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KaplunMarx Legal Blog

Do You Have a Legal Question about Personal Injury in Philadelphia?

Use our search tool to find valuable legal guidance on a variety of subjects, or browse our latest blogs below.

Disclaimer: Please note that all information on this website is for educational purposes only. This information should not be considered legal advice for your specific situation, as each legal matter has varying circumstances.

Latest Blogs

4 Tips to get your injury settlement after a truck accident

Auto Accidents

Truck Accidents

In tractor-trailer truck accidents, a staggering 98% of fatalities occur to the individuals in the passenger vehicles. While truck accidents do happen in big cities like Philadelphia, the most severe of these accidents often occur on highways in more rural areas throughout the States. Although truck accident cases are often very complex; the Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyers at KaplunMarx offer these four essential tips to help truck accident victims get the injury settlement they deserve.

1- Who is Responsible for the Truck Accident?

If you have been injured in a truck accident that was not your fault, you have the right to pursue the responsible parties and get money for your injuries. However, it gets complicated – depending on the cause of the accident. Many parties could be held accountable for a truck accident. Such as:

  • The trucking company, 
  • The truck driver
  • The loading company
  • The truck manufacturer 
  • The company that performed maintenance on the truck
  • The government entity responsible for maintaining the road where the accident occurred

And many more factors, pursuing the proper party is where an experienced truck accident attorney can help you get the injury settlement you deserve after your truck accident.

2- Investigation of the Truck Accident

When a big rig gets into an accident with a passenger car, the consequences can be disastrous. If you are injured in a truck accident, the importance of preserving evidence to support your case is vital. Often within a short period following a truck accident, the police want to clear the scene as soon as possible. In addition, the truck might get transported hundreds of miles away from the scene of a crash, and weather conditions can deteriorate skid marks and fluid marks. For these reasons, truck accident investigators, often sent out by a diligent law firm, will look at every aspect of the accident, including skid marks, location of impact, debris, fluid stains, and damaged vehicle parts. Having this account will help immeasurably. Remember, the trucking companies and their insurance carriers will have their investigators and experts out to the scene and compensate victims as little as possible.

3- FMCSA Regulations Apply to Truck Accident Injury Settlements

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA is a separate agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation. The FMCSA was established under the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999; its stated goals: reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities by improving the safety of large trucks and buses. The agency sets forth rules and regulations regarding required maintenance, driver rest periods, vehicle inspection, use of prescription medication, and other substances. Trucking companies and operators must maintain maintenance records, hourly logs, and other records. Further, trucking companies must carry higher levels of liability insurance.

In reality, not every trucking company complies with FMCSA regulations; investigation into compliance with the mandatory FMCSA regulations is an essential factor in your case.

4- The Truck Accident Settlement Offer After an Injury

Insurance companies are not in business to pay out money; in fact, it’s common for a trucking company’s insurer to offer a low lump-sum settlement in exchange for you granting a release to all involved parties and waiving all future rights to compensation. Valuation of your case hinges on many factors, including, but not limited to, medical bills, lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and other accident-related expenses. Before you accept any settlement offer, have the Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyers at KaplunMarx will review your case (free of charge) and explain your available legal options. Give us a call at 215-393-4895 or fill out the contact form on this page to email us about your case.

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Are injury claims taxable?

Personal Injury

Tips and Guides

Are our personal injury claims taxable? One of the most common questions we get as personal injury lawyers is: are proceeds received from a personal injury case subject to tax, either by settlement or verdict? The answer, like many questions in life, is a resounding maybe. After being injured due to someone or some entity's negligence, getting medical attention, dealing with the pain and suffering, and finally receiving some financial compensation either by settlement or verdict, you are now left with the question: "Is my personal injury claim taxable?"

A personal injury settlement can be non-taxable, partially taxable, or fully taxable, dependent upon the type of case and compensation. Whether or not your claim is taxable depends on if there was a physical injury or physical sickness. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has many different guidelines. However, there is still some confusion about which damages are subject to taxes.

One important point before getting into the nuts and bolts of the personal injury proceeds tax issue – we are Philadelphia area personal injury lawyers and by no means claim to be tax professionals. Every person's tax situation is different, and you should always consult with your own tax professional before making any decisions.  

IRS Taxable Guidelines

The IRS has some guidelines for a personal injury settlement that would be excluded from income taxes. Generally, you will not be taxed on money received from a personal injury claim or jury award for the following:

  • Physical Injury- Money obtained to compensate for broken bones, surgeries, herniation, etc.
  • Emotional distress caused by Physical Injury - Money received for mental distress or mental anguish.
  • Medical Expenses – Unless you a deduction for that money on your previous year's income tax return
  • Lost Wages resulted from Physical Injury - Interestingly enough, even though you would have been taxed had you worked for the money, this recovery is tax-free. However, this changes in suits for employment-related lawsuits

What Personal Injury Claims are Considered Taxable and Tax-Free?

Below are a few guidelines to help us determine whether your personal injury claim is taxable.

Taxable Claims:

  •     Punitive Damages – If you receive punitive damages and compensatory damages, the two should be separated so you can distinguish them on your tax form.
  •     Interest on Judgement – Interest received on a pending case is subject to taxes for any length of time.
  •     Emotional injury Only – Only if you can show that you received some physical damage.
  •     Breach of Contract – Physical injury and sickness if the breach of contract caused the damage.

Tax-Free Claims

  •    Compensation for lost income caused by physical injury
  •    Compensation for physical damage and sickness
  •    Compensation for medical costs
  •    Compensation from emotional distress caused by physical illness and injury

Types of Personal Injury Awards that ARE Taxable:

  • Legal Injuries – These are personal injuries that arise from harassment, discrimination, libel, etc., not personal physical injuries
  • Punitive Damages – These awards are rare, usually in the realm of products liability, and are meant to punish the wrongdoer through monetary penalty. One exception to the punitive award being taxed is a particular case of wrongful death, where the State law only will allow for this type of damage.

Physical Injuries and Sickness

Until 1996, those who received personal injury settlements were considered tax-free, whether emotional or physical. However, since then, the laws have changed. Typically, physical injuries and sicknesses are not taxable and must be reported on your tax return. 

However, if you deduct medical expenses on any previous tax return, the money you deducted is then considered taxable. Also, any attorney's fees related to a financial settlement because of physical injuries or physical sickness will be regarded as non-taxable.

Claims for Emotional Distress or Mental Anguish

This could also be tax-free if you received a financial settlement because of emotional distress or mental anguish. In this case, the mental suffering or emotional pain was related to the injury or sickness, considered medical. However, if you claim emotional distress or employment discrimination but did not receive any damage, then any settlement would be taxable.

