Upper Darby Personal Injury Lawyers
A personal injury occurs when a person’s wrongful act or failure to act harms, someone. The act or omission may occur due to negligence, intentionality, or a law assigns liability for specific action. As a result of the injury, the victim suffers financial, physical, mental, or emotional damages.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health recorded nearly 134,000 hospitalizations in 2020 for sudden injuries; more than 4,000 incidents resulted in fatalities. Over 128,000 of the cases were nonfatal. The injuries and deaths from personal injury events can cause emotional, physical, and mental damage. The unexpected costs add a financial burden to the victims. According to the Pennsylvania HealthCareCost Containment Council data, the total charges for hospitalized sudden injuries in 2020 were $11.6 billion. The median or average patient costs ranged from $50,000 to $55,000.
Individuals may suffer a personal injury due to the following:
- Medical Malpractice;
- Wrongful Death;
- Work-Related Accidents;
- Truck Accidents; and
- Motor Vehicle Accidents.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries from another party’s wrongful act, call (866) 352-4572 for a free case evaluation with an experienced Upper Darby, personal injury lawyer at MyPhillyLaywer.
How Can An Upper Darby Accident Occur?
Upper Darby Township is a town located in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Delaware County has a population of nearly 600,000, with the Township having over 85,000 residents. Although the nearest metro area is Philadephia, with less than a 15-mile commute, serious accidents can happen when traveling through the different towns.
Whether a resident or tourist travels from the Upper Darby suburbs into the city for entertainment or dining, an accident can occur while traveling on local roads or Highway 1, Highway 3, and Highway 13.
If you or someone you know was in a severe car accident traveling into or from Philadelphia, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. Tracking all injuries and medical appointments is critical to building a compelling personal injury case. Next, contact our attorneys at MyPhillyLawyer to discuss the next steps.
Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania
A lawsuit begins when a party files a complaint with the court. Pennsylvania courts filed approximately 1,500 medical malpractice cases annually from 2016 to 2020. Delaware County had an average of 40 of the suits.
Medical malpractice occurs when healthcare professionals do not perform their duties with the standards generally accepted by their industries. The injured patient has the burden to prove that malpractice occurred. To win the case, the plaintiff must show that the medical professional:
- Owed a duty of care to the patient;
- Breached to the duty of care
- The breach was the legal cause for the patient’s injuries, and;
- The patient damages arise from the harms
The court may award compensatory damages, which are financial and non-financial, based on medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. While economic losses have an exact amount, non-financial damages do not. They may significantly increase the total amount awarded to the victim.
Pennsylvania law does not cap how much an injured patient may receive for a medical malpractice case. However, state law limits the number of punitive damages. The patient gets up to 200% of the total compensatory damages unless the medical professional’s misconduct were intentional.
Workplace Accidents in Upper Darby
The United State Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2020 nearly 140,000 nonfatal work injuries occurred. Some employees required days away from work, restrictions on their duties, and job transfers. Workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for individuals injured in work-related accidents in Pennsylvania. Under state law, an employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance that covers their employees in case of workplace injuries or illnesses.
Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance that compensates injured employees by providing wage compensation, disability benefits, and medical care. The employer must obtain and maintain the insurance through an insurance company, the state insurance fund, or with approval to self-insure.
An injured employee must notify the employer of the injury and its cause. Failure to notify the employer within the required time makes the worker ineligible to receive compensation. After the notification, the employee may submit an injury claim to the employer. If the employer denies the claim or a dispute arises, the employer may file a claims petition with Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The employee has three years from the date of injury to file the claims petition.
Motor Vehicle Accidents in Upper Darby
Millions of motor vehicle accidents occur in the United States year. The vehicle crashes involve auto-auto, auto-pedestrian, and auto-cyclist. In 2019, automobile crashes caused approximately 2.74 million injuries and over 36,000 fatalities. The same year, Pennsylvania had more than 125,000 collisions, with 76,000 injured and nearly 1,000 deaths.
