Norristown Personal Injury Attorney – Montgomery County
It can be nearly impossible to predict if and when a person will be involved in a life changing accident. This is in large part due to the fact that while we can control our own behavior and actions, we cannot control the actions of those around us. Unfortunately, the negligent or reckless decisions of a few can have devastating consequences for others. For instance, one driver’s decision to speed or otherwise drive recklessly can endanger the safety of anyone else on the road. While negligent parties can cause innocent individuals to suffer serious and painful injuries, victims are not without recourse and may be eligible to receive compensation for their losses, which will allow them to begin the long road to recovery. At The Levin Firm, we are dedicated to representing the interests of those who have been injured as a result of the negligent or reckless decisions of others, so if you were recently involved in an accident, please contact our legal team today to schedule an initial consultation.
Types Of Personal Injury Cases
At The Levin Firm, we have represented clients who were injured as a result of all of the following types of accidents:
- Automobile Accidents
- Back Injuries
- Bicycle Accidents
- Brain Injury
- Dog Bite Injuries
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Slip & Fall Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Workplace Injury
Montgomery County Personal Injury FAQ
Nobody knows how they will respond to an injury until it actually happens. You can plan all day long to how you will react, what you will do, and the steps you need to take, but when the time comes, you may react completely differently than you expected. We don’t plan for injuries. They take us off guard and can leave us at a loss.
In the ideal world, we’d all have emergency reserves set aside and a backup daycare provider to watch the kids so we can focus on our recovery. We’d adapt and push right through. But that’s not how things happen. Because these injuries are so unpredictable, they often leave us with questions. “What do I do?” “Who do I call?” and “How on earth am I going to pay these bills?” While we don’t have all the answers regarding how you will respond to an accident, we can answer some of the most common questions that might arise.
Do I have a personal injury case?
To understand whether you have a personal injury case, it’s important to understand what personal injury actually is. In the legal context, a personal injury is harm caused by someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentionally harmful actions, for which the law entitles you to recover compensation from the wrongdoer. Personal injuries arise frequently in the context of:
- Motor vehicle accidents: Motor vehicle accidents happen every day. In recent years, Pennsylvania has seen an increase in the number of reported crashes and motor vehicle fatalities. Motor vehicle accident attorneys may frequently represent clients injured in collisions involving cars, trucks, semi-trucks, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, and pedestrians.
- Slip and fall accidents: Slip and fall accidents can happen at a place of business or a personal residence. Though they are referred to as slip and fall, the term generally covers any circumstance in which a person gets injured in a preventable fall. These accidents often happen because of slippery surfaces, loose items, uneven flooring or sidewalk, or other icy or wet conditions.
- Medical malpractice: Medical malpractice happens when a doctor or other healthcare professional makes a mistake that leads to the injury of a patient. Medical malpractice does not include undesirable outcomes or a shorter life expectancy than expected. Examples of medical malpractice include dosage errors, missed or delayed diagnosis, surgical mistakes, and failure to read the patient’s medical history.
- Nursing home abuse: The National Council on Aging estimates that one in ten adults 60 and older have experienced some sort of abuse. Abuse consists of more than just physical harm. Elder abuse also includes emotional abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect.
- Dangerous property conditions: Property owners have varying degrees of duty to keep visitors to their properties safe from harm, and face liability when they fail in those duties. Incidents on someone else’s property leading to legal liability can include dog bites, falls, acts of violence, swimming pool accidents, and building fires.
- Wrongful death: Every death feels wrong, but when the death of a loved one is the result of someone else’s wrongful actions, you may have a legal claim. A wrongful death suit can help the survivor’s family recover costs related to the funeral and burial as well as lost income and medical bills.
- Abuse: Victims of physical and sexual abuse have the right to pursue criminal charges as well as civil damages. The outcome of one does not affect the other. A personal injury case can help an abuse survivor recover costs related to medical bills as well as pain and suffering.
What types of injuries does a personal injury case cover?
You don’t have to suffer a specific type of injury to have the legal right to seek compensation from a wrongdoer under Pennsylvania law, although some injuries are easier to prove than others.
Common injuries that personal injury lawyers represent clients in seeking compensation for include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Mental health injuries
This is just a sampling, of course. No matter how someone else’s wrongful conduct injured you, speaking with an experienced Montgomery County personal injury lawyer is the best way to determine the extent of your right to take legal action for damages.
I think I have a personal injury case, but I don’t understand all this legal jargon. Can you help?