Are Punitive Damages Taxable

It is rare to receive punitive damages resulting from a personal injury claim. However, if you receive punitive damages, these situations are taxed differently. For example, with financial settlements received from punitive damages, your money is not for compensation. Instead, it is intended to punish the at-fault individual.

Punitive damage settlements are not compensatory, including punitive damages in a personal injury claim subject to tax. If you do not include this income on your income tax form, it can cause other troubles in the future. When reporting this income, you will need to enter the amount on your 1040 Form as "Other Income."

Is Property Damage Taxable

Typically, property damage settlements are not considered to be taxable. The IRS states that if you lose value in your property, and it is less than the basis of the property, then the settlement is not taxable. This is done to help lower the foundation from the property by the sum of the payment. What this means is if your settlement is more than the basis of your property, the rest of the settlement is considered income.

Compensation for Lost Business or Income

  • Lost business or income in a personal injury case is considered non-taxable. This refers to the 26 USC § 104(a)(2) and Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Schleier, 515 US 323, 329-30 (1995). However, if the injuries are based on emotional distress, a verdict or settlement from loss of wages or business income can be taxable on the Federal level.

Importance of Taxes in Your Personal Injury Case

Understanding the tax implications on your personal injury settlement is important because it can help you decide whether or not you should accept an offer and determine the actual cash value of your injury case. As a Top Personal Injury Law Firm we always try to give our injury clients the big picture view of their case. 

Weighing the risk/reward, and explaining all the factors, including tax (or lack thereof) for all our personal injury clients, helps us determine the best course of action for your case and obtain maximum dollars for your injury. An important point to remember, we are personal injury lawyers and not tax professionals. 

There are exceptions to the general tax rules noted above (and other more intricate tax points not discussed in this blog post). We always suggest consulting with a tax professional about your injury settlement money before filing your taxes.

Resources: Taxes and Personal Injury Settlement

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help with Taxes?

After receiving your settlement, it is essential to know if your compensation is subject to any taxes. There can be cases where you can recover for multiple causes of action against differing parties. It is essential to have the release and settlement statement account for which amount is for personal injury and non-personal injury. 

An experienced accident lawyer can ensure that the settlement is detailed correctly to ensure you have the least tax burden from your confidential injury settlement. When a personal injury case is taken to trial, and a verdict is reached, the judge and jury get to award the damages and can have a tax impact on how much money you ultimately end up with. The bottom line is working with an excellent Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney can help ensure you make the most money home after your injury case is resolved.  Give us a call at 215-939-4895 or fill out our online form.

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How does video affect my case?

Personal Injury

Twenty or so years ago, security cameras were rare. You saw them only in banks, parking garages, and the larger department stores. The digital revolution reduced the cost of cameras, from doorbell cameras on homes, to dashcams on cars, to cameras on our cell phones. With this highly accessible technology, the question must be asked; How does video and social media affect my personal injury case?

Cameras are everywhere now, and they've affected almost every aspect of our lives, including the law. As a result, video evidence is commonly introduced today in Pennsylvania personal injury cases. Finding the proper Philadelphia, PA personal injury attorney who can gather this video evidence quickly and coach you through social media use after your injury can be a powerful tool in proving your case and can mean the difference between winning or losing.

If you're injured accidentally by another person's negligence in the greater Philadelphia area, and if that accident was caught on video, will you be able to use the video to help you win compensation for your medical expenses and related losses? Our Philadelphia personal injury attorney has answers for you.

How is Video Changing Personal Injury Case?

While in the past cases relied heavily on eyewitness accounts and police reports which are heavily biased and subject to embellishments, now in the age of technology, we can see almost precisely what happened at the moment of the concerning incident. 

For example, Dashcams can provide persuasive evidence if you are injured in a car accident with a negligent driver. If you're the person being blamed for an accident, your dashcam video might prove that the negligent motorist was the other driver in the collision.

All types of sources can provide video evidence that might be useful in a personal injury case:

  • Smartphone video from your phone or someone else's.
  • Dashcam video from your vehicle, someone else's vehicle, or police.
  • Surveillance video from a retailer or another third-party source.

What Are Your Rights as an Injured Victim of Negligence?

That proof can be necessary if you're injured by negligence in traffic or any other accident scenario; Pennsylvania law entitles you to compensation for your accident-related medical bills, lost wages, personal pain, suffering, and other related losses and damages.

But you're not simply handed that compensation. You have to prove that you're entitled to it. If you've been injured by negligence, you're going to need help from an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney. You'll need to contact that attorney as soon as possible after an injury.

Of course, video evidence is impartial. If you're the negligent driver in a Pennsylvania traffic accident, video evidence won't help. And even if the other motorist was the negligent driver, video alone will not help you unless you also have the right personal injury attorney.

What About Video That Shows Up on Social Media?

If you file a personal injury claim, be cautious if you post photos or videos to social media sites like Facebook or YouTube. Lawyers and insurance investigators will comb through your social media pages for evidence – especially video evidence – that your claim is false or exaggerated.

If you're injured by negligence and don't have your video of the incident, you need to determine if someone else does. For example, after a traffic crash, scan the vicinity for nearby retailers and others who may have a video that captured the collision, and let your attorney know.

If you're injured because of a slip-and-fall accident on someone's property, in a parking lot, or at a store, hotel, restaurant, you should seek sound legal advice and aggressive representation right away. Contact an experienced Philadelphia, PA premises liability personal injury attorney at once.

Personal Injury Case Social Media Do's and Don'ts

  • Don't accept any odd new "friend" requests, especially if it is someone who you do not know,
  • Do set your privacy settings on the highest level of privacy,
  • Don't let other people tag you or your activities,
  • Do "think before you post"
  • Don't post anything about your accident, injuries, or details on social media.

Remember, even if you delete posts, pictures, or videos, they can still be recovered and can open the door to a great deal more problems for you and your injury case. 

When Should You Speak To a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If another driver crashes into you, if you slip-and-fall while you're shopping, or if you're in a store and merchandise falls, or a display collapses on you. You are seriously injured, you may not have seen what led up to the accident, but the video may be able to tell the whole story.

Time is of the essence in securing video evidence, so do not wait to speak to an attorney if you've been injured by negligence in Philadelphia, PA. Instead, seek medical attention first – that's the top and immediate priority if you're hurt – and then discuss your legal rights and options immediately with the best personal injury attorney in your area. So, if you are injured in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, remember two things #1 Think before you post! #2 Contact KaplunMarx at 215-939-4895

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Who is liable after you are injured in a bike accident?

