New Castle, PA Personal Injury Lawyers
Many Pennsylvanians will at some point require the services of a personal injury lawyer. Injury claims are civil actions between private individuals or companies after one party causes physical injury or economic harm to another. Residents of New Castle should familiarize themselves with Pennsylvania’s laws governing injury claims and know where to turn when they need legal counsel.
Pennsylvania Personal Injury Resources
- Do I Have a Case?
- Pennsylvania Personal Injury Laws
- What Damages Can I Recover?
- What to Do if You Have Been Injured
Why Choose Dallas W. Hartman, P.C.?
- Our New Castle personal injury lawyers have achieved record-setting verdicts and settlements for their past clients.
- We have won numerous awards for excellence in customer service, commitment to justice and exceptional results.
- At Dallas w. Hartman P.C., our attorneys know how to win. We will work relentlessly to obtain the full recovery amount you deserve for your personal injury case, even if that means going to trial.
- We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no upfront costs or fees to retain our lawyers. You do not pay us unless we win your case.
ABOUT NEW CASTLE AND ELLWOOD CITY
New Castle is the largest city and county seat of Lawrence County, and Ellwood City is the second-largest city in the county that extends into Beaver County. Both cities have rich industrial histories and are a short distance from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Considering the proximity to a major urban zone and the many industrial businesses and operations in the area, residents of New Castle should understand the risks of suffering personal injuries in the area. Some of the biggest industries in the county include automotive assembly and manufacturing, transportation, and logistics.
Some of the most common causes of injury-related claims include workplace injuries involving supervisor or employer negligence, car accidents in New Castle. Many people living in the county work in New Castle, Ellwood City, or commute to the Pittsburgh area for work. When accidents happen to result in injuries, injured parties should work quickly to gather the evidence necessary for filing a claim.
WHY HIRE A New Castle PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY?
The law sounds straightforward at first, and many injured individuals may believe their cases are so obvious and open-and-shut that hiring an attorney would be a needless expense. While some people can successfully manage their own claims, this is very rare, and an attorney can help an injured client in many ways.
After suffering an injury, the injured person will likely have to manage medical treatment, missed time from work, family concerns, and many other stressors made more difficult by his or her injury. Attempting to manage one’s own injury claim on top of all these other responsibilities can quickly become overwhelming. A New Castle personal injury attorney can help an injured client by handling the legal concerns, so the client can focus on recovering.
Do I have a Case?
Although a personal injury case may seem straightforward, the truth is usually the opposite. There are countless issues that can cause problems with a civil action, including legal process deadlines, filing requirements, managing court appearances, and supplying the opposition with the required documentation on time. Failing to meet the court’s deadlines and other requirements could lead to a judge dismissing the claim before it even reaches trial. Not sure if you have a case? Qualified personal injury lawyers will know how to meet the court’s filing requirements and deadlines so the case can proceed unimpeded.
Finally, one of the biggest concerns the average person might have about hiring an attorney is the cost. Legal services typically aren’t cheap, but paying legal fees and winning a case is always preferable to losing out of the gate without representation. The attorneys at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. Attorneys at Law offer free case evaluations to new clients, so there are no upfront fees or costs. Our firm typically offers our Ohio and Pennsylvania clients contingency fee billing, meaning that we do not collect legal fees unless we win compensation for our clients. If you are still unsure about hiring our New Castle personal injury attorneys for your claim, reach out to the team at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. for a free consultation about your claim.
COMMON TYPES OF PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS in new castle
A claim can arise from any event involving one party causing harm to another. While honest mistakes, freak accidents, and unavoidable injuries do happen, the determining factor in personal injury claims is negligence. An injured plaintiff needs to prove the defendant in his or her case was negligent to succeed in a claim.
Some of the most common sources of injury lawsuits include:
- Car accidents.
- Trucking accidents.
- Defective consumer products.
- Premises liability.
- Dog bite injuries.
- Medical malpractice claims.
- Workplace injuries resulting from employer negligence.
- Daycare or school injuries.
This is not an exhaustive list, and anyone who has suffered physical injury or economic loss due to the actions of another party should reach out to the New Castle personal injury lawyers at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. Attorneys at Law for a free case evaluation.
Common Injuries in Personal Injury Cases
The attorneys at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. help accident victims with all types of injuries caused by negligence or recklessness. We have years of experience representing clients with serious physical and emotional injuries.
Some of the most common injuries suffered in accidents in New Castle include:
- Bone fractures
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Scrapes and lacerations
- Neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Severe internal injuries
- Birth injuries
- Fatal injuries resulting in wrongful death
As an injured accident victim, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your past and future medical care. This includes surgeries, treatments, hospital stays, medications, medical devices, physical therapy, rehabilitation and ongoing care. Even a minor injury can entitle you to compensation.
NEGLIGENCE IN PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
Proving negligence in a personal injury case involves proving four elements of negligence:
- Duty. The plaintiff must prove the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care in the given situation. For example, in a suit resulting from a car accident, the plaintiff must be able to prove the defendant was involved in the accident.
- Breach. Next, the plaintiff must show the court how the defendant breached or failed to meet his or her duty of care in the given situation. Following the car accident example, this could include proving the defendant had been drinking, was texting while driving, speeding, or failed to stop for a red light or stop sign. In most cases, a “breach of duty” pertains to one individual or entity failing to act in a manner that another reasonable party would in the same situation.
- Causation. Injury claims seek to accident victims of negligence directly for their losses. Plaintiffs may only sue for the direct results of a defendant’s negligence, so they must prove their damages resulted from the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause. For example, back injuries are very common in car accidents, so it should be relatively easy for a plaintiff to prove his or her back injury happened from the car accident in question.
