Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyers
If you’ve been injured, let us help you seek justice
Personal injuries occur when an unintended event, like a car accident, workplace accident or a motorcycle accident is caused by a negligent individual, business, or public or government entity. The at-fault individual(s) failed to exercise a reasonable amount of care and harmed or injured another person to whom they owed a duty of care. Proving negligence in personal injury cases is necessary to hold a person or company legally responsible.
To Protect Yourself and Your Rights After an Accident, You
Need to Contact a Qualified and Experienced Pennsylvania
Personal Injury Lawyer.
In Pennsylvania, negligence claimants must prove four elements: “a duty or obligation recognized by law; breach of that duty by the defendant; causal connection between the defendant’s breach of that duty and the resulting injury; and actual loss or damagesuffered by the complainant.”1
- Duty: The defendant owned a legal duty to the plaintiff.
- Breach: The defendant breached their duty by failing to act appropriately.
- Causation: It was the defendant’s action or inaction that caused injury.
- Damages: The plaintiff was injured (by the defendant).
To file a personal injury claim, plaintiffs need to adhere to Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations. In Pennsylvania the Statute of Limitations is two (2) years from the date of the injury.2 However, the Statute of Limitations for claimants under the age of eighteen (18) does not begin until the individual’s eighteenth (18th) birthday.3 The time to file a notice of a case involving a public or government entity is only six (6) months from the date of the injury.4 Because an injured person with a legal right to file a claim could lose that right if they do not act quickly, it is important to contact a lawyer that specializes in personal injury cases as soon as possible.
1 Reilly v. Tiergarten Inc., 633 A.2d 208, 210 (Pa. Super. 1993), appeal denied, 649 A.2d 675 (Pa. 1994).
2 42 Pa.C.S. § 5524.
3 42 Pa. C.S. § 5554.
4 42 Pa. C.S. § 5522.
Personal Injury Statistics
- In 2020, nearly 39,000 Americans died in car accidents and 2,282,015 were seriously injured or disabled.5
- In Pnnsylvania there were 104,472 reportable motor vehicle crashes in 2020.6
- In those reportable crashes 1,129 people were killed and 4,425 people were seriously injured.7
- Of the 1,129 fatalities in Pennsylvania in 2020, 22 were bicyclists, 146 were pedestrians, and 217 were motorcyclists.8
- In Pennsylvania, speeding was a contributing factor in nearly 200 car-related fatalities in 2020.9
- 29% (or 322) of all traffic-related fatalities in Pennsylvania in 2020 involved alcohol.10
- Motorcyclist fatalities were 19% of all Pennsylvania traffic deaths in 2020.11
- Nationally, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a crash than a car passenger.12
- Nationally, in 2020, there were 5,579 motorcycle fatalities, the highest number on record13
- In 2020, in Pennsylvania there were 3,256 motorcycle crashes resulting in 848 suspected serious injuries and 219 fatalities, a 24% increase over 2019.14
- In 2020, 19% of all suspected serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents involved motorcycles.15
- Motorcyclists are four times more likely to be injured.16
- In 2020, over 28% of fatal accidents involving motorcyclists involved alcohol disability, while more than 26% were the result of speeding, and more than 24% resulted from driver inattention.17
- Motorcycle fatalities in Pennsylvania in 2020 increased by nearly 25%over 2109, and overall traffic deaths increased by 6.6%.18
5,10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, Source: NHTSA.
6, 7, 8, 9, 15,18 Source: PENNDOT.
Slip and fall accidents
- Approximately one-third of adults over 65 fall each year.19
- In 2020, over 6.84 million people suffered non-fatal injuries in falls and over 42,000 people died from falls.20
- Falls are the leading cause of death for older adults.21
- Nationally, approximately $50 billion is spent on medical costs related to non-fatal fall injuries in those above age 65 and $754 million is spent related to fatal falls. The total cost in Pennsylvania is more than $2.3billion.22
- Falls are the most common cause of hip fractures.23
- Only two percent of cases go to a jury trial.
- More than one million people go to the emergency room each year for a slip and fall accident.24
- Approximately five percent of slip and falls involve broken bones.25
- Slip and falls are a leading cause of injury for all age groups.26
- Approximately 95 % of all hip fractures are due to falls.27
- Women fall more often than men and suffer 75% of the hip fractures.28
- The median number of days away from work due to slip and fall accidents was 12 days in 2020.29
19, 22, 23, 27, 28 Source: CDC.
20, 21, 26 Source: National Safety Council.
24, 25 Source: National Floor Safety Institute.
