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Monthly Archives: November 2018

Nov 29, 2018 - Personal Injury

The Discovery Rule and the Statute of Limitations

Allentown Injury Attorney In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims — unless the defendant is a “public” employee or entity, in which case a separate, stricter set of procedural rules apply — is just two years from the date of injury. The statute of limitations is essentially a deadline for one’s lawsuit.  Failure to bring an action against the defendant before the deadline passes will result in an abandonment of the claims therein.  Simply put: you will lose your right to litigate your injury dispute in a Pennsylvania court of law should the deadline pass before you file your claims. There are numerous exceptions to the statute of limitations, however, which can give you extra time.  The Discovery Rule is one such exception, and it is significant.  If the injuries you sustained due to an accident were hidden or otherwise non-obvious, then there’s a good chance that the Discovery Rule is applicable to your lawsuit. Let’s take a closer look at how it works. How Does the Discovery Rule Work? According to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the Discovery Rule provides that “where the existence of the injury is not known to the complaining party and such knowledge cannot be reasonably ascertained within the prescribed statutory period, the limitations period does not begin to run until the discovery of the injury is reasonably possible.”  Stated another way, the statute of limitations period will not begin to count down until the plaintiff either becomes aware of the injury […]

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Nov 22, 2018 - Bethlehem Car Accident Lawyer

Unsafe Lane Changes and Motor Vehicle Liability

If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident — car, truck, or motorcycle — in which the accident was caused by the defendant’s negligence in making an unsafe lane change, then you may be entitled to damages as compensation for your losses.  Pennsylvania law imposes liability on defendants who fail to exercise reasonable care when operating their vehicles on roadways, including those engage in unsafe activity relating to lane changes. Let’s take a closer look. General Rules for Lane Changes in Pennsylvania Section 3334 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes defines the general rules applicable to turning movements and required signals.  According to statutory law, a person is prohibited from turning their vehicle or changing lanes unless and until the movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without giving an appropriate signal. Reasonable Safety Whether the lane change can be made with “reasonable safety” is dependent on the circumstances.  For example, if there is more than 50 feet available in the next lane, and the vehicles around said space are moving at a constant speed, then the defendant might arguably make a safe lane change into that 50-foot space.  On the other hand, if there is only 10 feet available and there is a good chance that — by making the lane change movement — the defendant will strike another vehicle, or otherwise force others to come to a sudden stop to avoid a collision, then the lane change would likely be deemed unreasonable. Signal Requirements In Pennsylvania, all […]

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Nov 15, 2018 - Articles

Car Accident FAQs

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and can demonstrate that the defendant caused you to suffer harm due to his or her negligent, reckless, or wrongful conduct, you may be entitled to recover significant damages as compensation. Car accident litigation can involve many variables, depending on the circumstances.  Though some lawsuits can be resolved in a straightforward manner, others may involve complicated issues of liability, such as splitting fault between multiple co-defendants and establishing potential employer liability or manufacturer liability (for product defects). Given the fact that car accident litigation — and personal injury disputes in general — can be inherently unpredictable, it’s important that you work with a team of attorneys who are capable of dynamically responding and adapting to changing circumstances over the course of a lawsuit.  We encourage you to contact an experienced attorney or assistance with your car accident claims. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Q: Is there a deadline for pursuing a car accident lawsuit? A: Yes, there is, though it may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some states, the statute of limitations deadline for personal injury claims is two years from the date of injury, whereas in others, the deadline may be three years.  Regardless of the specific length of the deadline, however, if you do not file your lawsuit before the deadline passes, then your case will no longer be actionable in a court of law. It’s worth noting that if the defendant is a public entity or employee, then your […]

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Nov 8, 2018 - Personal Injury

Recovering Damages for an Assault

If you’ve been intentionally injured by another person in Pennsylvania, then they may not only be criminally liable for having committed assault, but also civilly liable for the damages they caused you to suffer as a result of their actions. Many people do not realize that they are entitled to bring a civil action — independent of State prosecutors’ criminal case — against the individual(s) who assaulted them.  This civil action is important, as it may give the injured plaintiff access to financial resources that covers their losses.  For example, if you are badly injured in an assault and is thereby forced to resign from your position (due to your inability to perform the material duties of the job), then you could ostensibly sue and recover damages for those lost wages and the loss of future earning capacity, among other losses. So, how does a civil assault claim work?  Let’s examine the basics. Understanding Assault In Pennsylvania, assault requires: The attempt to cause bodily injury to another; The attempt (by physical menace) to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another; or Negligently causing bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon. This may give rise to a civil claim for damages, as the victims of an intentional tort are entitled to sue and recover damages for the harm caused by the defendant. Suppose, for example, that the defendant pushes you into a dark alleyway and waves a gun at […]

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Nov 1, 2018 - Personal Injury

Some Evidence May Be Excluded From Your Injury Lawsuit

If you’ve been injured due to the fault of another — their negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct — then Pennsylvania law may entitle you to pursue an action for damages. Importantly, the success of personal injury litigation often turns on the outcome of evidentiary battles.  For example, whether your claim for damages succeeds might depend on whether you can prevent the defendant from introducing evidence that shines a negative light on your character. Excluding Irrelevant Evidence Evidence may only be admissible if it is relevant.  Irrelevant evidence has no place in litigation. Rule 401 of the Pennsylvania code succinctly defines “relevance” in the evidentiary context.  In accordance with the rule, evidence is relevant if: It has a tendency to make a fact more or less probable; and The fact is of consequence in determining the action. For example, in a slip-and-fall case, evidence concerning the regularity/consistency of the floor inspection schedule would likely be relevant, as it would help determine whether the defendant adhered to their duty of reasonable care. Not All Relevant Evidence is Admissible If the evidence is relevant — in other words, if it has probative value with regard to some material fact pertaining to the case at-hand — then you might still be able to prohibit its introduction. Rule 403 of the Pennsylvania Code describes the circumstances under which relevant evidence may be deemed “inadmissible.”  Specifically, relevant evidence may be inadmissible if its probative value is outweighed by the danger of: Unfair prejudice; Confusing the issues; […]

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