Of course. Understanding legalese can be confusing. We do our best to keep the legal jargon to a minimum when communicating with our clients, but we understand that some words we take for granted as normal may actually be confusing to someone without a legal background.
Here are a few common words and phrases that you might hear while working with a Montgomery County personal injury attorney:
- Negligence is a legal concept that refers to a wrongful, but not intentional, action or omission that causes harm to someone else.
- Damages are the sum-total of the harm that someone’s wrongful actions caused. Damages come in two general types: economic and non-economic. Economic damages consist of harms that have a direct, out-of-pocket, financial cost associated with them, such as medical bills or lost wages. Non-economic damages refer to harms that do not have a price tag associated with them, but are no less real and significant as those that do, such as pain, emotional distress, and loss of companionship.
- Liability is the word lawyers use to refer to someone having a legal obligation to pay damages for an injury.
- Comparative negligence stands for the idea that sometimes more than one person or entity takes wrongful action that causes damages, making it necessary to compare the degrees of negligence to figure out how much liability they each have.
- Statute of limitations is the time limit set by law for taking legal action for damages in a particular circumstance.
- Contingency or contingent fee is how personal injury lawyers get paid. Instead of billing their clients by the hour or by the legal service performed, personal injury lawyers and their clients agree on a percentage the lawyer will receive of any financial settlement or jury award. This arrangement helps to put lawyers and their clients on the same wavelength; the more money the lawyer gets for the client, the more money the lawyer earns.
- Letter of protection is a document a lawyer may send to a medical provider promising to pay medical services out of any personal injury settlement or award the lawyer’s client receives, in exchange for the medical professional deferring any action to collect a medical debt.
What should I do after suffering a personal injury?
It is always a good idea to know what to do after an injury before the injury actually happens. This can help you make sure you make the right decision at the time of injury and the days that follow. Your actions may affect your legal rights as well as your personal injury case. So what should you do?
It depends on the circumstances of your case, but some basics include:
- Get medical care. People respond differently to injuries. It is difficult to self-diagnose and determine the degree of your injuries without seeking medical care. Prompt medical attention can prevent further injury and may even save your life. It will also generate important medical records that your attorney may need to prove your case.
- Do not throw anything away. Keep any records or documents you receive from your doctor or from any insurance company. Do not throw away anything that might help someone understand how your injury happened or the harm it has caused.
- Seek legal help. After an injury, you deserve fair and just compensation. You shouldn’t have to cover the costs of your injuries on your own. A Montgomery County personal injury attorney helps you protect your rights and recover the compensation you deserve.
How much is my case worth?
It is virtually impossible to determine the value of a case right after an injury. The amount of money you should receive as compensation for a personal injury claim depends upon a variety of factors, some of which may take time and investigation to pinpoint, including:
- Medical costs; including doctor visits, surgeries, hospital stays, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and medication.
- Lost wages; for any time missed from work as a result of your injuries. This award is generally based on your previous wages and the amount of time missed. If you cannot return to work, you may seek future wages.
- Pain and suffering; for actual physical and emotional pain that results from your injury.
- Loss of companionship; when an injury makes a party physically, emotionally, or sexually unable to have a relationship the way they were before their injuries.
How long do I have to file a case?
Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations outlines how long a person has to take legal action for damages resulting from a personal injury. Under most circumstances, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of injury, except in special circumstances, which may include:
- Delayed onset of symptoms: Sometimes an injury is not immediately apparent. This is often the case for medical malpractice claims. When symptoms of an injury do not show up until a later date, the statute of limitations clock may not begin to run until the onset of symptoms or the time where they should have been discovered.
- Missing defendant: Sometimes you cannot locate the at-fault party. When this happens, a court may grant an extension of time to take legal action until you can find the other party.
- The plaintiff is underage: A parent may file a legal claim for their child. However, if they do not do so, the statute of limitations will generally not begin until that child turns 18.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
As with the amount of damages, the time it takes to resolve a personal injury case, either through settlement or in a trial, varies depending upon a wide variety of factors. While some cases may conclude in a couple of months, others may require longer. Usually, the more complex a case is and the more parties it involves, the longer it takes.
Other variables that may also affect a case’s timeline include:
- Your injuries: More-serious injuries usually result in higher damages, but also frequently involve more-complex facts and more-detailed negotiations between your lawyer and the other side. In other words, serious injuries can stretch the timeline of a case.