29 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Nationwide, in 2020 there were a total of 4,764 workplace fatalities. Of those, 148 occurred in Pennsylvania.30
- Nationally, 37% of workplace fatalities were transportation incidents, making them the most common fatal events. At 17%, slip and falls resulted in the second-most fatalities.31
- Of Pennsylvania’s 148 fatalities in 2020, 49 were caused by transportation incidents, 28 by slip and falls, 25 by exposure to harmful substances or environments, and 27 by contact with objects and equipment.32
- In 2020, males made up 93% of work-related deaths in Pennsylvania and 33% of those involved transportation incidents.33
- The Pennsylvania private construction industry sector had the highest number of work-related deaths in 2020 with 30 (up from 26 in 2019). Of the 30 deaths, 12 were caused by slip and fall incidents.34
- In 2020, the Pennsylvania specialty trade contractors subsector accounted for 22 of the 30 construction workplace deaths.35
- There were 25 fatalities in the private transportation and warehousing industry sector, with 19 due to transportation incidents. 60% of the deaths in this industry were in the general freight trucking industry group.36
- There were 47 workplace fatalities in the transportation and material moving occupational group in Pennsylvania in 2020, representing the highest workplace industry number. Motor vehicle operators accounted for 30 of the 47 deaths in this group.37
- The second highest number of deaths, 23, occurred in the construction and extraction occupational group. Within this group, 19 of the deaths were within the construction and extraction group.38
- Nationally, in 2020, White non-Hispanics accounted for 85% of those who died from workplace injuries.39
- In 2020, workers aged 25-54 years old made up 60% of Pennsylvania’s work-related deaths; nationally, the figure is 56%.
- Of the 148 fatal work injuries in Pennsylvania in 2020, 72% were wage and salary workers; 18% were self-employed. Deaths from transportation incidents were the most frequent in wage and salary workers, while falls, slips, and trips were the most frequent for self-employed workers.40
30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Personal Injury Laws
Personal injury law is also referred to as “tort” law. A “tort” is “an act or omission that gives rise to injury or harm to another and amounts to a civil wrong for which courts impose liability.”41 Personal injury laws actually arose out of old common law rules, or decisions that were made by judges, not legislatures, bills, or statutes.
Generally, there are two things that get decided in a personal injury trial: the law and the facts. The law applied to the case is determined by the judge. The facts of the case are determined by the jury, if there is one, or the judge when there is not.
When a judge presides over a personal injury trial, their decision on the particular law involved in that case is binding as a precedent on all other lower courts in that state. This means that the lower courts must then apply the law as declared by the first judge. Over time, the various precedents in a state create a body of common law for that state. Common law, therefore, differs from state to state (e.g., Pennsylvania’s common law differs from New Jersey’s). This is why it is important to discuss any personal injury accident with an experienced attorney in Pennsylvania.
At its most basic level, personal injury law protects individuals injured as the result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. An injured party may file a civil lawsuit (also called a personal injury lawsuit) to seek compensation for their injuries and damages. Personal injury law’s main raison d’etre is that the injured person is compensated or “made whole” after sustaining harm or injury caused by someone’s reckless or negligent conduct or intentional misconduct.
Personal injury law covers a very wide variety of situations when someone has been harmed in an accident or unexpected occurrence. Basically, a potential personal injury claim arises when an individual or entity acts negligently and harms another person.
Negligence does not mean that the person causing the injury intended to hurt someone; rather they failed to exercise the appropriate level of care in their conduct. Some examples of instances where personal injury rules would apply are when a drunk driver hits your car and your passenger suffers a broken arm, a storeowner fails to mark steps down into his shop and you fall and break your ankle, or a supermarket does not clean up a spill resulting in you or someone else slipping and being hurt.
The laws pertaining to personal injury cases also apply in instances where another person or entity’s intentional conduct harms another. Medical malpractice – perhaps a surgeon with a tremor chooses to operate — could be a good example. There is also a category of personal injury law that relates to defective products that does not necessarily involve intentional wrongdoing if the product’s manufacturer did not know of or chose to overlook the product’s defect.
41 Source: Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute.
Contact an Attorney
If you have been injured, as a potential claimant, people – specifically, non-lawyers – will tell you what you should do. Unless they are an experienced personal injury attorney, they are almost certainly giving you bad, even harmful, advice. To protect yourself and your rights after a traffic, work-related, or slip and fall accident, you need to contact a qualified personal injury lawyer.
Petrillo & Goldberg’s attorneys have practiced personal injury law in Pennsylvania for over 20 years, successfully protecting the rights of negligently injured clients. If you have been injured, let Petrillo & Goldberg Law help you seek justice. We are here to help personal injury victims obtain the compensation they deserve. We are available for a free consultation by telephone at 215-486-1LAW (215-486-1529) or at either our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or Pennsauken or Woodbury, New Jersey offices.