What Constitutes Serious Injury in Philadelphia Personal Injury Cases?
When you go to a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia with a personal injury claim, one important question that will be raised is whether enough injury has occurred to justify a court case; is the injury a serious injury? A simple sprained wrist or a few bruises, for example, are usually insufficient for bringing a case to court. Most likely minor injuries would be insufficient to warrant filing a case.
Fortunately, your personal injury attorney will be well-versed in looking into these situations. Every case is different, and only direct consultation will allow you to know your situation with certainty. However, here are some guidelines.
Is My Personal Injury A Serious Injury?
The first and most important thing to know is that Pennsylvania law does not contain a strictly literal definition of “serious injury.” The very term itself is fundamentally up for debate. After all, while we said above that a sprained wrist is usually insufficient to be called “serious,” the situation might change if you were a professional pianist or tennis player!
However, generally speaking, a serious injury is one which will have a long recovery time, or potentially leave long-lasting effects. Such injuries could include:
- Severe brain injury
- Spinal injuries resulting in paralysis
- Loss of limbs, or permanent crippling of limbs
- Loss of eyesight or other senses
- Permanent damage to bodily organs
- Injuries which would prevent procreation or childbirth
- Injuries resulting in permanent disfigurements, such as severe burns
These matters are generally evaluated with the assistance of expert testimony. Doctors’ opinions and medical reports are highly-valued and will be given a lot of weight when assessing the impact of an injury. Matters such as the impact on a person’s job and ability to earn a wage will also be given attention.
Fortunately, under Pennsylvania law, no cap exists on damages or liability. You can potentially be paid for any and all damages proven, including future ongoing damages, with no real restriction.
However, one mitigating factor is present that you should be aware of. Pennsylvania uses a “shared fault” system for determining responsibility for an accident. When the court determines that both parties were partially at fault, shared fault will attempt to assign percentile values – such as saying the defendant was 75% at fault, while the plaintiff was 25% at fault. In this situation, the plaintiff’s claims would then be reduced by 25% as a reflection of their portion of responsibility for the accident.
For Serious Personal Injury, You Need an Experienced Legal Team
The nuances of Pennsylvania personal injury law are many, and a highly-experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer can help you get you all the compensation you deserve. In the event you have been injured, contact Alfred Abel Law Offices as soon as possible.
Tags: personal injury