Why Are Brain Injuries Common After a Slip and Fall?

Why Are Brain Injuries Common After a Slip and Fall?

Why are brain injuries common after a slip-and-fall? When many Pennsylvanians think about slip-and-fall accidents, they generally imagine suffering sprains, strains, or fractures. Some slip-and-fall accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries that can range from concussions to permanently disabling injuries. Understanding how brain injuries can be common after beincaused by slip-and-fall accidents is important. If you or your loved one has suffered a serious brain injury in an accident while visiting the property of someone else, talk to DiCindio Law for a free case evaluation.

What are traumatic brain injuries?

Fluid surrounds the brain inside of the skull to cushion the brain and to prevent it from contacting the bones surrounding it. However, when your head is jarred, it can cause your brain to bounce into your skull and cause injuries. The severity of your brain injury will depend on the severity of the blow to your head and can range from a mild injury to a severe TBI with lifelong impacts.

What are the symptoms of a TBI?

Mild TBIs generally will not be life-threatening, but you should still get treatment from your doctor. Some of the types of symptoms that you might expect from a mild concussion include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Brief loss of consciousness
  • Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Blurred vision or ringing ears
  • Trouble concentrating

The symptoms of moderate or severe TBI will include the same symptoms listed above as well as the following additional symptoms:

  • Headaches that grow worse
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Longer loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty waking up
  • Numbness of the toes and fingers
  • Slurred speech
  • Behavioral changes such as combativeness
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty with motor control

If you have slipped and fallen and experience any of these types of symptoms after hitting your head, you should get medical attention immediately.

Why TBIs can happen in slip-and-fall accidents

Most people instinctively break their falls with their hands and arms. However, you can still hit your head in a slip-and-fall accident. For example, you can hit your head on a nearby object during your fall, including a countertop, shelf, chair, or table. You can also slip and fall backward and be unable to break your fall with your arms or strike your head on stairs when you fall down a staircase. Any of these types of scenarios can cause a serious blow to your head and a traumatic brain injury. Getting immediate medical attention can improve your chances of fully recovering from your injuries.

How are traumatic brain injuries treated?

The treatment for a TBI will depend on the severity of the injury. For a mild concussion, a doctor will likely recommend bed rest and over-the-counter pain medications. Most mild concussions resolve themselves in about 10 days. Moderate to severe TBIs require intensive treatments, however. Since behaviors, speech, and motor control are controlled by specific regions of the brain, injuries to those areas will cause problems with these functions. People who have suffered TBIs commonly need the following interventions:

  • Occupational therapy to help them return to work
  • Physical therapy to rebuild motor skills
  • Speech therapy for communication
  • Behavioral therapy because of behavioral changes that can occur

Around 50% of people who suffer severe TBIs will require surgery to repair ruptured blood vessels and to relieve pressure on the brain caused by contusions. While some types of disability might respond to therapeutic intervention, many people who suffer severe TBIs will be disabled for the remainder of their lives.

When can people sue for TBIs in slip-and-fall accidents?

Many people fall, but not all falling accidents will form the basis of a personal injury lawsuit. You will only have grounds to file a legal claim against people or entities that were responsible for causing your fall. Pennsylvania property owners and businesses must maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for their customers and guests. For a property owner or business to be liable for your slip-and-fall accident and injuries, they must have fallen below the expected standard of care. Some examples of situations that might form the grounds for a valid slip-and-fall claim include the following:

  • Mopping floors of a business without putting up cones or warning signs for customers
  • Failing to inspect and repair stairs that become loose over time
  • Failing to replace loose tiles or torn carpets
  • Leaving debris or objects in the floor
  • Failing to clean up spills

To prove that the property owner or business was negligent, you will need to prove they either knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. This might include showing that the condition existed for a sufficiently long time that the owner or business should have discovered and repaired it.

For trespassers, the duty of care owed by property owners is very low. Most trespassers will not have grounds to file a claim after slipping and falling on the property of others unless the property owners intentionally set traps or engaged in willful or wanton negligence to cause harm to them. There is an exception for cases involving trespassing children, however. Landowners must take steps to prevent children from entering their property because of attractive nuisances like swimming pools.

Damages for traumatic brain injuries in slip-and-fall accidents

Because of the nature of traumatic brain injuries, the treatments can be expensive. Some people will be unable to return to their jobs and might need round-the-clock care. When a property owner is at fault for the slip-and-fall accident, some of the types of damages that might be recoverable include the following:

  • Past, current, and future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost wages
  • Lost capacity to earn income in the future
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium

The amount of compensation that might be available will depend on several factors, including the defendant’s insurance coverage, the extent and severity of your injuries, whether you were partially to blame for your accident, and others. An experienced personal injury and premises liability attorney at DiCindio Law can review what happened and value your claim so that you might know what to expect.

Call DiCindio Law today

Suffering a traumatic brain injury in a slip-and-fall accident can negatively impact your life and relationships. We hope this has provided you with all the information you need for why are brain injuries common after a slip-and-fall. DiCindio Law helps the victims of slip-and-fall accidents to recover damages from the liable parties. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling us at 610.430.3535.

How to Prove Liability in Pennsylvania Slip & Fall Claims

How to Prove Liability in Pennsylvania Slip & Fall Claims

How to prove liability in Pennsylvania slip and fall claims. Fall accidents are very common in the U.S. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of three million older adults are treated in the emergency department every year for fall injuries, and 800,000 people are hospitalized for injuries that they have sustained in falls. When fall accidents happen when people are visiting the property of others, the property owners might be liable in some cases but not liable in others.

If you have been injured after slipping or tripping and falling while you were visiting a business, the private property of another person, or public property, you might wonder whether you can recover damages to compensate you for the losses that you have suffered. In some cases, property owners will not be liable for injuries in fall accidents. For example, a business might not be liable if you slipped and fell in something that was spilled in the seconds before your accident because the business would not have had time to discover the spill and clean it. Property owners also will often not be found to be liable when people slip and fall because of something that a reasonable person would be expected to see and avoid.

