Personal injuries, in legal terms, refer to an accident or damage caused by the willful negligence or malicious intent of another individual, including auto accidents, slip and fall, workplace malpractice, product liability, and assault. The state of Philadelphia in the USA also records plenty of such cases every year. For example, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics, the city saw around 63 fatal work injuries in 2019, increasing by about 2% from 2018. Data released by the Police Department also recorded about 35 assault cases in 2021. Hiring a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer is your best bet for securing justice, receiving adequate compensation, and ensuring you receive the benefits of justice. You will struggle in the labyrinthine of procedures that characterize such cases without their expertise. Here are some reasons to hire an injury attorney.
Filing a civil complaint
Any personal injury case, just like any other case, involves plenty of documentation, and you will find it challenging to handle all those without the specialized knowledge of an attorney. For example, in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, you must file a Civil Complaint as the plaintiff with a legal document called a pleading. It will summarize the circumstances and actions that caused you the injuries and the compensation you seek. It usually includes the names of parties involved in the accident, the Court’s jurisdiction, a list of allegations, and a prayer for relief seeking compensation. Your attorney will file the complaint in either the County Court or the Court of Common Pleas, wherever the accident occurred or the defendant’s place of residence. However, if the parties involved belong to different states, the Federal Court would handle the case.
Ensuring you receive adequate compensation
You will spend plenty of money on treatment after incurring an assault, slip, fall, workplace accident, depending on the extent of damage caused. You must receive adequate compensation that covers all the expenses and other inconveniences you face after the accident. In Philadelphia, the law does not require you to state a specific compensation amount in dollars. Instead, the courts will decide if the damages exceed the Arbitration limits after looking at the Civil Complaint. Usually, most counties will regard damages amounting to less than 50,000 USD$ as an Arbitration Matter, while those above 50,000 USD$ as a Trial Matter. If the amount is less than the monetary limits for Arbitration, the Court will shift the case into Arbitration Matters. These procedures are incredibly complex, and only a specialist like your lawyer should handle them.
Helping you understand the damage cap
Before receiving adequate compensation for your injuries, knowing the prevailing damage cap rules in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia would be advisable. Although you can seek as many damages as you feel is justified, damage caps or limits exist on cases that people file against the Commonwealth. The idea behind that is sovereign immunity, whereby the people living in the state cannot sue other people because the money offered as damages comes from the taxpayers. Under the Sovereign Immunity Act, you can recover not more than 250,000 USD$ against any governmental body, and 500,000 USD$ against local bodies or parties, according to Philadelphia Consolidated Statues 8528 and 8553. Punitive damages, seeking to punish the defendant, are also not applicable for state employees. However, the rule has several exceptions and related aspects that your injury attorney will help you understand.
Dealing with your insurance company
Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, which means that you can file a claim with your insurance company in an accident, regardless of whether you were at fault. The Personal Injury Protection or PIP insurance will cover your medical bills and other related expenses in a car accident. The law requires all drivers in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia to have insurance with a 5,000 USD$ minimum coverage for medical benefits, 15,000 USD$ for bodily injury liability, and 5,000 USD$ for property damage. After the accident, you can ask your attorney to deal with your insurance company regarding the claims. The insurer would require a copy of the medical examination and statement of events, apart from other documents.
How to find a personal injury lawyer?
You could start by checking the cases they have handled in the past and the money they have won for their clients. It would also be helpful to check whether they are members of lawyers’ associations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, or the USA. Their work experience is another factor you should consider since that will reflect their expertise and standing in personal injury cases. They should be forthcoming and handle all the various aspects of the case like filing claims, gathering evidence, helping you receive medical care, and filing paperwork without any hassle on your part.
These are some reasons behind hiring a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer. It is always advisable to contact your lawyer immediately following an accident, as they will provide you with the help you need and systematically take care of the entire process.