- The number of parties involved: Cases between just two parties are usually easier to resolve than those involving multiple parties. This is because there are multiple schedules to coordinate, multiple insurance policies to evaluate, and sometimes, multiple sides to the story.
- How willing each party is to try and reach a deal: Sometimes, the timeline of a case comes down to how willing each party is to engage in discussions to settle a case. Parties who are focused on dealmaking may tend to resolve a personal injury dispute faster than parties who prefer to fight it out before a case concludes.
How do I find out more about my rights?
You can spend hours searching the web to find out more about your potential personal injury case. However, one of the best ways to learn more is to sit down with an experienced Montgomery County personal injury attorney. Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and work on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t have to worry about spending thousands of dollars on consulting with a lawyer about your rights.
No one expects to suffer a personal injury, and few people are prepared for the impact a serious injury or tragic fatality can have on their lives. If a personal injury has disrupted your day-to-day, contact the experienced Montgomery County personal injury attorneys at the Levin Firm right away to learn about your right to recover compensation from the parties at fault.
If you were recently involved in one of these types of accidents, please contact our legal team today to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced personal injury attorney who can explain your options.
In order to collect damages for another person’s negligence, the plaintiff must demonstrate that:
- The defendant owed a legal duty to exercise reasonable care;
- The defendant breached that duty; and
- The defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff to suffer an injury.
In Pennsylvania, even when an injured party contributed to an accident, he or she can still recover compensation from the other party. This is because the state adheres to the legal theory of modified comparative negligence, which means that as long as a plaintiff was less than 51 percent at fault in causing an accident, he or she can still recover from the other party. However, the amount that he or she can recover will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault in contributing to the accident. For instance, if a jury determines that an injured party suffered $10,000 in damages, but was also ten percent at fault in causing the accident, the plaintiff will still be able to recover $9,000 for his or her losses.
To demonstrate a party’s negligence, our attorneys carefully investigate the cause of the accident. For example, if someone was injured in a car accident when another party violated a traffic law, an investigative team would take the following steps:
- Visit and photograph the scene of the accident;
- Request copies of any police reports;
- Interview witnesses who saw the accident;
- Measure skid marks and other evidence at the scene of the crash;
- Take photographs of the damage sustained by the car;
- Collect all medical records of the plaintiff’s injuries;
- Consult with an accident reconstruction specialist; and
- Speak with a medical expert who can testify as to the source of a plaintiff’s injuries.
Completing these tasks quickly and efficiently is important, as all personal injury cases must be filed in court within two years of the date of the accident. Failing to file before this deadline will lead to the case being barred in court.
The severity of injuries sustained by an accident victim depend on a series of factors, including the type of accident, as well as the age, sex, and general health of the victim. For this reason, injuries can range in severity from minor scrapes and bruises to broken bones and head trauma. Some of the most common injuries suffered by our clients include:
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Crushed or broken bones;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Damaged tendons, ligaments, and muscles;
- Hearing or vision loss; and
- Emotional distress.
Treating even minor injuries can be prohibitively expensive. For instance, a fractured bone still requires multiple doctor’s appointments, the use of crutches, and physical therapy. Even a small laceration can become infected, requiring surgery and prescription medications. Treating more serious injuries, such as spinal cord damage, can quickly overwhelm a victim’s finances, especially because the injured parties are often required to take months or even years off of work in order to fully heal. For this reason, it is critical that injured parties seek compensation from those responsible for their injuries.
Those who are injured in accidents caused by the reckless or negligent actions of others are eligible to receive compensation for their losses. For instance, a successful plaintiff could receive compensation for the following costs:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future income;
- Property damage or replacement; and
- The pain and suffering endured as a result of the accident.
How much an injured party is able to receive depends on a series of factors, including:
- The severity of the plaintiff’s injuries;
- The amount of evidence available to demonstrate the defendant’s negligence;
- The defendant’s insurance coverage; and
- The degree of recklessness or negligence exhibited by the at-fault party.
Although collecting compensation may not be able to return an injured party to his or her pre-accident state of health, it can go a long way towards helping victims and their families get back on their feet.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
At The Levin Firm, we understand that being involved in a serious accident can leave victims feeling powerless and stressed and so dedicate ourselves to helping relieve some of our clients’ burdens by aggressively representing their interests, whether in settlement negotiations or in the courtroom. If you live in Norristown and were recently involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, please contact us today at (215) 825-5183 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and explain your legal options.