Property owners are required to keep their properties in reasonably safe conditions for people who are legally present. Slip-and-fall accident cases frequently turn on the reasonableness of the property owners’ actions to prevent falls and the negligence of the victims in failing to avoid falling. Determining liability in a potential slip-and-fall claim is important to figure out whether the claim has legal merits. The legal team at DiCindio Law can evaluate claims and explain whether the victims have grounds to file lawsuits and recover damages.

Liability in slip-and-fall cases

Before you can recover damages after suffering injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, you will need to be able to prove that the business or property owner was liable for what happened to you. To succeed, you will need to show that one of the following situations occurred in your case:

  • The hazardous condition that caused your fall was created by the property owner or an employee.
  • The property owner or an employee must have known about the dangerous condition but failed to do anything about it.
  • The property owner or an employee should have known about the dangerous condition because a reasonably prudent person would have discovered and fixed it.

Out of the three scenarios, the third one is the most common. However, it is also not as clear-cut as the other two because plaintiffs must prove that the property owner should have known about the hazardous condition. In these types of cases, liability frequently is determined by common sense. A jury will determine whether the property owner was appropriately careful by examining the steps that the owner took to ensure that the property remained safe.

Determining reasonableness

In many slip-and-fall negligence claims, the reasonableness of the defendant’s actions will be important. The court will look at whether the property owner engaged in regular and thorough activities to try to maintain the property in a clean and safe condition. For example, if you tripped and fell over a broken or torn area of the floor or carpet or slipped on a slick area, determining how long the dangerous spot had been there will be important to show that the owner either knew or should have known about it.

If the property owner has a regular schedule or procedure for inspecting and cleaning the premises, you will want to get copies of any proof that the owner has that the maintenance was conducted. For example, the business might have a maintenance and inspection log that the employees initial.

If you fell because you tripped over an object that someone had left on the ground, the reason why the object was placed there will be important. If there was a legitimate reason for its placement, you might not have grounds to file a claim. However, if the reason for the object being placed there no longer exists, you will want to explore whether it could have been removed or made safe in a different way. You will also want to investigate whether the object could have been placed in a different, safer spot without substantial expense or inconvenience caused to the property owner. If there wasn’t a barrier around the object or a warning sign, you will also want to determine whether a barrier or sign could have prevented your accident from happening.

The lighting conditions can also be important in some cases. For example, if you tripped and fell while walking on stairs, you might have grounds to file a lawsuit if the stairwell was dark because of inadequate or broken lighting.

Your negligence or carelessness

In most slip-and-fall cases, determining whether the victim contributed to his or her accident will also be important. Pennsylvania follows a rule of modified comparative negligence. Under 42 Pa.C.S. § 7102, contributing to your accident will not be a bar to recovering damages as long as your negligence did not exceed the negligence of the defendant. However, your recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault that is attributed to you. For example, if a jury determines that you were 49% at fault and the defendant was 51% at fault, you can still recover damages. Your award will be reduced by 49%, however. If the jury determines that your negligence was greater than the negligence of the defendant, you will not be able to recover damages.

Defendants commonly try to argue that the plaintiffs were careless and caused their accidents. They do this to try to limit their liability or avoid it altogether. This makes it important for you to evaluate your actions to determine whether your carelessness might prevent you from recovering damages. Some things to consider include the following:

  • Whether you had a valid and foreseeable reason for being in the area where the dangerous condition was located
  • Whether a reasonable person would have noticed and avoided the dangerous condition
  • Whether warning signs were placed in the area
  • Whether you were distracted by your smartphone
  • Whether you were engaging in unreasonable actions such as running, skipping, or jumping

Get help from DiCindio Law

Determining liability is the first step in figuring out whether you can recover damages after a slip-and-fall accident. An attorney at DiCindio Law can help by evaluating what happened and explaining the legal options and remedies that might be available. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation by calling us at 610.430.3535.

Who pays your medical bills after a slip and fall?

Who pays your medical bills after a slip and fall?

Who pays your medical bills after a slip and fall? While slip-and-fall accidents in Pennsylvania happen fairly often and may result in minor injuries such as strains or sprains, some people suffer serious injuries that can cost thousands of dollars in medical expenses. If you are seriously injured in a slip-and-fall accident because of the negligence of the property owner, you might be overwhelmed by the sudden onslaught of unexpected medical bills because of your injuries. Figuring out who will be responsible for paying your medical bills after you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident is important. Here is some information about medical costs that the legal team at DiCindio Law thinks that you should know.

The injured victim’s responsibility for paying medical costs

In a majority of cases, people who are injured in slip-and-fall accidents will be responsible for paying their initial medical expenses. However, there is an exception in cases in which the property owners have medical payments coverage on their premises liability policies. Insurance policies that include medical payments coverage will cover medical costs that an accident victim suffers on the premises of the property owner up to a specified cap. Any costs that exceed the cap will be the injured victim’s responsibility.

After a slip-and-fall accident that results in serious injuries, medical bills can quickly pile up. Many people are overwhelmed by the unexpected financial burden caused by testing, emergency department visits, surgeries, and follow-up care. These high costs can add up quickly, making it important for you to get help from an experienced personal injury attorney at DiCindio Law as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you to navigate the claims process so that you can deal with your medical and treatment costs after your slip-and-fall accident.

The property owner’s responsibility

As previously discussed, businesses may carry medical payments insurance as a part of their general liability insurance policies. Homeowners might also carry this type of coverage as a part of their homeowners’ insurance policies. Property owners elect this type of coverage to protect them from the risk of accidents on their premises. Regardless of fault, this type of coverage is a type of financial protection for businesses and homeowners.

