In the event your attorney is unable to reach a reasonable settlement with the defendant’s insurance company prior to the statute of limitations running out, the next step will be to file a lawsuit with the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in an effort to preserve your rights to collect damages. After that, the claim is said to be “in litigation”. Then the court will then establish a timeline of discovery that involved parties utilize to get information about the claim, such as interrogatories or deposition. In addition, the court will set deadlines pertaining to alternative means of resolution like arbitration or mediation. At any point during this process of litigation, the case can still be settled, eliminating the need for a trial.
Under the Pennsylvania Constitution, an injured individual is entitled to seek damages for injuries in front of a jury of their peers. During a trial, your lawyer will begin with an opening statement before presenting evidence that supports your claim. Such evidence can include testimonies, documents, videos, and photographs. The defense will present evidence supporting their side of the story. The jury will determine the outcome after both sides have presented their cases. When appropriate, your attorney will evaluate the potential risks and rewards of a jury trial relating to the specific circumstances of your case. While settling out of court is preferable, sometimes a trial is the best option for seeking compensation.
Pennsylvania Law states that an individual can still receive compensation for their injuries in the event they are considered to be somewhat at fault. So long as the injured party is less than 50% at fault, they can recover damages, although the amount will be reduced in proportion to their assumed amount of fault. However, if the injured party is determined to be more than 50% at fault, Delaware Law prohibits them from recovering anything at all. Some states bar recovery in the event the plaintiff is even 1% at fault.
In order to pursue damages, an individual must have been injured as a result of the negligence of another person, business, or government entity. Negligence occurs in instances where one party has a duty of care pertaining to the safety of another party and does not exercise this care to the best of their ability. Some examples of negligence include failing to operate an automobile in a safe fashion, not removing ice from a sidewalk, failing to warn another of a potential hazard that a property owner is aware of, or failure to keep one’s dog under control. The lawyers at Edelstein Martin & Nelson can discuss any potential negligence issues involved in your claim with you.
These are just a few questions you may have about a personal injury claim. For more information, call our firm today to schedule a free consultation.