All motorists in Pennsylvania must obey the state traffic laws, including:
- Follow all traffic lights and signs;
- Drive the posted speed limits;
- Drive below the speed limit in hazardous weather conditions;
- Do not drive too closely to other vehicles;
- Use appropriate vehicle signals;
- Turn on vehicle headlights as required by law; and
- Do not text and drive.
Every driver involved must stop immediately when an automobile-related accident occurs and render aid if someone has injuries. Each driver must provide information to all parties about the accident, including their name, address, vehicle registration number, driver’s license, and insurance. Any of the drivers may contact the police and report the accident.
Depending on the type and severity of the crash, one or all parties may suffer injuries from the accident. The at-fault driver is responsible for the injuries and damages of the victim. The injured victim may incur medical bills and lost wages for time out from work. The victim can seek compensation from the at-fault driver to cover the financial losses and other damages caused by the collision. Each driver’s automobile insurance can help compensate the injured party.
Under Pennsylvania, registered automobiles must have motor vehicle insurance. A driver who fails to maintain insurance on their vehicle may lose their vehicle registration or their privilege to drive. The benefit of automobile insurance is that it provides first-party coverage for the at-fault driver’s vehicle and third-party coverage for the victim.
The injured victim can seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. State law requires registered automobiles to carry a policy with minimum liability limits for one accident of:
- $15,000 for injury to one individual and $30,000 for injury to two or individuals; and
- $5,000 in property damage.
Pennsylvania insurance laws require insured may an election on their insurance for limited or full tort option. Under the little tort option, the victim can get medical and out-of-pocket expenses, not non-financial damages such as pain and suffering. The full tort option allows the victim to seek economic and noneconomic losses.
How Wrongful Death Actions Are Handled in Pennsylvania
Under Pennsylvania law, wrongful death is a death of an individual resulting from an illegal act, neglect, or unlawful action by another person. Such a death may arise from a personal injury such as medical malpractice, a work-related accident, or a motor vehicle collision. The personal representative of the deceased victim’s estate files the wrongful death case on behalf of the estate’s beneficiaries.
The damages recovered from the lawsuit, by judgment or settlement, go to the deceased’s beneficiaries. The beneficiaries only include the victim’s spouse, child, or parents. The personal representative must distribute the monies the way the beneficiaries would receive if the deceased died without a will. If the dead victim does not have eligible beneficiaries, the personal representative files a case solely to recover the reasonable medical, funeral, and administrative costs related to the injuries that led to the death.
The deceased’s estate may also file a survival action to recover damages the victim suffered from injury until death. The money recovered in a survival action is for the benefit of the estate. If there is no will, the personal representative distributes the damages by the terms of choice or Pennsylvania probate law. The allegations made in the lawsuit are the same as the deceased could have made if they survived.
Seeking Compensation for Injuries from an Accident in Upper Darby, PA
Three kinds of damages are generally available in a personal injury case – special, general, and punitive damages. Special and general damages compensate the injured party for their losses. Punitive damages are to punish the wrongdoer for their actions.
Special damages are the economic losses in personal injury and include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damages. Such damages have an exact monetary value. The court can calculate the precise amount of the loss.
The injured person may seek general damages for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, disfigurement, emotional distress, and inconvenience. Unlike special damages, general damages do not have set amounts. They are the physical, emotional, and mental damages the victim suffered.
Courts award punitive damages if the at-fault party’s actions were willful, malicious, and in some cases, extremely negligent. In particular personal injury cases, such as medical malpractice, Pennsylvania law limits the punitive damages the victim can receive.
Contact MyPhillyLawyer Today
If you or a loved one were involved in an accident in Upper Darby, reach out to the Upper Darby personal injury attorneys at MyPhillyLawyer immediately. Our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers is here to help you through this difficult time.
Our Upper Darby personal injury attorneys understand how to challenge insurance companies and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at (866) 352-4572 to discuss your case, legal rights, and options. Your initial consultation is free. No recovery, no fees or costs, guaranteed.