Property owners and businesses understand that it is difficult to operate and manage premises that are completely safe and free of hazards. This is why some businesses and property owners carry medical payments insurance coverage. The insurance will pay for the injured victim’s medical bills up to a set amount.

If a property owner offers to pay for your medical costs, you should be cautious, however. A personal injury lawyer might examine what happened to make sure that all of your losses are covered.

Medical insurance and other important considerations

If the property owner asks for you to sign a document that could affect your future ability to file a claim in exchange for paying for your medical bills, do not do it. You should never sign a waiver with a property owner and accept payment. If you do, you could be barred from seeking additional damages to compensate you for your other losses. If you are presented with an offer and a document to sign, you should simply tell the property owner or business that you want to talk to your personal injury lawyer before you will agree to anything. Your attorney can properly value your claim and figure out the types of relief that might be available to you for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

If you have medical insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare, it should pay for a percentage of your initial medical expenses minus any deductibles and copays. If you use your medical insurance to pay for part of your medical bills, you should be aware that the insurance company will likely want to be repaid for the costs it paid for your care if you negotiate a settlement of your injury claim against the property owner. If you do not have medical coverage, you will be financially responsible for the other costs of receiving medical care and attention.

Recovering damages in a slip-and-fall accident claim

The amount of money that you might recover in a slip-and-fall accident claim will depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, your likelihood of recovery, and whether you contributed to the cause of your accident. When you file a personal injury claim for a slip-and-fall accident case, the types of damages that you might recover include the following:

  • Past and future expected medical bills
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Past lost wages
  • Future reduction of your earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Disability

Medical expenses and wage losses are fairly easy to calculate. However, the noneconomic losses are more difficult to value. Many attorneys and insurance companies take the value of a claimant’s medical expenses and multiply them by a factor from one to five. A higher factor is used in cases in which the injuries are severe and the likelihood of full recovery is low.

If you accept a property owner’s offer to pay your medical bills in an early settlement offer, you will not be able to seek to recover compensation to pay for your other losses. An experienced injury lawyer can help you to understand the value of your claim and work to negotiate a fair settlement for you.

Get help from DiCindio Law

Following a slip-and-fall accident in which you were injured, you might find yourself overwhelmed by unmanageable medical bills. Getting help from an experienced injury lawyer at DiCindio Law might allow you to figure out how to pay for your medical costs. A lawyer may also help you to recover damages that will fairly compensate you for all of your losses. Contact us today to schedule a free evaluation of your case by calling us at 610.430.3535.

What injuries can happen in a car accident?

What injuries can happen in a car accident?

What injuries can happen in a car accident? Many people in Pennsylvania are injured each year in car accidents. Nearly any type of injury can be caused by a car accident. Motor vehicle accident injuries can range from minor injuries to severe or fatal injuries. Generally, motor vehicle injuries can be divided into penetrating or impact injuries. Penetrating injuries occur when a victim’s body is penetrated by an object during the collision. Impact injuries happen when the victim strikes part of the vehicle. Some injuries are more minor and can be resolved naturally or through a course of treatment while others may require the victims to undergo extensive medical procedures. Unfortunately, some car accident injuries may cause the victims to suffer lifelong disabilities. All of these factors influence the compensation that a car accident victim might recover in a car accident claim.

The types of injuries that are suffered by a victim may be affected by the mechanics of the accident and its type. For example, the direction that the victim was facing relative to the direction of the impact can make a large difference. The speed of the collision and whether the victim was using a seatbelt and had functioning airbags are also important. When a victim fails to use proper safety precautions, it can cause a reduction of the recoverable damages because of the principle of modified comparative negligence. At DiCindio Law, we can help you to understand the potential value of your claim based on your injuries and the other relevant factors. Here are some of the most common types of injuries that happen in car accidents.

Traumatic brain injuries

Many people suffer from traumatic brain injuries when they strike their heads during a collision. These types of injuries can range from mild to severe injuries. The severity of a TBI might depend on the person and where his or her head was positioned as related to the point of impact. While minor traumatic brain injuries might resolve over a few weeks, serious TBIs can cause lifelong disabilities or be life-threatening.

For example, in a low-speed crash, a victim’s head might hit the window or steering wheel, causing a minor concussion that can resolve naturally with bedrest over a period of weeks. By contrast, a high-speed collision or a wreck that cause a vehicle to overturn can result in severe TBIs and permanent brain damage.

It can be difficult to diagnose traumatic brain injuries. If you suspect that you might have suffered a TBI in a car accident, you should seek prompt medical attention to ensure that you can receive any treatment that you might need.

Fractures

Fractures are common car accident injuries. Bones break when the force that is applied to a bone is stronger than the bone itself. Bone fractures can be simple or compound. In a simple fracture, the bone is broken without leaving an open wound. A compound fracture occurs when the bone penetrates the skin, leaving an open wound.

People are normally immediately aware that they have suffered fractures. If you break a bone in a car crash, you may be unable to move the part of the body that is fractured without extreme pain. When you see a doctor, he or she will be able to quickly diagnose a fracture and provide the necessary treatment.

Back and spinal cord injuries

Injuries to the spinal column are common in serious car accidents. If the spinal cord injury is severe, paralysis can result. Back injuries such as herniated or ruptured discs can also occur. Back injuries may not be immediately obvious. Instead, people might experience pain from herniated discs that show up after several days. Any time a spinal cord injury is suspected, the victim should be taken to the hospital immediately. in some cases, it is possible to treat the spinal cord injury in time to prevent permanent paralysis.

Whiplash

Whiplash is a very common type of injury in a car accident. This type of injury is especially common in rear-end collisions. People in the front vehicle may suffer whiplash injuries when their necks and heads are violently thrown forward and then overextend backward before returning to the normal position. The violent back-and-forth movement can cause injuries to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck and shoulders. Some of the symptoms of whiplash include headaches, stiffness, a reduced range of motion, pain, and nausea.