Auto Accidents

Bicycle Accidents

Personal Injury

Bike riding in Philadelphia has been up 260% in recent years. Yet, despite this recognition, bike accidents in Philadelphia persist, and residents continue to sustain injuries. As bike accident lawyers in Philadelphia, we are well aware that our city is known nationally as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the country. Since 2012, the League of American Bicyclists has been recognized as a Silver Status Bicycle Friendly Community, making it one of only three cities with a population of over 1 million to reach that status, according to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.  

Believe it or not, many of these bike accidents are caused by dangerous conditions that exist on public property, the most common being the road and sidewalks. Unfortunately, issues still exist while the city continues to clean up some of these hazardous conditions.

So that begs the question: Can I Sue if my Bike Accident was Caused by the unkept road? The answer is yes, but there needs to have been something called Notice and other rules in place that must be followed to recover from your bike accident injuries.

What is Notice?

To sue a public agency for a defect in the road that caused your bike accident, they needed to have something called Notice. Does that mean the mayor needed to have seen the giant pothole that has been in the middle of the road for three months for you to bring suit? 

No, the legal standard for Notice for this type of incident is Known or Should have Known. So if there is a dangerous condition that has been there a while, and perhaps citizens have called in about the state of the road, but no one got around to fixing it – well, that is adequate for Notice, and you can certainly sue for your bike accident injuries.

I Was in a Bike Accident, Who Pays My Medical Bills?

The answer to this question is complex, but the following information should provide some clarity:

  • A cyclist is considered a pedestrian in Pennsylvania.
  • When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, the pedestrian's car insurance will be responsible for the medical bills to whatever the medical limit on their policy.
  • Suppose the cyclist doesn't own a car but lives with a resident relative who owns a vehicle. In that case, the insurance policy on that car will provide medical coverage up to its medical limits.
  • Suppose the cyclist does not own a car or live with a family member who does, and thus he is not covered by an automobile insurance policy. In that case, the cyclist can get his bills paid under the insurance policy issued to any drivers involved in the accident.
  • Sometimes more than one vehicle is involved in a car accident. The insurance policy on these vehicles can be looked to for medical coverage, even if that vehicle never made contact with the cyclist. This becomes important because some of the cars on the road are uninsured. So, the cyclist can look to any vehicles involved in the accident to get the medicals paid.
  • The minimum coverage for medical in Pennsylvania is $5,000, and most of the policies in Pennsylvania are written with these limits in place.

The above answer seems counter-intuitive, but we are a no-fault state in Pennsylvania. This means that if you are in a bike accident, the above are the priorities set out by the legislature as to how your medical bills get paid. 

 What if the cyclist turned in front of the car and caused the accident that injured him? Again, the same applies, and the cyclist's auto policy and a resident relatives policy become the primary medical bills payment method.

These are the basics on who pays the medical bills when a cyclist is hit by a car, but remember every bike accident is different and presents a new set of complex issues. The medical bills from bike accidents are usually immense because of the severity of many bike accidents. 

That is why the most important call you can make if you are injured in a bike accident is to a Philadelphia Bike Accident Attorney to help sort out your rights.

Suing a Public Agency

Under a legal doctrine known as sovereign immunity, the government is immune from legal action, except to the extent to which it has consented to such action. In plain English, this means that you cannot sue the government unless it has authorized the lawsuit by law. 

Fortunately for the people of Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth has just done this in the Sovereign Immunity Act and the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act, albeit with significant limitations on liability, procedural requirements, shortened time limits, and other differences from lawsuits against private parties. Because of these differences, it is essential for anyone injured on public property to retain an attorney familiar with these kinds of claims immediately.

Protect Your Rights After a Bike Accident, Call a Lawyer ASAP

While, yes, you can sue if the road caused your bike accident, it is essential to consult with a Pennsylvania bike accident lawyer to make sure you don't miss a timing deadline, understand the unique requirements to bring a lawsuit, and preserve your rights.

Bike accidents that occur on public roads can leave a person with significant injuries that can affect them for the rest of their lives. 

Fortunately, Pennsylvania law often entitles people injured in these accidents to substantial compensation. Call KaplunMarx today at 215-939-4895 or email us through our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with a Philadelphia Bike Accident Attorney.

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Injured in a motorcycle accident? What next?

Auto Accidents

Motorcycle Accidents

Our motorcycle accident lawyers often observe that several devastating accidents involving motorcycles have to do with the right of way violations. These accidents typically occur at street intersections, ranging from dangerous roadways to driver inattention and reckless driving. Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident? What details of a motorcycle accident will impact your injury claim? We're here to answer your questions.

Whether you are using a motorcycle for leisure or transport, there are specific safety regulations you must adhere to. These regulations are meant to protect you and your passenger (if any). Also, it helps other road users in the unfortunate event of an accident. 

An important example of such regulations is laws governing helmets when using a motorcycle. If you're ever involved in a motorcycle accident caused by another's negligence, hiring a Philadelphia accident attorney would be the first step towards retribution.

If you've sustained any form of injury, you'll likely want compensation for those injuries. At the same time, the law will likely guarantee some form of payment, whether or not you get compensated, and your adherence to safety regulations will significantly influence the value of your compensation. 

What Causes These Motorcycle Accidents?

A few of the most common reasons for motorcycle accidents that result from the right of way violations:

  • Distracted driving: 

When drivers look at a cell phone or are distracted by other activities while driving, such as talking to a passenger, they may fail to y yield the right of way. Inattention could also cause these accidents. You'll often hear a driver say they "never saw the motorcycle." That type of comment may be a sign of distracted driving or inattention.

  • Impaired driving: 

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs could result in a right of way violation because these motorists often have impaired judgment and abilities.

  • Dangerous roadways: 

When roadways are poorly designed or have inadequate lighting, there is a greater likelihood of street intersection accidents involving smaller vehicles such as motorcycles.

  • Disobeying the road rules: 

Drivers may violate road laws regarding the right of way issues because of reckless or careless driving. It could also happen when they are driving at an excessive rate of speed.

Often, we see that drivers of larger vehicles fail to remember that they share the roadway with motorcyclists and end up making poor decisions that result in a right of way violation and devastating motorcycle crashes.

Here are some of the right of way laws in Pennsylvania that apply to motorcyclists:

  • A vehicle making a left turn or a U-turn must yield the right of way to oncoming cars or cars going straight. These account for a majority of motorcycle accidents.
  • If you happen to enter a roadway simultaneously as another vehicle and are on the left-hand side, you must yield the right of way to vehicles approaching from the right.
  • If you are entering a traffic circle, the law requires you to yield to any cars that are already in the loop.
  • If you are entering the main road from a private alley, driveway, or street, you must yield the right of way to vehicles on the main road. 

Receiving Compensation After Being Injured in a Motorcycle Accident

Getting compensation for injuries during a motorcycle accident within Philadelphia could be pretty simple or intensely complex, depending on your unique situation. It's essential to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process. But perhaps even more important is adhering to the state's motorcycle helmet laws. 

