Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit—Actual Losses

Personal InjuryYou’ve been hurt in an accident and you’ve filed a lawsuit. You’ve succeeded in showing that the defendant’s conduct fell below the expected standard of care, and you’ve also met the dual requirements of actual cause and proximate cause. But you’re still not home. To recover monetary compensation, you still need to show that you sustained actual losses because of the wrongful acts of the defendant.

What is Actual Injury?

You may be saying, “hey, wait a minute, I showed that the defendant engaged in wrongful conduct and I showed that it caused damage to something I own or caused me injury. What more do I need to show?” In determining whether you have a right to damages, the court will want to ask a few questions:

  • Did you actually incur any out-of-pocket expenses, or was everything paid for by insurance companies?—You can’t file a claim for lost wages if you received full reimbursement or payment of wages. You can’t seek damages for medical expenses that were either paid by the insurance company or reimbursed to you. If your insurance company covers all your out-of-pocket expenses, they may have a claim against the defendant for those costs, but you don’t—you can’t recover twice for the same loss.
  • Did you suffer pain or physical discomfort?—These types of injuries are not normally covered by insurance, so here’s a place where you may actually be entitled to damages.
  • Did you have to stop doing things you love?—Did you play tennis or golf before the accident, but can’t now because of the pain? Was there any other activity you had to give up because of the accident?
  • Have you lost the ability to be intimate with a spouse or partner, or to enjoy the companionship of family members?

Contact Us

To schedule a private meeting with an experienced personal injury attorney, call our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660 or e-mail us. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will travel to your home, if necessary, to meet with you.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit–Causation

car hits manIn an earlier blog, we discussed the initial requirement of a personal injury lawsuit, that the injured party demonstrate that the defendant breached the duty to act as a reasonable person would. Once you’ve successfully shown that the defendant’s level of care was below that expected by a reasonable person, you must next show that the failure caused  an injury.

Causation Defined

Under the common law, there are two types of causation, both of which must be shown for a personal injury claim to succeed: actual cause and proximate cause.

Actual, or “but for” cause, is the simplest to show. To meet this burden, you need only show that, in the absence of the defendant’s breach of the duty of care, the accident would not have happened and the injury would not have been suffered. Actual cause can apply to direct losses—a person runs a red light and hits your car—the property damage to your car is a direct result of the breach. It can also, however, apply to indirect, or consequential, injuries. Suppose, in the accident above, the collision causes you to lose control of your car and careen into an ice cream store, causing loss of power and the ultimate loss of $10,000 worth of ice cream—running the red light was the actual cause.

But there’s another causal requirement before you can recover compensation—you must show proximate cause. Essentially, this requires that you show that the damages or losses suffered were reasonably foreseeable based on your negligence. That question is a question for the jury, so ultimately jurors will have to determine if there was proximate cause.

Even though you’ve established a breach of the standard of care, and met the causation requirements, you must still show that you suffered actual injury.

Contact the Lawyers at Shaffer & Gaier, L.L.C.

For a free initial consultation, send us an e-mail or call us in Philadelphia at 215-751-0100, or in New Jersey at 856-429-0970. You can also reach our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will travel to your home, if necessary, to meet with you.

How Long Do You Have to Sue?

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The Statute of Limitations | Personal Injury Lawsuits

Under the laws of Pennsylvania, when you have been hurt because of the carelessness of negligence of another person, there’s a limited amount of in which you can file a lawsuit to recover for personal injury and/or property losses. The statute that sets forth this time limit is known as the statute of limitations. The statute can be extended, but only in extremely limited situations, so it’s important that you take swift action to retain legal counsel, so that your attorney can gather, assess and preserve evidence, and can file your claim before the expiration of the statute.

In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury action is two years. As a general rule, the statute begins to run on the date of your injury. However, if you were involved in an accident, but did not know at the time that you had suffered any injury, or did not know that a specific defendant’s actions caused an injury, the running of the statute will be “tolled,” or suspended until your discovery of the injury and/or the fact that a certain defendant caused the injury. It’s not uncommon, in cases involving toxic torts or other unseen dangers, that injury or illness not manifest until years or decades after exposure. In those types of situations, a court may be inclined to toll the statute until the discovery of either the injury or its cause.

There are other instances where the statute of limitations may be tolled:

  • If the injured party lacks legal capacity—is a minor, mentally ill or insane—the statute may be tolled until the party has capacity, although it’s not required
  • If a defendant has left the jurisdiction, you may be able to suspend the statute of limitations until his or her return

Contact Us

To schedule a private meeting with an experienced personal injury attorney, call our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660 or e-mail us . Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will travel to your home, if necessary, to meet with you.