People might not experience pain from whiplash injuries until a few days after their accidents. Most cases of whiplash resolve after a few weeks. However, in serious whiplash cases, people may experience ongoing pain for months or years.

Psychological and emotional injuries

While people might not immediately think about psychological or emotional injuries in car accidents, they can occur after experiencing traumatic incidents. Some people might develop post-traumatic stress disorder when they are involved in serious accidents in which others are severely injured. Others may develop a phobia of driving or develop major depression if the accident caused fatalities or severe injuries to other passengers.

What to do after you have been injured in a car accident

Knowing the most common types of injuries that can result in car crashes can help you to understand what steps you should take after an accident. An important takeaway is that you should always seek immediate medical attention after an accident even if you are unsure that you are injured. Some injuries might not evince symptoms for hours or days, and seeking early treatment can help to improve your prognosis.

Getting prompt treatment after an accident can also help you to show a clear link between your injuries and the accident. This is important for helping you to recover compensation in a personal injury claim.

Get help from DiCindio Law

Being involved in a car accident can be a terrifying experience. If you have been injured because of the negligent actions of a driver, you may be entitled to recover damages. An attorney at DiCindio Law can help you to evaluate your potential claim. Contact us today at 610.430.3535.

Is It Hard To Win A Slip And Fall Case_

Is It Hard To Win A Slip And Fall Case?

Suffering injuries in a slip-and-fall accident can be devastating both physically and financially. If you have been injured and are considering filing a lawsuit against the property owner, you might wonder whether your claim will be successful. To prevail in a slip-and-fall accident claim, you will need to prove that your accident was caused by the negligence of the property owner or operator. While this might be fairly straightforward in some cases, it might be complicated in others. Some cases require significant evidence and the analysis of experts to convince a judge or jury that the plaintiffs deserve to be compensated. Michael DiCindio at DiCindio Law can review your case and explain your chances of success and your options.

Slip-and-fall accident claims in Pennsylvania

It is not impossible to win a slip-and-fall case, but it can be difficult. Anyone who has suffered injuries in a slip-and-fall accident while visiting the property of another should seek advice from an attorney immediately. A lawyer can help you to determine whether your claim is valid and improve your chances of recovering compensation.

Slip-and-fall accidents fall under an area of tort law called premises liability. While many of these cases are filed each year, most people do not understand how serious these claims can be. Slip-and-fall accident victims can suffer catastrophic and serious injuries that can permanently impact their lives.

To be compensable, a slip-and-fall accident must be caused by the negligence of a property owner. Every property owner has a duty of care that is owed to lawful visitors to their properties. When a guest or customer is injured because the property owner failed to fix or remove known dangers, the owner can be financially responsible to pay for the injuries and losses that result.

Why are slip-and-fall accident claims difficult to win?

Personal injury claims, including slip-and-fall accidents, are civil cases. The plaintiffs have the burden of proof when they bring these claims. The victims must prove that they have real injuries that were caused by their accidents and that the damages amount is valid. You will be required to prove the property owner’s negligence and the causal link between his or her conduct and your accident and injuries. When you bring your lawsuit, you will have to prove each of the elements of the claim, including the following:

  • The owner owed a duty of care to you while you were visiting the property.
  • The owner breached the duty of care.
  • The owner’s breach caused your accident and injuries.
  • Your injuries caused you to suffer financial losses.

Car accident claims can be easier to prove because they often have police reports, witness statements, video footage, and other types of evidence. By contrast, slip-and-fall accidents often only rely on any witnesses who were present, and some are based only on first-hand accounts of what happened.

Slip-and-fall accidents will require you to prove that the property owner or operator had reasonable notice of the dangerous condition but failed to act to correct it within a reasonable amount of time. Showing this will require you to find evidence that the owner either knew or should have known about the dangerous condition on the property. In a store, you might need to get maintenance and inspection records to show how much time had passed to demonstrate that the store operator had enough time to have discovered the condition. There might also be video footage that you will need to get. Your lawyer can ask for the footage from the cameras to show that the dangerous condition existed for a sufficient amount of time that it should have been discovered and removed.

Disputed liability

In most slip-and-fall accidents, the property owners will try to place the blame on the victims. The owner might argue that you saw the dangerous condition and purposely slipped or tripped and fell. In other cases, the property owners might argue that the victims caused their accidents by engaging in reckless or careless behavior. If the property owner is able to show that you saw the dangerous condition but failed to avoid it, you might not recover damages. If the owner can show that your negligence contributed more than 50% of the fault, you also will not be able to recover damages.

Disputing the extent of your injuries

In some cases, the insurance companies will admit that the property owners were at fault. However, they will dispute the claimed injuries and costs. They might argue that you are malingering and that your costs are much lower than what you are claiming. They might also argue that your injuries are old and were not caused by your accident.

Trying to fight against defense lawyers and insurance companies on your own is not a good idea. You should hire an experienced lawyer from DiCindio Law who understands the tactics that insurance companies and defense lawyers employ to fight against slip-and-fall claims.

Slip-and-fall accident claims can be complex and can quickly change. Having an attorney from DiCindio Law can help you to understand your rights and your case. Your lawyer will work to uncover the evidence that you need to help you to recover the compensation that you are owed. You should not have to bear the burden of substantial financial and noneconomic losses when your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. We can fight for you to get the compensation that you deserve.

While a slip-and-fall accident case can be difficult to win, it can be easier when you are working with an experienced attorney. A lawyer can place you on more even footing when you are negotiating with the defense lawyer and can protect you against the insurance company’s tactics.