Even when you are legally exempt from mandatory usage of helmets, failure to use a helmet might turn out to be your greatest undoing while trying to get compensation for injuries you may sustain while riding a motorcycle. In some cases, the value of payment might be reduced, but in some, you might lose your right to compensation.  

Compensations for injuries sustained while riding a motorcycle could range from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands depending on the severity of the injury. Getting an experienced lawyer to handle your case is the key to getting befitting compensation for damages you incur during a motorcycle accident.

If You Have Been Injured

What if you or a friend or family member has been injured in a Pennsylvania motorcycle accident caused by right of way violations. So, you might be able to seek compensation from the at-fault motorist for the injuries, damages, and losses you have sustained. Ted Kaplun and Jonathan Marx can help you file a personal injury claim and obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve. Contact us today.

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Slip and fall and premises liability: What you need to know

Personal Injury

Slip and Fall/ Premises Liability

Our law firm handles thousands of premises liability injury cases each year. Premises liability cases, more commonly referred to as "Slip and Fall" cases, are one of the most common personal injury cases.

We all have accidents from time to time, but there's a difference between those caused by our carelessness and those caused by negligence on the property owner's part. Often, serious injuries cause victims to lose days or weeks of work or cost them significant sums in medical bills—all for an accident outside of their control.

If you've been injured in a public place, you may be able to take some legal recourse, but there are some things you need to know before contacting a Philadelphia premises liability lawyer and filing a claim.
From proving the liability to the process of filing a claim, don't miss out on learning everything you need to know about filing a settlement. Read further to get more information.

What Do I Need to File a Premises Liability or Slip and Fall Settlement?

While having an accident in a public place may seem embarrassing, the things you do in the wake of the incident are crucial. Here are some essential pieces of info to keep in mind after the accident while filing the claim:

Were You Unable to Stop the Accident from Occurring?

In many premises liability cases, the property owner may argue that the plaintiff is at fault for the accident. Because this is somewhat hard to prove, this type of blame-shifting is known as comparative negligence.

This means that your behavior may be at least a small part of the issue at hand in most cases. While filing your claim, you may be asked some basic questions that help determine whether your claim is reasonable.

Here are some examples:

  • Was the site of the accident marked or easy to avoid?
  • Were you talking on the phone or texting when you slipped?
  • Where were you running or moving quickly through an area that requires more caution?

If you were careless at the time of your accident, it might be harder to prove negligence or liability on the property owner's part—but it doesn't mean they aren't at fault either.

You don't necessarily need to prove you were being careful at the time of the incident. Instead, you'll need to provide details that paint a clear picture of what happened and that you weren't blatantly being careless.

Proof of Negligence on the Part of the Property Owner

While it may be hard to prove that an incident caused by liquid on the floor or another obstacle is outright negligence or pure clumsiness, the more you can document, the better.

-Gather Evidence

Take photos and record any interaction with the property owner or any staff that happen to be on site. If something seems out of the ordinary, it's a good idea to document the conditions in question.

-Report the Accident Right Away

The sooner you report your accident, the better. While still on the scene, you should tell the owner or manager what happened.

Suppose you require medical attention, such as getting picked up in an ambulance. In that case, the incident is likely going to be recorded on the part of the property owner, as well as the medical center where you were treated.

Decide Whether You Want to Hire a Lawyer

Hiring an attorney is helpful in any legitimate personal injury case, but some plaintiffs choose not to. The plaintiff may forgo an attorney if insurers want to settle right off the bat or if the settlement amount is less than $5,000 (the small claims court maximum). However, even if the case ends in an insurance settlement, it's good to have a lawyer on your side to help sort out all the logistics and provide a solid case against the defendant.

Do I Have a Premises Liability or Slip and Fall Claim?

Our Philadelphia slip and fall law firm often get calls from people who are injured in a fall, and they all want to know: Do I have a good premises liability / slip and fall case? and let's face it, most people have no idea whether or not they have a viable case. There are three main factors in answering this question. They are as follows:

  1. Duty and Breach – Did the defendant owe a duty of care to the injured person, and if they owed a responsibility to the person, was that duty breached. For example, a supermarket's obligation to its patrons is to ensure the aisles are clean and free from defects reasonably. Keeping sweep logs is one way a supermarket tries to ensure this duty is upheld, but careless employees often see a spill and leave it there until someone falls. This is a perfect example of a commitment and breach.
  2. Causation – Did the defendant's negligence cause the injuries that occurred? This factor is essential because even if there was a duty and breach, the damages complained of being causally related to the slip and fall. For example, if someone has a slip and fall accident in an icy non-shoveled parking lot, they fall severely, injuring their back. Still, nothing else – then they sue the defendant and allege injury to their knee that no doctor could causally relate to the fall. There is no causation.
  3. Damages – Are the injuries consistent with the accident? Again, this relates to the causation of the injury as stated in the paragraph above. The damages from the slip and fall need to be related to the accident. They cannot be something that was a pre-existing injury. If the slip and fall accident caused exacerbation of the pre-existing injury, then it would be part of the damages claimed. For example, if the person who fell had a pre-existing issue with a herniation in their back and the fall caused this to worsen, this would be included in damages claimed from the slip and fall.

Decide If You Want to Sue

Since many personal injury cases are settled before a trial takes place, you may find a lawsuit to be wholly unnecessary. However, you may file a slip and fall lawsuit if the defendant wants to pursue the issue further.

Should the defendant want to pursue the case further, you may wish to file a slip and fall lawsuit, which will help cover expenses for the injury, rehabilitation, and medical expenses.

We Help with Premises Liability and Slip and Fall Settlements

At KaplunMarx, we've got a team of experienced personal injury lawyers ready to take on your premises liability claim to help you get back on track.

We understand the physical, emotional, and financial tolls that serious injuries can cause victims. For that reason, KaplunMarx is on hand to help you investigate negligence and determine whether you've got grounds for a legal claim.

If you've suffered injuries in the wake of a fall, don't hesitate to call our office at 215-939-4895 to learn more about your rights after an accident.

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Workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania: How Can it Help?

Workers' Compensation

Workers’ compensation is an insurance program for employees established and managed by the state. What is covered by workers' compensation in Pennsylvania? For example, will Pennsylvania workers’ compensation pay for an injured employee’s chronic pain management? 

Can Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys help?

Workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory for most employers under Pennsylvania law. Employers without coverage may be found liable for employees’ injuries and may even be subject to criminal charges.

Who Can Help You with Workers' Compensation in Philadelphia?