Sushi Chef Sues SEPTA for Setback

Train leaving station

A 55-year-old sushi chef from Queens, Hing Piu Wong, has filed suit against the Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), alleging that the mass transit authority was negligent and caused him injury.

According to documents filed by Wong in his hometown of Queens, Wong was traveling on a SEPTA train from Philadelphia to Claymont, Delaware on October 20, 2015. Wong alleges that, when he arrived in Claymont and tried to disembark, he discovered that the train was leaning away from the platform, causing a significant gap. Nonetheless, he tried to span the gap and leave the train, but fell on the platform, dislocating his right wrist. Wong further alleges that, at the time of the injury, he was working as a sushi chef. Because of the pain associated with the injury, and because he required two surgeries to repair the damage, he was forced to give up his job.

For the time being, it appears that the lawsuit will remain in the Queens court. Under New York law, a New York court has appropriate jurisdiction over a defendant if the defendant is an out-of-state entity conducting business in the state. SEPTA attorneys had asked the Queens court to dismiss the complaint, arguing that SEPTA did not serve New York. The court, however, denied the motion to dismiss, citing the fact that SEPTA sells tickets from a window at New York’s Penn Station.

SEPTA had also argued that litigating the action would be more convenient for all parties in Pennsylvania, but the Queens court disagreed, finding that Wong’s inability to speak English would make it a greater hardship for him to have to pursue legal action elsewhere.

Contact the Lawyers at Shaffer & Gaier, L.L.C.

For a free initial consultation, send us an e-mail or call us in Philadelphia at 215-751-0100, or in New Jersey at 856-429-0970. You can also reach our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will travel to your home, if necessary, to meet with you.

Snow Blowers Still Causing Injury Despite Recall

Foot soft splint for treatment of injuries from tendon inflammat

It’s January in Pennsylvania—it would be pretty unusual not to have snow on the ground. Shoveling’s pretty hard work, so why not fire up the snow blower? Before you do, though, take a good look at the brand. If it’s an MTD Snow Thrower and you’ve had it for a while, there’s a good chance that it could be extremely dangerous to operate. The MTD Snow Thrower was subject to voluntary recall some 10 years ago, but company officials acknowledge that a significant number of the machines have not been returned and still pose a serious risk of injury.

According to court documents filed against MTD, the manufacturer, more than 130,000 snow blowers manufactured by the company had tire rims that were extremely dangerous. The rims were made of a plastic material, and when users overinflated the tires on the snow blower, the air pressure had a tendency to cause the rims to explode, sending plastic shrapnel flying through the air. Sources say that hundreds of owners have reported a wide range of injuries, from cuts and bruises to broken bones, including fingers and toes. Company officials say the snow blowers were sold through Sears, Home Depot and other hardware outlets. The Sears product carried the Craftsman logo.

Contact the Law Office of Shaffer & Gaier, L.L.C.

If you or someone you love has been hurt because a consumer product was negligently designed or poorly manufactured, you have a right to pursue compensation from anyone in the chain of distribution. Let us help.

At Shaffer & Gaier, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. To set up an appointment, contact us online or call our office in Philadelphia at 215-751-0100, or in New Jersey at 856-429-0970. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will travel to your home, if necessary, to meet with you.

Pennsylvania Lawsuit Looks at Liability of Texters

Pennsylvania Lawsuit Looks at Liability of Texters

personal-injury

In a personal injury law suit filed in Pennsylvania, the estate of a motorcyc list who died in a car accident has sought compensation from a female driver who was allegedly distracted by reading and answering text messages while driving. Pennsylvania state law prohibits anyone from sending or reading text messages while behind the wheel. But that’s not the issue before the court right now.

Attorneys for the estate have asked the court to consider whether two men (one was the driver’s husband) who were sending her text messages at the time of the crash may have liability as well. Both men have argued that Pennsylvania’s law does not impose liability on them. The court, however, concluded that simply because there is no law prohibiting sending text messages to someone you know is driving doesn’t mean you won’t have liability for any injuries they cause.

Under personal injury law, some types of liability may be established under a statute, where the violation of that law constitutes liability. However, the principles of the common law have long been applied in personal injury actions. This type of law, based on tradition and case law, sets forth the basic concepts of negligence. With a negligence claim, the court looks at whether or not the defendant had a duty to act in a certain way—what the law defines as "reasonable"—and whether that person’s actions violated that standard.

In the case in Pennsylvania, the court reasoned that, when a person knows that the recipient of their text messages is currently driving a motor vehicle, or has good reason to believe so, it is reasonable to expect that their text messages could distract that person from the task at hand—driving the vehicle. Accordingly, it is possible that they will have some responsibility for injury or death caused by the text message recipient.

Contact the Law Office of Shaffer & Gaier, L.L.C.