Schedule a free consultation with DiCindio Law

The legal team at DiCindio Law understands the devastating impacts a slip-and-fall accident can have on the lives of victims. We strongly believe that people who have been injured because of the negligent conduct of others should be fully compensated for all of their losses.

A former prosecutor, Michael DiCindio has experience in and out of the courtroom and understands how to negotiate and litigate claims. He can walk you through the process and help you every step of the way. Our firm always keeps our clients updated about their cases and are available to answer your questions. Contact DiCindio Law today to schedule your free consultation by calling us at 610.430.3535.

How Damages Are Assessed In A Personal Injury Case

How Damages Are Assessed In A Personal Injury Case

Most people who are seriously injured in accidents in Pennsylvania because of the negligence of others have questions about the amount of money that they might recover in a lawsuit. Figuring out the value of your claim is not something that a personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you during your first appointment. Determining the damages of a personal injury case will take some investigation and time. At DiCindio Law, we can explain how damages are determined and provide you with guidance throughout your case.

Why it takes time to determine the value of a personal injury claim

The value of your personal injury claim cannot be determined until you have received medical treatment and learn about the extent of your injuries and the likelihood that you will fully recover from them. You might need to receive medical care for several months, making it difficult to determine the precise value of your claim.

Recovering damages in a personal injury lawsuit can take from many months to several years. Whenever you have been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else, you should talk to an experienced injury lawyer at DiCindio Law. We can work to help you recover the maximum damages to which you should be entitled. Your lawyer can also help you to assess the damages and what you might expect from your case.

Compensatory damages in personal injury cases

Compensatory damages in personal injury cases are monetary amounts that are meant to compensate victims for their losses that they have suffered because of their accidents.
These damages are designed to make injured victims financially whole. However, placing a value on the compensatory damages can be hard. While economic losses are fairly straightforward to calculate, noneconomic losses can be more difficult to value. Your economic losses include the actual pecuniary losses that you have suffered. Your noneconomic losses are damages that are awarded for such things as pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, and other intangible losses.

Some of the common types of damages that you might recover in a personal injury lawsuit include the following:

  • Past, current, and future anticipated medical costs
  • Past wage losses and future anticipated losses of income
  • Property losses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish/emotional trauma
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Loss of the ability to enjoy life

In most cases, your medical expenses will be calculated after your treatment is finished. However, if you require ongoing care, your lawyer might work with a medical expert to calculate the costs of your ongoing treatment for the future. Your attorney will need your medical records to determine the extent of your injuries and the medical bills that you have received for your treatment. You must seek medical care as soon as possible after your accident and follow all of the treatment recommendations that you are given. If you wait to get medical treatment or fail to follow through with your doctor’s treatment recommendations, your ability to recover damages might be harmed.

Your attorney will also seek to recover the lost wages that you have suffered because of your accident and injuries. For example, if you were forced to miss weeks or months of work because of your injuries, the wages that you lost are recoverable. If your injuries prevent you from returning to your job at the same capacity or limit your ability to earn an income in the future, your attorney will also try to recover your future anticipated lost wages.

If your vehicle was totaled in a car accident that was the fault of the other driver, you should receive compensation for the value of your vehicle. Victims whose vehicles are totaled are typically offered the blue book values for their cars.

If your injuries are severe, you might recover damages for your physical pain and the suffering that you have experienced because of your injuries. Hiring a lawyer to collect physical pain and suffering damages is important. If you try to seek them on your own, you are unlikely to receive what you should be paid.

A personal injury lawyer will want you to see a doctor and continue receiving treatment before he or she can figure out how much money to ask for from the insurance company. Once your lawyer has calculated the value of your claim, he or she will send a demand letter to the insurance company to ask for a fair amount.

Why it is important to hire a personal injury lawyer for your injury case

Getting help from an experienced personal injury lawyer at DiCindio Law after your accident is important. It can be difficult to determine how much your case is worth without help. The insurance company might send you an early settlement offer that is much lower than the true value of your claim. A lawyer understands the tactics that are used by insurance companies when they attempt to reduce the amounts that they have to pay to accident victims. Michael DiCindio at DiCindio Law can fully investigate your case and determine the worth of your claim. Contact the DiCindio Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation by calling us at 610.430.3535.

How Long Does a Slip-and-Fall Case Take to Settle_

How Long Does a Slip-and-Fall Case Take to Settle?

Suffering serious injuries because of slipping and falling while visiting the property of someone else in Pennsylvania can devastate your life. When your injuries were caused by the negligent actions of the property owner, you might wonder how long a claim might take. Slip-and-fall accident claims can be complex, and each case is different. An attorney at DiCindio Law can evaluate your claim and explain its merits to you. He can also explain the process and the length of time that your claim might take to reach a settlement agreement or to go through a trial.

What factors affect the length of the claims process in Pennsylvania?

Many different factors can impact the lengths of the claims process after a slip-and-fall accident in Pennsylvania. The most important factors that can have an impact on the length of the process include the following:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • How long it will take for you to recover
  • The strength of your evidence showing the property owner’s liability
  • The willingness of the responsible party to negotiate a settlement agreement
  • Whether your negligence also contributed to the accident

Working with a slip-and-fall accident lawyer at DiCindio Law can help you to understand what to expect throughout the claims process. Your lawyer can handle all of the details for you so that you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries.

The extent and severity of injuries in slip-and-fall accidents

Slip-and-fall accidents that lead to extensive and severe injuries can take longer to resolve than accidents that result in minor injuries. Cases involving severe injuries that are expected to last a long time take longer to resolve because of the greater sums of money that will be involved. At-fault parties who stand to have to pay large sums to the victims to compensate them are likelier to vigorously defend against the claims. If your injuries are severe, it might also take more time for you to reach your maximum level of medical improvement or to receive a prognosis. These are necessary for calculating your medical expenses and your future anticipated costs of care.