An employee injured in a work-related accident in Pennsylvania may submit a workers’ compensation claim and take those benefits while recuperating. However, injured or ill employees in Pennsylvania are not sure if they qualify for these benefits.

Others are not sure how to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you are injured in Pennsylvania in a job-related accident, let an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney help you file a claim and acquire your necessary benefits.

Workers’ compensation protects both employers and employees. After a work-related injury, an employee receives medical care and partial compensation for lost wages. Employers pay for workers’ compensation coverage, and in return, they may not be sued by employees for personal injuries.

What is Paid by Workers' Compensation in Philadelphia?

However, determining precisely which workers’ compensation benefits an employee may qualify for can be pretty complicated. For example, in most cases, employees in Pennsylvania are entitled to receive workers’ compensation payments for necessary medical costs arising from workplace injuries.

Injured employees in Pennsylvania are also usually eligible for partial wage replacement benefits and benefits to pay for chronic pain management if necessary. The medical community defines chronic pain as pain that persists longer than six months.

How Does Chronic Pain Happen?

Chronic pain happens when the nervous system sends non-stop pain signals to the brain over months or even years. A single injury may cause pain, damage from cumulative stress or repetitive trauma, or an underlying disease such as cancer or arthritis.

The stress of constant chronic pain can lead to eating and sleeping disorders, anxiety, irritability, and depression. Without adequate pain management, the health of a regular pain victim will almost always slowly deteriorate.

Millions in the United States suffer from mild chronic pain and live with it. Others, however, are genuinely disabled by excruciating chronic pain. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, an injured employee must report a work-related injury to their employer within 120 days. However, if you are the employee who is injured, you need to make that report at once. The employer then accepts or denies the claim.

What Types of Benefits May Be Available to Injured Workers?

What types of benefits are available to injured employees through workers’ compensation in this state? Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, benefits may include:

Partial wage replacement 

Depending on an employee’s injury and how much time the employee requires to regain health and return to work, workers’ compensation benefits may include temporary disability and permanent disability.

Medical coverage

An employee may be compensated for a work-related illness or injury for necessary and reasonable medical treatment, including prescriptions, surgeries, treatments, therapy, and even mileage and parking for medical appointments.

Specific benefits 

Particular injuries like amputation or facial disfigurement may qualify for clear additional benefits. In addition, vocational rehabilitation employees who cannot return to their jobs may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation payments to cover vocational retraining and job placement.

Death benefits 

The surviving family members of employees who are fatally injured in work-related accidents may qualify for workers’ compensation death benefits. The benefits will hinge on the employee’s previous earnings and dependents.

Will Workers' Compensation in Philadelphia Pay for Chronic Pain Management?

To be compensated for chronic pain management, an employee’s illness or injury must arise directly from a work-related accident or hazard. That’s one reason why you must seek medical attention immediately when a job-related injury happens.

If you need to obtain workers’ compensation payments for the cost of chronic pain management, you will need to demonstrate that your pain arises from a job-related injury or illness such as:

  • a repetitive stress injury
  • a back injury
  • a musculoskeletal injury
  • a burn injury
  • a traumatic brain injury
  • exposure to toxic chemicals

Treatment for chronic pain can be complicated. Eligible injured employees may be compensated for pain management costs arising from work-related injuries, including over-the-counter and prescription medicines, surgeries, pain management therapy, and in some cases, counseling.

Could Your Workers Compensation Benefits Be Denied?

If you are injured or made ill at work, compile as much documentation as possible regarding your injury or illness. Some injured employees may feel that the medical examinations required for workers’ compensation benefits are inadequate or biased against them.

Some workers’ compensation insurance companies have been known to use any legal loophole to deny a workers’ compensation claim. This is especially true when an injury is not visible – like many of the damages that result in chronic pain – an injured employee will need reliable legal help.

  • exposure to toxic chemicals
  • a burn injury 
  • a back injury
  • a traumatic brain injury
  • a musculoskeletal injury
  • a repetitive stress injury

Let an accomplished Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney help you submit your injury claim. If necessary, your workers’ compensation attorney can even arrange a visit to an independent doctor for a second opinion.

When Should You Speak to a Workers' Compensation Law Firm?

Accepting or denying a workers’ compensation claim can hinge on several technicalities. If you are injured at work in Pennsylvania, do not make the mistake of failing to have all of your questions about workers’ compensation answered and all of your concerns addressed.

Whether you are injured at work abruptly in an accident or over time with a repetitive stress injury, report the damage to your employer, be examined by a physician, and meet with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as quickly as you can.

Nothing is more important than your health or your future. If you are injured at your place of work in Pennsylvania, compensation is your right. A reasonable attorney’s help is also your right. If you are injured at work, get that help at once.

Give us a call at 215-939-4895 for a free consultation.

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Starting a wrongful death case

Wrongful Death

Car Accidents Often Lead to a Wrongful Death Case

Car accidents in Pennsylvania often result in significant if not fatal injuries. No question losing a loved one in a car crash is devastating. But, in addition to the grief that follows the death of a loved one, there is also the tremendous financial strain. Meeting immediate expenses such as medical and funeral costs in addition to dealing with the loss of income earned by your loved one is a big thing. In This article, we will outline the benefits of filing a wrongful death case and how an experienced attorney can ease the burden of stressful legal paperwork.

Often, because car accidents are caused by negligence or wrongdoing on the part of others, they lead to wrongful death claims. A wrongful death claim stems from an incident where a life was lost because of negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing on someone other than the decedent.

Negligence in Car Accidents

It is a well-established fact that most car accidents are caused by driver error or negligence. Here are some of the most common types of car accidents that could result in fatalities and could potentially lead to wrongful death lawsuits:

Driving Under the Influence

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 150 fatal auto accidents occurred in 2016 due to drunk drivers. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs could severely impair a motorist’s skill and judgment on the road. This could lead to devastating crashes, which often result in deaths. When a drunk or drugged driver causes a fatal crash, in addition to facing criminal charges, they could also face a wrongful death lawsuit, which seeks compensation for the damages and losses caused.

Distracted Driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2016 alone, 3,450 lives were lost to distracted driving. They are driving while distracted isn’t just limited to using cell phones. Any distracting activity such as eating, drinking, grooming, fiddling with the GPS, etc., can cause serious accidents. Any action, which causes the driver to look away from the road or take their attention away from driving, could prove devastating.

Violating Rules of the Road

Pennsylvania laws require drivers to use care and caution while operating a vehicle. This means they must follow the road rules such as obeying speed limits, driving at a safe speed, yielding the right of way to cars and pedestrians, making safe turns and lane changes, stopping at red lights and stop signs, etc. Unfortunately, when motorists violate these rules and drive dangerously and recklessly, they often end up causing fatal car accidents.

