What Is Considered A Personal Injury?

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If you are hurt or injured in an accident, it is imperative to call a personal injury lawyer immediately. While your state’s personal injury statute of limitations may be a couple of years and you have plenty of time, you do not want to wait any longer than necessary to begin building your case. Waiting makes it more difficult for your lawyer to collect the evidence needed to prove your rights. It may also increase your chances of making a mistake that can greatly jeopardize your claim. A Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer will ensure that you obtain the greatest quality and expertise regarding your personal injury claim. It is important to choose the right lawyers dedicated to helping you win your case and receive the compensation you deserve.

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Personal injuries include every variety of injury to a person’s body, reputation, or emotions as contradistinguished from injury to property rights. There are three grounds on which personal injury can be brought:

  1. Negligence. The most common basis for public injury claims. The basis for liability claims under negligence stems from an individual with the level of care of someone of ordinary prudence, which would have exercised under the same circumstances—for instance, a hunter who is careless with his gun and shoots it towards other people. 
  2. Strict Liability. Holds a defendant liable for committing an action regardless of the intent or mental state when the crime was committed. For instance, if an injury happens due to a defect in a product. The manufacturer is then responsible for that injury even though they did not act negligently or intend for their product to cause harm to their customer.
  3. Intentional Wrongs. As a result of an intentional act from the defendant, common intentional torts (an act or omission that gives rise to injury or harm to another and amounts to a civil wrong for which courts impose liability) include trespass to land, assault, battery, false imprisonment, trespass to chattels, and international infection of emotional distress. 

What Qualifies As A Personal Injury Case?

Anytime someone is injured or becomes ill due to another party’s negligence, and there are evident damages, you may have a valid personal injury case. Personal injury lawsuits arise when people and entities fail their civic duty to prevent others from harm.

Cause of Action

Personal injury claims can arise from harm done to the body, For instance:

  • Automobile accidents
  • Assault
  • Workplace accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Toxic torts
  • Nursing home abuse 
  • Product defect accidents 

Personal injury claims may also arise from non-bodily harm, For example:

  • Defamation
  • Malicious prosecution
  • False, detention, arrest, or imprisonment
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • Emotional distress

Personal injury is often discussed in civil court claims and covers all costs incurred as a result of an accident or wrongful death. 

Damages

Suppose the plaintiff is successful and wins their personal injury claim. In that case, they will be awarded money damages (refers to the sum of money the law imposes for a breach of duty or violation of some right) for their injuries. Damages are designed to compensate the injured party for their loss. Damages for personal injury include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Traveling expenses
  • Household assistance
  • Mental and emotional distress
  • Wex

Statutes of Limitation After An Accident

There is a specific window in which you are liable to file your personal liability claim. Each state and federal government has its deadlines for different cases. Generally, there is a two-year window from your accident data to get a personal injury lawyer and immediately file a claim in Pennsylvania. A two-year statute of limitations applies to any civil action to which an individual seeks to recover damages for personal injuries or the death of an individual caused by another person’s negligence.

In any given state, the same statute of limitations usually applies to most personal injury lawsuits or in which the basis for liability is the personal injury law concept of “negligence.” This includes injuries from slip and fall incidents, dog bites, car accidents, and more. It is important to remember that a single lawsuit can contain multiple claims (or “causes of action” in legal jargon) that might be subject to different deadlines based on various factors.

Pay Attention To Your Calendar and Clock

Depending on the specific deadline that applies to your case, if you fail to go to court and get your case started before the deadline passes, you will most likely lose your legal right to bring a lawsuit over the accident.

The “clock” starts running on the day of the injury or accident that triggered your lawsuit. Many personal injury cases settle out of court, but it is critical to leave yourself plenty of time to turn to the court system to preserve your rights and options if settlement talks disintegrate.

Statute of limitations Deadline: What To Expect

Special circumstances can extend the statute of limitations deadline filing (or may mandate the use of a differing deadline altogether), including personal injury cases involving:

  • The injured person was a minor
  • The injured person was mentally incapacitated, or
  • The defendant left the state for a certain amount of time preceding the accident

Other Ways To Extend The Standard Deadline

There are several other defining methods by which the statute of limitations may be extended in most states. For example, if the defendant left the state for any period of time after causing the accident that led to your injury, the statute of limitations “clock” will pause—in most states. Suppose the statute of limitations time window for filing a personal injury lawsuit is three years. It was discovered that the defendant was outside of the state for a year post the accident. In that case, the statutes of limitations, in this case, will be extended by another year.

Other additional deadlines may apply in many cases. For instance, if you get injured at work, you must comply with your state’s worker’s compensation deadlines. In regards to an auto insurance claim, your policy may stipulate a deadline for reporting the accident.

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