The consequences of common slip-and-fall accident injuries

While slip-and-fall accidents can result in many different injuries, some types of injuries are common in these accidents. Fractures are a common type of injury that can happen in a slip-and-fall accident because of direct trauma from a hard surface or the victim bracing himself or herself during the fall.

Many victims suffer sprains and strains to their ligaments, muscles, and soft tissues. These types of injuries might require extensive rehabilitation to regain mobility.

Traumatic brain injuries can leave victims with lifelong injuries, depending on their severity. TBIs can range from concussions to major conditions that permanently alter the lives of the victims and their families. Victims can also suffer spinal cord injuries in slip-and-fall accidents. Spinal cord damage can cause permanent partial or total paralysis. If you have suffered these serious types of injuries, your claim might take longer because of the amount of compensation that might be involved.

Understanding premises liability

Slip-and-fall accident claims are negligence claims that involve premises liability. Property owners and operators must maintain their premises in reasonably safe and hazard-free conditions for the people who are lawfully present, including guests, people who are on the premises for business purposes, and customers.

To prove an owner’s premises liability, you will be required to prove that the owner created the dangerous condition that led to your accident. You will also need to prove that the property owner either knew about the condition or should have known about it because of the length of time that it had existed. You will need to show that the property owner failed to take steps to correct the problem or to warn about its existence. Causation is another element of a premises liability claim. You will have to show that the property owner’s breach of the duty of care caused your accident, injuries, and financial harm.

The duty of care is a legal responsibility that commercial, residential, and governmental property owners owe to people who are legally present on their premises. Property owners and operators must keep their premises safe and free of hazards for guests. For example, they must keep their walkways, staircases, and handrails in good condition, promptly clean spills, post warning signs, and proactively inspect their properties to discover any dangerous conditions that might arise.

A breach of the duty of care occurs when a property owner fails to uphold his or her responsibilities. For example, a property owner might breach the duty by putting off repairs or ignoring spills.

Even if you can show that the owner breached the duty of care, you will not be able to recover compensation unless you can show that the breach caused your accident and injuries. Finally, you must show that you suffered actual harm, including injuries and financial losses.

If you have strong evidence linking the actions or inactions of the liable party to your injuries, it will be likelier for you to negotiate a fair settlement before going to trial. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate your claim to help you to build a strong case of liability.

Settling a slip-and-fall accident claim

Many slip-and-fall claims are resolved through settlement agreements without ever going to trial. Your lawyer will work as hard as possible to negotiate a fair settlement for you. Settling your claim is advantageous because it allows you to avoid the risk of trial. When you go to trial, there is no guarantee of what a jury might do. Settling your case also makes the process faster and spares you the expense of a trial.

What damages are recoverable in a slip-and-fall case?

Your lawyer will not be able to give you a precise value until a thorough investigation is completed. Typically, the following types of damages might be recoverable, however:

  • Economic losses such as your medical expenses and income losses
  • Noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering damages, disfigurement, scarring, disability, and others

Your lawyer at DiCindio Law can help you to understand the value of your claim after investigating it. If we are unable to reach a settlement agreement, we will fight for your rights to compensation through the litigation process.

Get help today

After suffering injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, you need to act quickly to preserve your rights. Contact DiCindio law today to schedule a free consultation by calling us at 610.430.3535.

How Much is a Personal Injury Case Worth?

In personal injury lawsuits, the person wronged may claim damages based on their injuries that are caused by an accident for which another party is liable. This injured party is the plaintiff and will bring the suit against the person, persons, or organization that caused or contributed to their injuries.

How much a personal injury case is worth comes down to what damages are awarded to the plaintiff, or the person harmed. It also depends on if there is a sustainable claim and if insurance covers part or all of the damages.

Different types of damages may be awarded. Additionally, other factors determine how much a personal injury case is worth based upon the specific facts of the accident and the parties involved. If you are considering whether you may have a personal injury case and want to know how much it may be worth, here is what you need to know.

Introduction to Personal Injury Cases

In personal injury cases, a person has suffered injuries due to the actions of another person or company. If that person or company is found to be at fault or liable for this accident, then there may be an award of damages to cover the expenses and harm caused to the injured party.

The injured party is the plaintiff in these cases. The defendant is the one accused of causing the incident that resulted in harm to the plaintiff. If the defendant is found to be at fault or liable for the injury caused to the plaintiff, then damages may be awarded to the plaintiff to compensate that party for the harm incurred.

These damages may be covered by the defendant or by their insurance company, where applicable.

The Three Key Factors in Determining How Much a Personal Injury Case is Worth

The three main factors in determining how much a personal injury case is worth are: liability, damages, and insurance coverage. For a personal injury case claim to succeed, all three factors need to be present.

Liability

The defendant needs to be found to be a cause of the accident that harmed the injured party. In other words, the defendant needs to be liable. Some key issues that concern liability include whether the injured party was partly at fault, whether there was any waiver of claims for liability, the circumstances in which it occurred, the place that the accident took place, whether the plaintiff’s personal property was damaged, and the relationship between the parties.

State laws vary on whether a personal injury claim may be brought where the injured party was partly at fault. This circumstance may be referred to as contributory negligence. If you are unsure as to whether this applies to you, then contacting an attorney may be best before proceeding with bringing a claim in a personal injury case.

Damages

For a claim to succeed in a personal injury case, there needs to be some sort of damages. The plaintiff must have caused the accident resulting in the damages and injuries incurred by the plaintiff. These are actions for which the defendant must be held liable.

There are some nuisances with damages depending on the claim, the situation, and the applicable state’s law. For example, there are frequently defense claims that the injured party had a pre-existing injury/condition. The defendant may attempt to make an argument that the damages caused were not due to their actions but were instead due to the injured party already having a condition that would cause these damages.