If You Have Been Injured

These are just a few examples of negligence or wrongdoing in car accidents. Suppose you have lost a loved one in a Pennsylvania car accident. In that case, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault parties seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost future income, funeral and burial costs, and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Pennsylvania car accident lawyer will advise families that have lost loved ones and help them recover maximum compensation for their tremendous losses.

Seeking Compensation with a Wrongful Death Case

Wrongful death lawsuits can be highly emotionally draining for a family that has just experienced losing a loved one. But, as Pennsylvania wrongful death lawyers, we know that money is not the primary motivation for filing a wrongful death lawsuit for many families. 

Auto accidents and other negligent acts, which lead to tragic deaths, do not get criminally prosecuted. So, in these cases, the civil justice system is often the only way for families that have lost loved ones to get financially compensated for their terrible losses and get some semblance of justice for their loved ones.

While many of us can immediately identify with the emotional loss after the death of a family member, it is difficult to visualize the financial blows such a loss can deal with families. In the aftermath of an untimely death, families are looking right away at the loss of income contributed by the decedent. In addition, they are looking at several expenses linked to the incident. For example, if the victim was in the hospital or undergoing treatment or surgery after the incident, the family may be looking at medical bills.

Cost of a Funeral

One of the most significant expenses after a death is funeral costs. Like all other expenses, funeral costs have risen with inflation. The average price of a traditional funeral could range between $7,000 and $10,000. This includes services at the funeral home, burial (in a cemetery), and installation of a headstone.

Funeral prices may vary considerably from the funeral home to the funeral home, depending on where you live. But, in addition to the services and burial, there are other costs, including but not limited to funeral director fees, price of a casket, embalming, cost of a gravesite, and headstone. A cremation and service could add up to close to $5,000.

Seeking Damages for Funeral Costs

When it comes to wrongful death cases, it is common to seek compensation to cover the cost of funeral expenses. Generally speaking, two types of damages are sought in wrongful death cases. First, compensatory damages are intended to cover the material, quantifiable losses sustained by the decedent’s family. This often includes funeral and burial costs. 

Second, on the other hand, punitive damages are intended to punish an at-fault party for their negligence or wrongful action. So, when it comes to covering funeral expenses, those will be calculated as part of the compensatory damages in a wrongful death case. The total amount sought will depend on the type of funeral. 

It would be best to preserve any receipts, bills, invoices, and other documents and records associated with the funeral. This will be necessary should you choose to pursue a wrongful death claim. In addition to funeral expenses, compensatory damages could also cover medical expenses (before the decedent’s death), loss of current and future income, property damage, and the cost of therapy and grief counseling.

Our Pennsylvania wrongful death lawyers understand how the loss of a loved one can be highly devastating at so many levels. Our lawyers are here to help you get justice and fair compensation to focus on grieving and healing. Call us right now to find out how we can help you.

Why Hire an Attorney to Handle Your Wrongful Death Case?

An experienced attorney will take the burden of navigating the complicated legal system off of the grieving family. Having the right legal team on your side during this difficult time will make all the difference.

Financial Concerns

Wrongful death actions are complex. The financial consequences can be steep once you take medical, insurance, and other legal issues into mind. Doing this on your own can be very costly, and those costs can be confusing!

However, if we help you, you don’t pay anything until your case is won. And, you may clear millions as a result. So, it seems like a win-win, right?

Peace of Mind

In times of crisis, we can struggle to reason. Even simple decisions can feel overwhelming or impossible. Moreover, thinking about legal issues can feel incredibly personal. A wrongful death law firm provides an objective voice of reason. Because they are not intimately involved with your family, the task at hand is clear and defined.

Attorneys handle the necessary tasks, paperwork, and meetings. Wrongful death, after all, is their expertise. So you can feel assured knowing you have qualified professionals handling all the necessary legal matters.

Present a Lawsuit

Losing a loved one due to negligence is already devastating, but it often feels even more painful when the other party does not receive appropriate consequences.

A wrongful death attorney handles this. The suitable case gets built, presented, and brought to trial. As a result, there can be a sense of justice, and you receive increased chances for legal closure.

Maintain Timeliness

While the grief process of death has its complex and undefined timeline, legal matters often do not.

In wrongful death cases, specific deadlines and statutes need to be met. In addition, the family must process paperwork. Formulating and proceeding with a lawsuit takes time.

Doing this on your own may be incredibly tedious and challenging, especially if you have a limited understanding of the laws regarding these matters.

Your attorney stays on top of the schedule, knows when and how particular deadlines must be met, and keep you updated on what they are doing and what you need to be doing.

In a time of tremendous crisis, worrying about the time should be the very last thing on your mind.

Contact Us to Discuss Your Wrongful Death Case

In so many ways, a successful wrongful death attorney makes this complicated process a bit easier for you and your loved ones.

In a time of grief, you should not be concerned about handling such fragile legal matters on your own. Contact Kaplun Marx for more information on your case. 215-939-4895

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Uber accident? Who is liable?

Auto Accidents

Car Accidents

Rideshare Accidents

You’re enjoying a fun night out in town with friends or are heading to a business meeting. You hail an Uber to get home or to your appointment because it’s cheap and convenient. This is not just you, but a significant percentage of Americans today. Rideshare services such as Uber are gaining in popularity with every passing day. But many people don’t know what to do and what happens when their Uber is in a car accident?

Several questions arise in such a scenario. Who caused the crash? Was the Uber driver at fault? Was some other motorist to blame for the crash? Did you sustain injuries in the car accident? Can Uber be held liable for the car accident? Depending on the nature and circumstances of the incident, the answers to these questions can get increasingly complicated. We have shared many car accident tips that also apply to Uber car accident cases, but there are a few key differences to keep in mind.

Actions to Take After an Accident

First and foremost, if you have been injured while traveling in an Uber or any rideshare vehicle, there are specific steps you would be well advised to take to protect your rights.

Make sure you and your fellow travelers are safe.

If you are not, get to a secure location—call 911, which will bring the local police to the crash scene. First responders will also be dispatched if someone else requires medical attention. If you are injured, it would be in your best interest to go to the emergency room or hospital.

Collect crucial information from the accident scene if you can do so safely.

You may already have some of the information on your Uber app. But, in addition to that, you might want to collect other pertinent information such as the insurance policy number and contact information. You should get these details from your Uber driver and other parties involved in the crash, including other drivers.

Contact an experienced Pennsylvania car accident lawyer

A Pennsylvania accident attorney will stay informed about the official investigation and help protect your rights. Rideshare companies are notorious for trying to dodge liability for their drivers and customers. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal system and take the necessary action to get you the proper compensation.

