Naming the Blame in Personal Injury Lawsuits

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Personal injury lawsuits come in all shapes and sizes, so to speak. Most Pennsylvania personal injury lawsuits are similar in that a victim has been injured by the negligent act of another person and they typically follow along the same legal procedures. The loophole in personal injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania is the shared fault argument, which means that not all personal injury lawsuits will result in a winner and a loser.

Different Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits

For instance, property owners are generally required by law to ensure that their property is kept safe and if there are any unsafe conditions, or even potentially unsafe conditions, they are expected to fix the problems within a reasonable amount of time. If someone on their property is injured due to an unsafe condition on the property, the owner could be found negligent and held liable in a personal injury lawsuit called a premises liability lawsuit.  

If a consumer purchases a product that injures the consumer or the consumer’s child, the manufacturer, the distributor, and the company that sold the product could be held liable for the injuries. These types of personal injury claims, when a defective or dangerous product is in question, are called product liability lawsuits. Another type of personal injury claim could be pursued if a doctor’s negligence causes a patient injuries – we call that a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Pennsylvania Shared Fault

One way for Pennsylvania personal injury defendants to defend their side of the case is to argue shared fault. Under Pennsylvania shared fault, which is called the “modified comparative negligence rule,” the amount of compensation that a plaintiff is entitled to receive in a personal injury lawsuit is reduced by the amount that is equal to their percentage of fault. If a plaintiff is found to be more than 50% at fault for his or her own injuries, he or she cannot collect any compensation.

Modified Comparative Fault Example

Here is an example of how modified comparative fault would work: You are rear-ended as you are turning from one road onto another road, but you forgot to use your turn signal. During the court proceedings, you are found 30% to blame and the other driver is found to be 70% at fault. The damages that you are claiming add up to $30,000. Per the law, you would only be entitled to $21,000, which is your claimed damages minus the 30% that you were found to be at fault.

If you are thinking about pursuing a personal injury lawsuit in Pennsylvania, it is in your best interest to hire a professional who understands all of the legalities of personal injury law. Although you can certainly represent yourself in court for these types of claims, having the legal knowledge and experience of a successful lawyer beside you is invaluable. Solnick & Associates, LLC have decades of experience helping people successfully recover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and more.