Usually, the standard for this type of claim for defense is whether an average person could have sustained these damages and if the damages were reasonably foreseeable. However, it will depend significantly on the state in which the incident occurred and the specific facts of the situation that caused the accident.

These are many factors that may impact the damages and liabilities of a personal injury claim. It is critical to consult an attorney if you are unsure as to whether other considerations may apply to your situation.

Insurance Coverage

If insurance is involved, then the insurance company may cover some of the damages that the injured party sustained. Depending on the facts of the case, it could be the plaintiff’s insurance or the defendant’s insurance that covers all or part of the costs or damages incurred from the accident.

If there is insurance coverage that will cover a portion of the damages caused to the injured party, then the personal injury case may not be worth as much or may not be worth anything. If insurance covers all of it, then it is highly unlikely that the injured party can bring a claim against the party for which they allege was a cause of the accident that caused them damages. However, an insurance company may want to pursue a claim against the party at fault to recoup their costs.

Types of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Cases

If a personal injury case claim is successful, then there may be an award of damages.

Typically compensatory damages are the type of damages awarded in personal injury cases. These types of awards are meant to restore the injured party to the place that they were in before the accident that caused harm because of the defendant’s actions. In other words, these damages are awarded with the intent to make the plaintiff “whole.”

Some of the common types of compensatory damages may include the following terminology:

  • Reimbursement of medical expenses
  • Payment to cover lost wages that resulted from missed work due to the injuries sustained
  • Cost of repairs or compensation to cover property loss, if applicable, caused by the accident that is the subject of the personal injury lawsuit
  • Monetary compensation to cover pain and suffering that resulted from the accident
  • Loss of spousal enjoyment, which is more commonly referred to as “loss of consortium” for personal injury cases
  • Damages to compensate for the loss of enjoyment of daily activities due to the accident
  • Compensation for emotional distress to reimburse for the psychological harm that the accident caused to the injured party.

How Much is a Personal Injury Case Worth?

Not all of the damages mentioned above will apply to every personal injury case. It will depend on the type of harm caused, the claim brought, and the state in which the accident occurred. For example, some states do not recognize each kind of damage listed, or they may use different terminology or categories. Other states may include more types of damages. Moreover, some states require physical harm or harm to property for there to be a claim for damages pertaining to psychological or loss of enjoyment.

Do You Want to Know How Much Your Personal Injury Case is Worth? Contact an Attorney Today

If you are considering filing a personal injury case against a party that has caused you harm and want to know how much your case is worth, then you should consider contacting a personal injury attorney. The specific facts of your situation can significantly influence and change the value of damages you may be entitled to due to the injuries you incurred because of an accident for which another party is liable. An attorney can help guide you through this process.

To discuss your situation and learn more about how much your personal injury case may be worth, fill out our contact form. One of our attorneys will give you a call to discuss your case and the potential value of bringing a claim in a personal injury case.

What Do I Need To Know About Slip And Fall / Premises Liability?

Hazardous conditions on a property can sometimes occur without warning. For example, a sinkhole could suddenly open and cause an accident without the property owner knowing about the potential danger. In other cases, property owners may be aware of a danger and choose to ignore it. When a property owner knows about a dangerous condition or should have known about its existence, the property owner may be liable to pay damages under a theory called premises liability. In most cases, premises liability involves negligence, which occurs when someone engages in a careless act or negligently fails to act. When a property owner fails to correct dangerous conditions on his or her property that he or she knew about or should have known about, resulting in injuries to people who were lawfully present, the victims may be able to recover damages for their losses. DiCindio Law might be able to help injured victims to recover the compensation to which they should be entitled.

Dangerous property conditions

When someone is injured while visiting the property of another, it does not automatically mean that the owner was negligent. The property might have a dangerous condition, but the condition alone does not mean that the owner was negligent. Instead, the property owner may be liable when he or she failed to exercise reasonable care to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition or to correct a known hazard that existed.

Slip and fall accidents

One of the most common types of cases involving premises liability is a slip and fall accident. These cases are also difficult to prove and will require an investigation of the circumstances that occurred to determine legal liability.

Some dangerous conditions that can lead to slip and fall accidents include the following:

  • Tripping over objects and falling
  • Poor lighting
  • Narrow staircases
  • Fallen merchandise
  • Slick floors
  • Uneven floors
  • Torn carpets
  • Broken or uneven sidewalks
  • Potholes in parking lots

Some common types of injuries that occur in slip and fall accidents include the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Strains and sprains
  • Bruising
  • Lacerations
  • Spinal injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Because of how common they are, some people might think that slip and fall accidents are minor. However, many people who are injured in slip and fall accidents suffer severe injuries that come with exorbitant costs. In some cases, slip and fall accidents can result in deaths and lead to the basis for wrongful death lawsuits.

The status of the injured victim

Property owners and operators have different duties of care to people who are present on their properties that depend on the statuses of the visitors. There are three statuses that are recognized under the premises liability law of Pennsylvania, including invitees, licensees, and trespassers.

Invitees are people who are invited to the premises for business reasons. For example, a business that is open to the public has invited shoppers to enter for the benefit of the business’s owner. Other visitors such as firemen, garbage collectors, and others are deemed as invitees under the law. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees and must correct for known hazards and inspect for unknown hazards. They must warn visitors of any hazards that are discovered and take action to correct them.

Licensees are people who enter the property with the owner’s implied or express permission. For example, if you are invited to go to a friend’s house for dinner, you would be deemed to be a licensee. An owner’s permission includes any conduct that leads the visitor to believe that the owner will allow them to enter. In addition to social guests, others who have this status include meter readers. Property owners must correct known hazards that exist on their property for licensees who visit.

Property owners owe the least duty of care to trespassers. These are people who come onto the property of someone else without express or implied permission. Property owners do not owe a duty of care to trespassers to correct known or unknown dangers on their properties. However, they may be liable if they deliberately set traps with the intent to injure trespassers.