At Shaffer & Gaier, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. To set up an appointment, contact us online or call our office in Philadelphia at 215-751-0100, or in New Jersey at 856-429-0970. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will travel to your home, if necessary, to meet with you.

The Different Ways a Personal Injury Claim Can Be Resolved

So you have been hurt in an accident caused by the carelessness or negligence of another person. Do you have to file a lawsuit to get compensation for your losses? What are your options?

You Can Settle

This is actually the path that most personal injury claims take. Typically, you will retain an attorney, who may or may not file a lawsuit, but will immediately identify all potentially liable parties and contact legal counsel to initiate the process of obtaining a financial recovery. In cases where liability is clear, it may not be necessary to file a lawsuit. In other instances, that may be the only way to move toward a settlement. Once the parties come to an agreement on the terms of a settlement, that agreement is put in writing, signed by all parties, and becomes enforceable in a court of law.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

This broad term customarily encompasses both mediation and arbitration.

In mediation, a third party neutral becomes involved, working cooperatively with both parties to identify a mutually beneficial outcome. If the parties come to an agreement in mediation, they put that agreement in writing and it becomes an enforceable contract. The mediator, though, is not a judge and does not make a determination of liability, but only seeks to facilitate a resolution.

In arbitration, the parties present their case to a person or panel of individuals who have specialized knowledge or the legal and/or factual issues involved. The arbitrator(s) will make a decision regarding the outcome of the dispute, which may or may not be binding.

Litigation

The traditional legal process involves an adversarial proceeding before a judge and jury. The actual trial customarily takes up only a very small amount of time…a day or a few days, but the pre-trial period can be months or years. The court will typically order a period of time during which the parties can gather evidence, and will make many rulings in advance of trial, addressing such issues as the admissibility of certain evidence, what exhibits will be allowed, and how the jury will be instructed. In the actual trial, the plaintiff presents evidence first and the defense has an opportunity to challenge or refute any evidence or testimony given. It’s not unusual for the parties to enter into serious settlement discussions after the trial has begun.

Contact the Lawyers at Shaffer & Gaier

For a free initial consultation, contact us online, or call us in Philadelphia at 215-751-0100 or in New Jersey at 856-429-0970. You can also reach our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will travel to your home if necessary to meet with you.

Safety Takes A Back Seat in Tough Economic Times

No one can doubt the difficult economic times that we all face. Businesses are also faced with belt tightening that affects both consumers and employees.

Countless studies have shown that when companies face difficult economic obstacles, one of the first measures to be cut is safety. Unfortunately, companies often believe that since safety is not a money producing venture, it can take a back seat to their employees and consumers well being. At Shaffer & Gaier, we have handled several cases where products did not go through the vigorous testing they should have done because the companies were trying to save money toward their bottom line. When these defective products caused injury, it was clear that if the companies had gone through their normal paces, the defects of the products would have been avoided. In addition, we have also had experiences with construction accidents where construction companies have placed their workers at risk by failing to adhere to basic safety protocols because they were trying to add to their profit. Certainly, in these difficult economic times these dangers rise to consumers and workers.

Defective Drugs and Medical Devices – The FDA Is Not On Your Side

The change and developments of the United States Supreme Court has taken with regard to unsafe drugs and medical devices are quite simply frightening. Is there really anyone left in America who still thinks that just because a medication is approved for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is safe and without product defects? If so, then the drugs like Vioxx would never be recalled by the FDA. These drugs made it through the FDA’s incredibly lame screening process to hurt thousands of innocent people.

The pharmaceutical industry, and its giant lobbying group, has tried to prohibit lawsuits against drug manufacturers because the drugs that are approved meet the seal of approval by the FDA. Due to the huge problems that these drug manufacturers have had, and the confidential documents that they never disclosed to the FDA concerning negative research, it is frightening that these companies could be immune from liability. Too often, clients contact our office with questions about defective medical devices and/or defective drugs and I am faced with explaining to them the difficult and confusing decisions by the United States Supreme Court that, in effect, takes away their rights.

Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

When there is something physically wrong with you, the best thing you can do is seek medical care so that you can get a proper diagnosis and take the necessary steps to remedy any medical condition. You have to put your trust in the hands of a medical professional and rely on them to take the proper steps to correctly diagnose your condition so casino en ligne français bonus sans depot you can get the care you need. When you have sought treatment only to have your doctor fail to take reasonable steps to diagnose or treat your condition, the attorneys at Shaffer & Gaier can help.

Contact Shaffer & Gaier

At our office, every prospective client receives a free initial consultation. Call us in Philadelphia at 215-751-0100 or in New Jersey at 856-429-0970, or contact us online. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will meet with you in your home or at the hospital if necessary.

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