Complexities of Uber Car Accidents

Uber automobile accidents can stir up several complex legal debates. Technically, Uber does not employ its drivers as a traditional taxi service. Instead, they take the stance that they facilitate connecting drivers with riders. Drivers have their own insurance policies, but they often do not cover commercial accidents. 

Adding to the danger, Uber drivers do not have to undergo any special training to provide transportation services. In addition, Uber carries $1 million liability coverage for any accidents and requires drivers to carry insurance. Uber insurance, however, is only activated while the driver is transporting passengers.

While it is easy enough to order an Uber to pick you up, Uber is notoriously difficult to reach after an accident. There is no phone number you can call to speak to an agent. Instead, you must email them and wait for a response. This makes communication after an accident difficult, at best. This is precisely why you need an accident attorney if you are hurt while in an Uber. We will fight these communication battles so that you are free to focus on healing and recovery from your injuries.

While Uber manages the app and signs up the driver, it does not consider them employees. Uber drivers are considered independent contractors. Therefore, they are expected to carry their auto insurance. So, when a crash involving an Uber vehicle occurs, the company is likely to argue that it’s not a taxi company but a tech company that provides the platform.

Suing Drivers

If Uber drivers were employees of Uber, there would be no question that an accident victim could sue Uber for injuries caused by the Uber driver. That’s because employers are held responsible for the negligent conduct of their employees that occurs while the employees are engaged in the employer’s business.

However, the answer is trickier because Uber insists that its drivers are independent contractors, not employees. Whether Uber is right about that characterization of its employees has been challenged in several states. Some of those challenges are pending while Uber has settled others.

Independent contractors essentially work for themselves. Since they are not employees of Uber, the general rule that employers are responsible for the negligent acts of employees while carrying out the employer’s business duties may not apply to Uber drivers.

There are exceptions to that rule, but they hinge on rules of law that are often difficult to apply. Fortunately, it isn’t necessary to decide whether Uber can be held directly responsible for a driver’s negligence in most cases.

Suing the Rideshare Company

While $500,000 is adequate coverage for most injuries, a catastrophic injury may require more coverage. In those cases, a personal injury lawyer might explore making a claim against the rideshare company. The claim may be based on the assertion that the driver is an employee, not an independent contractor, or other legal theories.

For example, successful claims have been brought against Uber and other companies for failing to screen their drivers. Passengers who have been sexually assaulted by drivers who have criminal records have obtained compensation from Uber because Uber could not determine that the driver posed a risk to passengers. The failure to screen drivers for their ability to drive safely may also be a basis for suing rideshare companies directly.

Fortunately, most Pennsylvania injury victims will recover compensation from the driver under Pennsylvania’s new mandatory insurance law. When problems arise, however, it is essential to have an experienced and resourceful car accident lawyer in Pennsylvania who aggressively pursues other potential sources of injury compensation.

Insurance Coverage

Most drivers have liability insurance that protects them when they cause a car accident. However, most personal liability policies exclude commercial driving. Since Uber drivers make money by transporting passengers, their driving is commercial. That means their personal liability insurance probably won’t pay claims for accidents caused while transporting paid passengers.

Fortunately, Pennsylvania enacted a law in 2016 that requires rideshare drivers to maintain “rideshare insurance” that covers passengers and other victims of the driver’s negligence while the driver is working. The law requires liability limits of at least $500,000 while the driver is transporting or picking up a passenger. If the driver is logged onto the rideshare app and is available for rideshare requests but has not agreed to pick up a passenger, the limit is $50,000 per injury victim or $100,000 per accident.

The new law requires the rideshare company to assure that the driver has the required insurance before allowing that driver to accept passengers arranged by the company. Therefore, it may be possible to sue the company if a driver does not have the required insurance.

The “rideshare insurance” must be the primary insurance to cover claims that arise while the driver is working. That means the driver can’t submit the claim first under a personal insurance policy and then submit it to the rideshare insurance company only after the claim is denied.

Uber Car Accident Attorney at Your Service

If you have been hurt in an Uber accident, you must contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Investigation into the accident needs to happen immediately. This can preserve critical evidence that often has a way of getting lost in no time. Furthermore, as discussed above, just getting a hold of someone at Uber to deal with an accident claim is a battle that can be very frustrating without an attorney who can streamline the process for you. 

Finally, suppose Uber or their insurance company gets a hold of you, be wary of signing any paperwork. In that case, the adjuster may try to get you to settle for far less than you deserve or may bully you or imply that you are trying to receive unjust compensation. Don’t let any of that worry you. We will explain the process, represent your interests, and get results for your injury case.

We can help if you were in an Uber car accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey – all you have to do is contact KaplunMarx today at 215-939-4895 or fill out our contact form on our page for a free consultation.

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Injured in a pedestrian traffic accident - what next?

Auto Accidents

Pedestrian Accidents

Car vs. pedestrian – everyone knows who wins this "battle," – but there are multiple new reports of Philadelphia pedestrian traffic accidents year after year. This begs the question, are these pedestrian traffic accidents on the rise in Philadelphia? Statistically, car accidents involving pedestrians only account for 3% of all traffic accident injuries. However, pedestrians involved in these types of accidents account for an astounding 14% of all traffic accident fatalities (See: U.S. DOT 2012 Traffic Safety Facts). 

However, as recently as May of 2014, a University of Pennsylvania student was walking on an overpass along Walnut Street when he tried to jump out of the way of a traffic accident but was thrown from the overpass to the ground 38 feet below. Unfortunately, this young man passed away shortly after this pedestrian traffic accident (See: NBC Philadelphia Report – Pedestrian Tossed from Overpass After Car Crash).

Why People Get Hit: Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

In Pennsylvania, pedestrian accidents represent only 3.2 percent of the total number of reported traffic crashes. But, they account for 12.8 percent of all traffic accident deaths. Pedestrians have zero protection as they walk around, and this means that if they are struck, even by a slow-moving vehicle, they could suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries.

Many cities in Pennsylvania, including Bethlehem and Philadelphia, have adopted what is known as the "Vision Zero" plan to reduce traffic deaths, especially pedestrian traffic accident deaths. As Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers, we believe that it is essential that each of us properly understands and becomes aware of what causes pedestrian accidents to prevent these tragic accidents. Both pedestrians and motorists need to become mindful of how pedestrian traffic accidents occur.

What Causes Pedestrian Accidents?

Here are some of the most common causes of pedestrian traffic accidents in Pennsylvania:

Unmarked crosswalks: According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, in 2015, 40.6 percent of pedestrian accidents occurred as pedestrians were crossing the road. When you have unmarked crosswalks, pedestrians are more of a risk. Using signaled crosswalks reduces that risk significantly. Cities should design roadways where crosswalks are marked and lighted when necessary. Motorists are more likely to see pedestrians when crosswalks are marked and illuminated.

