders the complainant incapable of consent; the complainant is less than 13 years of age; or the complainant is than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other.

What are the defenses to sexual assault charges?

Based on the shared information of an experienced personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia, there are various defenses that can be applied to rape and sexual assault charges. Here are the common defenses that may be considered:

  • Consent
  • Mistaken identity
  • Age (this is applicable only in case of a statutory rape)
  • Involuntary intoxication (when the accused’s drink is “spiked” or he or she is drugged without knowledge or consent)
  • Insanity
  • Although the “marital exemption” can be used as viable defense, the law no longer recognizes between married and unmarried individuals. Anyone, regardless of his or her marital status, can become a victim of rape or sexual assault if he or she didn’t consent.

What are the penalties and sentences?

According to credible Philadelphia injury attorneys, a rape case will face a severe penalty including fines averaging to $25,000, imprisonment of 20 years, or both. On the other hand, a sexual assault case is viewed as a second degree felony in Pennsylvania and can be punishable by law of ten (10) years in prison. The court may impose discretionary fines depending on the nature of crime committed and its severity. In case of insanity, the judge may recommend psychiatric treatment or counseling.

If the crime charged is indecent assault, the charge can be either a first or second degree misdemeanor based on the nature of the offense and punishable by law of five years in prison. In the event the case is already the defendant’s second offense or there has been repetitive course of conduct, or if the assault done involved touching of the victim’s sexual parts with the defendant’s, a third degree felony can be ruled out and punishable for up to seven years of imprisonment.

What to do if you or a loved one has become a victim of sexual assault?

If you or a loved one has become a victim of a sexual assault case in Pennsylvania, you need to contact right away a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia and get a free case assessment. Don’t delay your chances of getting the perpetrator being punished, act now.

Personal Injury Lawyer Philly: Top Questions To Ask Before Pursuing A Personal Injury Claim

Is your pain after a bad slip creating discomfort on your end? If you noticed there has been huge impact to your daily routine after that accident in a public place in Philadelphia and thinking of pursuing a personal injury claim, here are top questions to ask before consulting a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia.

Question #1 – What should I do first after being badly hurt?

This is your initial task after being injured you need assess your overall health and condition. Why? Knowing precisely the side effects brought by this accident could give you an idea if you have every right to file a personal injury claim. In the event you have already taken precautionary measures and went to a medical doctor to give a thorough check on your injury, you can use this as evidence when filing a personal injury claim.

Question #2 – When should you notify the person involved in the accident about your intention to file a personal injury claim?

If you have intention of filing a personal injury claim against the concerned individual, company or institution which is not a government agency, you need to be aware that there is no time limit, but acting soon is highly recommended by a personal injury attorney in Philly to prevent delays on the processing of your claim. Keep in mind, notifying those involved of your injury doesn’t mean you are already filing a lawsuit, it is just intended to preserve your legal rights and not be used against you why it took too long before you notified them of your injury.

Question #3 – Is there a deadline when I have to file a personal injury claim?

According to a personal injury lawyer in Philly, pursuing a personal injury claim may take a lengthy process and if you failed to file in soon, you might miss the chance to collect what is rightfully yours. There are mandated rules on the books “statutes of limitations” wherein you are given the maximum timeframe when you can bring a lawsuit. In the event the specified deadline already lapsed, you can be barred from pursuing your case just to get compensation from your personal injury. If unsure what limitations apply in your state, better visit your state’s statute of limitations for your type of claim and check if you still have plenty of time to file a claim.

Question #4 – What is the ideal time frame to file a personal injury claim if the government is involved?

Filing a personal injury claim against the government, government agency or government staff is entirely different when you will the ideal timeframe. There is limited time given to the complainant when filing a claim. There are also other factors that will affect your claim such as the state where you live and type of your case. In most circumstance where a government is being sued, you only have 30 days to 1 year to file your case and if you miss this timeline, you may lose your legal rights to any compensation or damages you wish to recover.

Question #5 – What must I do for now?

Suffering from injuries after an accident such as a bad slip can cost a lot of money to cover the medical bills, days you have to leave from work as well as follow-up treatments you need to avail just to get back to your normal and healthy condition. Getting a free consultation is the wisest thing to do for now and you can start by contacting a personal injury attorney in Philadelphia to review your case.

4 Crucial Steps Needed After A Personal Injury

Are you still overwhelmed after a recent accident? It’s normal to feel confused at this very moment, especially if your personal injury will result to loss of income. What to do or where to turn for help could be among your greatest concerns. Here are the 4 crucial steps needed after encountering a personal injury due to someone’s fault or negligence.

Step #1 – Get immediate medical attention

If you suffered serious injury after an accident, the first thing you should do is get immediate medical attention. It’s vital that a medical professional like a doctor to assess the extent of harm or physical injury inflicted on you because there are some symptoms that won’t easily manifest right after the accident. For example, if you just had a minor collision while driving due to the other driver’s wrongdoing the bruising will only appear after a few days.

Step #2 – Consult a personal injury lawyer

Once you have received the appropriate medical treatment and discharged, the next step you need to do is consult an experienced personal injury lawyer. Narrate everything that happened including the full details of your injury. If your accident occurred in Philadelphia, it would best to contact a local legal representative because this expert is knowledgeable about the existing state law that could affect your injury claim. Besides, the attorney can give you solid advice whether you have a valid personal injury claim or none.

Step #3 – Take part of the investigation

After your private meeting with a personal injury lawyer, investigation will take place. Your cooperation is highly needed to fast tract this process. In most cases, the assigned attorney handling your case will have a team that will evaluate the incident including your injuries to verify who is really at fault and how serious is your personal injury. The team that will investigate may compose of reconstruction specialists, medical professionals and other experts with background in injury claims. At this phase, you need to work closely with your Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, comply with his or her instructions and take part of the investigation as the need arise.

Step #4 – Know what kind of compensation you are entitled

Knowing what kind of compensation you are entitled will vary and be mostly dependent on the extent of your injuries. Your hired attorney will be able to give you an estimated amount of money you will receive based on the following:

  • Number of doctor visits you are required to achieve full recovery
  • Prescriptions including therapies
  • Medical lab tests performed
  • Aftercare treatment
  • Loss of earnings
  • Other damages (extent of pain or discomfort, Punitive damages)

I do hope this topic will provide enough information and help you find a credible personal injury lawyer in your local jurisdiction. If you are having apprehensions about your recent accident, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer and get a free consultation.