Accidents can lead to critical injuries that can negatively affect the rest of a person’s life. Even when there are minor injuries, pain may linger for weeks, months, or years after an accident. Serious accident injuries often require extensive medical care and ongoing treatment, possibly for as long as the victim lives. Injuries can be caused by different events, such as car accidents, slips and falls, or dog bites. Personal injury is an area of tort law that allows you to pursue compensation when someone has caused you loss or harm.
You can file a claim even if you were hurt in a minor accident that someone else caused. Here are some of the circumstances under which people may consider filing a claim:
- The injury occurred during an accident that was caused by another person’s reckless or negligent actions.
- The injury resulted in different types of financial loss, such as vehicle damage and lost income.
- The accident resulted in bodily injury or physical damage that led to avoidable medical expenses, such as cuts, burns, and broken bones, which are some of the most common injuries that accidents cause.
A person can seek compensation if they file their personal injury claim or lawsuit within the prescribed time limitations. Contact an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney to learn how you can pursue a fair settlement for their injuries and other damages that you suffered in your accident.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Claim
Every state has legislation that governs the time limits for civil and criminal legal actions. This is known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for bringing a civil action for personal injury in Pennsylvania is generally two years from the date of the event or accident that caused the harm. To take legal action against the other party, the claimant is required to prove that the other party caused the accident that resulted in their injuries and property damage.
The injured person has a limited amount of time in which they may file a legal action. They will have to bring it within the statute of limitations period for a personal injury case. If they fail to initiate the claim within that time, they may lose the right to seek compensation for their injuries and to hold the other party responsible.
What Happens If You Wait Too Long to File the Claim?
When a person waits too long to file a claim, it can be extraordinarily challenging to obtain personal injury damages. It is highly recommended to contact an attorney as soon as possible after being injured in an accident of any kind.
Statutes of limitations exist because the probative value of evidence can become less reliable as time goes on. For example, memories fade over time. A witness may not remember what exactly happened on a specific date several years later. This is one of the reasons why lawyers recommend that their clients take meticulous notes and journal the events related to the accident. This can help them to recall the events more reliably at a later date.
The bottom line is that accident victims should try to file an accident claim as soon after an accident happens as possible. Evidence may disappear and memories fade, which can only serve to weaken your case.
What if I Am Not a Resident of Philadelphia and Only Visited for Travel?
When you travel to Philadelphia for business or pleasure, you are probably not thinking about having an accident or getting injured. However, accidents can happen at any time, and the law allows you to file a claim against the person or entity responsible for your damages. In some situations, you may only file a claim in the state where your accident occurred and you cannot proceed with a lawsuit outside the state. Even if you live thousands of miles away, you may only be able to claim compensation where the accident occurred.
In general, a car accident injury victim can file a lawsuit in either the state where the defendant resides or the state where the car accident occurred. The amount of compensation to which you may be entitled usually depends on the severity of the injuries.
Investigations and Negotiations Take Time
Accident investigations and legal negotiations often take time and may lead to a prolonged investigation. It is necessary to thoroughly review the evidence and documentation of the accident. A proper investigation can help determine fault and liability. In some cases, you should report the incident to the police and obtain a copy of their report, as well.
When you file a third-party insurance claim, you may have to deal with the insurance agencies and their representatives first. The insurance agencies often try to reduce your claim by offering a lower settlement than what your damages are worth. Remember, this is money owed to you for injuries caused by their client’s wrongdoing or negligence. Do not let them offer less than fair value, and be sure that the settlement accurately accounts for all of your current and future damages.
Applicants often make the mistake of not consulting with an attorney before accepting a settlement offer. Acceptance of a settlement offer is almost always in exchange for a release of future liability, meaning you could be barred from bringing a lawsuit later on, even if your injuries become worse. Lawyers usually have excellent negotiation skills and can help to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve in a timely manner. You should always consider contacting a lawyer for assistance before agreeing to any terms.
Discuss All Details With Legal Professionals
Our lawyers have extensive experience in negotiating with insurance companies to maximize your recovery. If the settlement negotiations fail, we have the know-how to bring your lawsuit to court. A Philadelphia auto accident attorney can explain every detail about your legal rights and help you pursue a settlement that accurately reflects your damages. Consulting a legal professional can be extremely beneficial after an accident.