- Damage. The plaintiff can only sue if he or she suffered some kind of loss or injury. If a defendant acted negligently, such as running a red light or texting while driving, the plaintiff can only sue if that negligence caused damage or actual harm.
PENNSYLVANIA PERSONAL INJURY LAWS
Every state has unique laws concerning personal injury claims, and Pennsylvania is no exception. In Pennsylvania, injured plaintiffs have a two-year statute of limitations starting on the date of an injury or the date of discovery of harm to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party.
Some states place caps on the number of compensation plaintiffs may recover from an injury, but Pennsylvania only caps compensation in cases against the state government at $250,000 or a local government at $500,000. There is no cap when filing a claim against a private individual or business. However, Pennsylvania does have a “choice no-fault” statute concerning car accidents. Depending on the type of insurance coverage a driver carries, it may limit his or her ability to sue after an accident. A person who carries no-fault insurance will need to file a claim against his or her own insurance company for compensation but may be able to sue the negligent driver who caused the accident if the injured person suffered great bodily harm.
Finally, Pennsylvania follows a contributory negligence statute. If a plaintiff is partially at fault for the injury-causing incident in question, he or she may still receive compensation as long as the jury finds the plaintiff less than 50% at fault for the incident. The plaintiff’s compensation award drops by his or her fault percentage. For example, a plaintiff found 25% at fault for his or her injuries will lose 25% of the case award. In a $100,000 case, the plaintiff would only receive $75,000.
How Long Does It Take to Reach a Settlement?
It is normal to want your personal injury case to end as quickly as possible. You and your family may be struggling to pay the bills and move forward after a serious accident. The amount of time it will take you to reach a settlement, however, depends on your case.
Many factors could make your settlement take longer, such as:
- The severity of your injuries
- How long it takes you to heal
- The number of defendants
- Whether there is a liability dispute
- Whether your case settles or goes to trial
In general, the average personal injury insurance claim takes about three months to settle. If, however, your case has to go to trial in New Castle, anticipate a legal process that takes one year or longer to complete. Injury trials take longer than insurance claims on average due to the amount of preparation they require, as well as how long it takes to receive a trial date in your county.
recoverable damages in a personal injury case in new castle, pa
Most personal injury claims involve two types of damages: economic and non-economic. After an injury-causing incident, the injured party can sue for economic losses resulting from the defendant’s negligence including:
Property damage. If the defendant’s actions caused damage to the plaintiff’s personal property, the plaintiff can sue for the cost of repairing or replacing those items. For example, vehicle damage after a car accident or a broken cell phone in a slip and fall case would be property damages.
Lost income. Some injuries may prevent an injured plaintiff from working for an extended time. Severe injuries may leave an injured plaintiff unable to ever work again. Injured plaintiffs can sue for any wages lost during recovery as well as lost future earnings in some cases.
Medical expenses. The plaintiff can sue for any medical expenses resulting from the defendant’s negligence, including hospital bills, surgical costs, ongoing treatment costs, rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical devices, prescriptions, and any other expenses pertaining to medical care.
Non-economic damages are more subjective and vary on a case-by-case basis. The justice system recognizes that the experience of suffering an injury is typically worse for the victim than the economic fallout and therefore allows plaintiffs to sue for their pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages typically seek to compensate injured plaintiffs for their physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish caused by a defendant’s negligence.
There is no set formula for determining how much a plaintiff may seek in pain and suffering damages, but they are typically several times more than the plaintiff’s economic damages. For example, if a plaintiff’s property damages and medical expenses total about $50,000, the plaintiff may seek $150,000 in pain and suffering if his or her injuries were particularly painful or involved difficult recovery. The plaintiff’s attorney will typically advise an appropriate amount of pain and suffering compensation to seek based on the facts of the case.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured in Pennsylvania
If you have been injured in an accident in Pennsylvania, do not let anyone take advantage of you. Take certain steps to immediately protect your legal rights:
- Call the police to report a serious accident to the authorities. Give your side of the story to the responding police officer, but do not admit fault.
- Stay at the scene and gather evidence. Write down the names and contact information of all eyewitnesses and parties involved.
- Take photographs and videos while at the scene of the accident. Pictures of the scene can serve as proof of fault or causation.
- Go to a hospital immediately. Do not delay medical care, as this could hurt your chances of receiving an insurance settlement.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan. Deviating from your doctor’s recommendations can give the insurance company a reason to deny or reduce coverage.
- File an insurance claim. Contact your insurance company to file a claim within the first couple of days after the accident.
- Protect yourself from an insurance claims adjuster. Do not accept the first settlement offer or agree to give a recorded statement.
- Create an accident file. Request copies of important documents, such as police reports and medical records. Keep everything organized in an accident file.
Finally, contact a personal injury lawyer. Before you say yes to a settlement, consult with an attorney to find out if the insurance company is treating you fairly. If not, an attorney can help you negotiate for fair and full financial compensation…or else represent you in court if your case goes to trial.
how our new castle personal injury lawyers can help
The attorneys at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. Attorneys at Law provide every client with the full range of our experience and resources and explore every possible avenue of compensation in personal injury claims. We understand how difficult it can be to recover after an accident caused by negligence, so allow us to handle your legal concerns while you focus on recovery.
Contact us online for more information, or call us today at 1-800-777-4081 for a free consultation about your claim. Our injury lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA can let you know what to expect from filing a lawsuit and what type of compensation you could receive from your claim.