Children have special protections under Pennsylvania law, including trespassing children. Property owners must take care to remediate dangerous conditions that could attract children such as swimming pools, ponds, mines, wells, and other dangerous conditions that might attract children who do not understand the risk. For example, people should erect fences with locking gates around their swimming pools to prevent children from entering them.

Insurance considerations

Before a premises liability lawsuit will be filed, it will be important to figure out whether the defendant has the financial ability to pay damages. If he or she does not, filing a lawsuit might not be worthwhile. However, in most cases, the defendants will have a homeowner’s insurance policy or a business’s general liability policy. A personal injury lawyer at DiCindio law will investigate to identify all of the potential recovery sources.

Your attorney will then look at the policy limits of the existing policy to determine whether they are sufficient to cover the claim. There may be different limits contained in the policy for different types of damages. Any claims that exceed the policy limits will have to be collected from other sources.

The insurance company’s duty to defend

Insurance companies must indemnify and defend their insureds against legal liability up to the policy limits. The duty to defend includes covering the legal costs involved with defending the claim. The duty to indemnify means the insurance company is responsible for paying monetary awards from judgments against the insured. In most cases, the insurance company will hire a defense lawyer and will engage in settlement negotiations. The companies are required to act in good faith in settlement negotiations and lawsuits.

Accidents in the workplace

Slip and fall accidents that happen at work fall under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act and the workplace safety laws of the state of Pennsylvania. People who are injured at work may be entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits.

Contact DiCindio Law

If you have been injured by a dangerous condition while you were lawfully present on the property of another, you may have legal rights. Contact DiCindio Law to learn about your potential claim by filling out our online contact form or calling us at (610) 430-3535.

Is There A Statute Of Limitations For Filing A Personal Injury Claim in PA?

No matter what type of accident you might have had in which you were injured because of the actions of another person or entity, you might be considering filing a personal injury claim in Pennsylvania. If you decide to file a claim in the civil court system, it is important to understand the statute of limitations that applies to it. At DiCindio Law, we can help people who have been injured by the wrongful or negligent actions of others to file their claims within the limitations period so their rights to recovery might be preserved.

What is a statute of limitations?

Pennsylvania and all other states have statutes of limitations. These are laws that specify a time limit for filing different types of claims. The time within which the claims must be filed is called the limitations period. Claims that are filed outside of the limitations period will be dismissed, meaning that the victims will be prevented from recovering compensation for their losses. This makes knowing the statute of limitations for your particular type of claim important so that you can make certain to comply with it. If you fail to follow the statute of limitations, you may be permanently barred from recovering the damages to which you would otherwise be entitled.

Personal injury statute of limitations in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania statute of limitations for personal injury claims is found at 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5542. Under this law, you have two years to file a personal injury action to recover damages for your injuries or for the wrongful death of your loved one that results from the negligence or wrongful conduct of someone else.

The two-year statute of limitations applies to most types of personal injury claims, including those that are based on negligence and those that are based on intentional conduct. Intentional torts include civil assaults, civil batteries, and other intentional actions.

The clock on the limitations period begins from the date of your injury accident. If you have been injured because of the actions or negligence of someone else, you will have two years to file the civil complaint and other required documents to commence your lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, your lawsuit will be dismissed.

What happens when people miss the deadline?

If you wait to file a lawsuit until more than two years have passed since your accident, the defendant will likely file a motion to dismiss. He or she will explain to the court that you have filed your complaint outside of the limitations period. Unless an exception provides you with more time to file, the court will dismiss your claim. If your claim is dismissed, you will lose your right to ask for an award of damages for your injuries from the court. It will not matter how much you have lost or how significant your injuries might be. It also won’t matter if the defendant’s liability is clear.

This makes the personal injury statute of limitations pivotal when you want to file a formal lawsuit against the responsible party or parties. It is also important when you want to negotiate with the insurance company or the defendant for damages outside of the court process. If the insurance company or defendant knows that you are outside of the two-year statute of limitations, there will be little incentive for a settlement agreement. You will not have any leverage over the defendant to threaten to file a lawsuit against him or her.

Exceptions to the personal injury statute of limitations in Pennsylvania

While the personal injury statute of limitations is strictly enforced in Pennsylvania, there are a few scenarios that might toll the running of the clock and expand the filing deadline period. Some of the examples of exceptions that can modify the limitations period include the following:

  • The injured victim was a minor who was not legally emancipated at the time of the accident that caused his or her injuries. In this situation, the clock won’t begin to run until the injured victim reaches age 18 under 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5533.
  • The defendant is outside of Pennsylvania for more than four months after the accident and before the lawsuit is filed or hides his or her presence in the state by using a fake name under 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5532.

In the case of concealment or absence, the time during which the person was absent or hidden will likely not count against the running of the limitations period.

Lawsuits against the government

If the responsible party in your injury accident is a governmental entity, the limitations period is quite different. For example, if you had a slip and fall injury accident while you were visiting the premises of a government agency, a different statute of limitations applies. Under 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5522, people who intend to file claims against the government must send notices to it within six months of the date that they were injured in the accidents. If you fail to send the required notice, any lawsuit that you might later file against the government will likely be dismissed.

When should you contact an attorney?

The statutes of limitation in Pennsylvania provide hard deadlines within which you must file a formal lawsuit against the negligent or wrongful actors who caused your injuries. While these limitations periods give you an idea of the maximum amount of time that you can wait to file a lawsuit, you should talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury occurred. Talking to a lawyer early can help you to preserve evidence that could otherwise be lost. In some cases, the government may hold partial liability for an accident, meaning that you might need to file a notice much earlier than the two-year statute of limitations for a personal injury claim.

Contact DiCindio Law today to schedule a free consultation by calling us at (610)430-3535. You can also fill in your information in our online contact form to request a consultation.