Failure to yield: Under Pennsylvania law, motorists are required to stop and deliver the right of way to pedestrians walking in crosswalks or intersections. Motorists must operate with caution where pedestrians are walking. Some of the common reasons drivers fail to yield include distracted driving, inattention, excessive speed, and failure to obey the road rules. 

Distracted pedestrians: It's not just drivers who are distracted. According to several recent studies, pedestrians who are distracted by cell phones and electronics are at increased risk of being involved in crashes. For example, the Governors Highway Safety Association recently released a study showing the 5,984 people were killed in 2017 nationwide due to pedestrian accidents. This is the second straight year that pedestrian accident deaths have added up to nearly 6,000, and experts attribute the increase to more pedestrians walking while distracted.

Dark Clothes – 70% of pedestrian traffic accidents happen at night. In addition, dark clothing is harder to see at night.

Alcohol and drugs: Driving while impaired is another common cause of pedestrian accidents. This occurs when drivers operate under the influence of alcohol and drugs and when pedestrians are walking while impaired.

Cars that don't make noise: Hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles have an increased likelihood of striking pedestrians (by up to 40 percent) because they are so quiet compared to cars that run on gas or diesel. When pedestrians don't hear the cars, they are less likely to pay attention. This makes it all the more important for drivers of these vehicles to pay extra attention, particularly when driving through residential areas or school zones.

Excessive speed: Going over the speed limit or driving at a dangerous rate can be extremely dangerous for pedestrians. Several studies have shown that the greater the vehicle speed, the more severe the injuries suffered by struck pedestrians. However, it is essential to remember those grave injuries may occur even in low-speed crashes.

Hit by a Car in Pennsylvania? Here Are the Damages You Could Receive

When a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the pedestrian will likely suffer serious, catastrophic, or even fatal injuries. The higher the vehicle's speed at the time of the collision, the greater the damage to the pedestrian. In Pennsylvania, pedestrian accidents are, unfortunately, widespread. We see them occur at street intersections, crosswalks, and even sidewalks when out-of-control vehicles climb curbs and strike them.

Damages in a Pennsylvania Pedestrian Accident

When you are hurt in a pedestrian accident, the consequences are physical and financial because of mounting medical expenses and wages you may lose due to not returning to work due to your injuries. Here are some of the types of damages injured pedestrians can expect to receive:

Medical expenses: When a negligent driver strikes and injures a pedestrian, the driver should pay for any medical expenses that may arise from the incident. This includes emergency transportation, hospital costs, expenditures relating to surgeries, medications and medical equipment, cost of drugs, etc.

Lost wages: The at-fault driver must compensate the injured victims for workdays they may have missed due to sustained injuries. Again, these damages may be higher or lower depending on the type of job the victim had at the time of the accident and how much they were earning.

Lost future income/loss of livelihood: Often, the injuries in a pedestrian accident are permanent, leading to life-changing disabilities. This could cause the victim to lose their livelihood or capacity to earn a living. In such cases, they may seek compensation for the loss of income that might have been made had the accident not occurred.

Pain and suffering: There is usually no precise amount for "pain and suffering" as you might have for medical expenses or lost income. Courts often define these damages by awarding them as part of the personal injury lawsuit. This is monetary compensation awarded for the physical pain and mental suffering the victim underwent due to the injury.

Loss of enjoyment: This is compensation awarded for the victim's inability to pursue activities they indulged in before the accident. For example, suppose the injured pedestrian was a triathlete and couldn't participate in those activities due to a permanent injury such as limb amputation. In that case, they may receive compensation for this change in lifestyle or loss of enjoyment of specific actions.

What Should I Do if I am Involved in a Pedestrian Traffic Accident?

Always get medical attention first, then contact the Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Firm of KaplunMarx immediately at (214) 939-4895. Traffic accidents involving pedestrians require a quick response. We need to investigate the accident scene, talk to witnesses, and preserve all evidence – do not hesitate to contact us 24/7.

Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit

After a pedestrian traffic accident, pretty much everything — including how you're compensated — is determined by who is at fault. If any of the following situations apply to your case, the driver will usually be deemed responsible for the accident:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield
  • Disobeying traffic signs or signals
  • Failure to signal
  • Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Drivers are also expected to exercise more outstanding care in areas where children are commonly present, including near schools, parks, and residential areas. In addition, there are certain situations in which the pedestrian is considered responsible for the accident, including:

  • Ignoring the "walk" signal at an intersection
  • Entering and disrupting the flow of traffic
  • Failing to use marked crosswalks

Making An Insurance Claim

If you've determined that the driver is at fault, the next step is to open an insurance claim. When opening an insurance claim, it is essential to be aware of potential tricks the driver's insurance company might try to play on you.

Some common tricks from insurance companies include attempts to convince you to settle immediately, the three D'sD's (delay, deny, and defend), and bully tactics like threatening to close the file or pressuring you to give them a complete narrative of what happened. It is essential to avoid this last one — until you have a lawyer, you should only provide the insurance company with the cursory details of the accident.

Document Everything

After you open an insurance claim, you should also start documenting expenses related to the accident. Some of the documents you should save include:

  • Medical bills
  • Expected medical bills
  • Receipts for taxis
  • Charges for fixing your bike
  • Lost wages

Factors That Affect Your Settlement

There are a lot of factors that can affect the size of the settlement you receive from a pedestrian traffic accident lawsuit, such as:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • Amount of time you've missed work
  • Nature and extent of your medical treatment
  • Impact of injuries on your daily life
  • Prospects for a full recovery
  • Presence or absence of apparent fault
  • Lost opportunities that can be attributed to your injuries
  • Impact of injuries on future earning potential

Finding A Lawyer

A lawyer will help you navigate the tricky waters of a pedestrian traffic accident lawsuit and ensure that you get what you deserve. If possible, get a recommendation for a lawyer from a friend or family member. If no one can refer you, check online and find a few attorneys with good reviews or testimonials.

Set up a time to discuss your situation, either by phone or in-person, once you have found a few prospective lawyers. Some questions you might want to ask them to include:

  • What is the statute of limitations for my case?
  • What are your areas of specialization?
  • Have you taken on issues like mine before?
  • How long do you expect this case to take before it is resolved?
  • What is your fee structure?
  • Do you think I have a good point?

Let Us Help With Your Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit

If you live in Pennsylvania or New Jersey and have been injured in a pedestrian accident, we're here to help.

Contact us at KaplunMarx today (214) 939-4895. Our firm comprises experienced trial lawyers who have gotten millions of dollars for our injury clients. When you work with us, you can trust that we'll be with you every step of the way.

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