Being injured in an accident is frightening, painful, and frustrating. When that accident is the result of another person or party's fault, it can be even more frustrating because you are suffering physically, emotionally, and financially and you did not do anything to cause your suffering. The good news is that Pennsylvania personal injury laws provide a legal remedy for you to receive compensation for your damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Three Goals of a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Establish and Prove Fault
You must establish and prove fault to win an award in a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney will conduct a thorough accident investigation to identify and gather evidence that will prove fault. For example, if you are injured in a slip and fall accident at a store, your attorney must prove that the store was somehow negligent and that negligence caused your accident. Your attorney may interview witnesses, review security tapes, gather physical evidence, review your medical records, and consult an expert to discover evidence that proves the store is at fault. The evidence is used at trial to prove to the jury that the party responsible for your injury is at fault.
Establish and Prove Damages
The next step is to prove that the accident resulted in damages. Damages can be physical, emotional, and property. Examples of physical injury include broken bones, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, internal bleeding, and lacerations. Emotional damages cover injuries including mental anguish, depression, fear, and stress. Property damage includes damage to your car or other items. Proving damages is a key component of a personal injury lawsuit. You cannot receive compensation unless you can show that your injuries and damages are directly the result of the accident.
Force Responsible Party to Pay Compensation
In some cases, the insurance company for the responsible party will settle outside of court either before or after a personal injury lawsuit is filed. Part of your attorney's job is to protect you to ensure you receive a fair and just settlement. If the insurance company or the faulty party is not acting in a fair manner, your attorney will file a personal injury lawsuit and take the matter before a jury. Before filing a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney discusses the chance of recovery and whether your best option is to settle or proceed to a trial.
Do You Need to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. It is in your best interest to consult with a personal injury attorney before you sign any forms, provide statements, or settle a claim. Contact Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLP for a free consultation. We do not charge you to give you advice about your accident claim. We want to help you receive the compensation you deserve from the party that caused your injuries.