Personal Injury Lawyers in Lancaster
A personal injury can have a devastating effect on your life, causing intense physical pain and suffering and creating large medical expenses. While some injuries are unavoidable, others may have been caused by another person's negligence or carelessness. If you think this was the case with your injury, you may be entitled to compensation for the various damages you suffered. Pursuing compensation is a difficult process and can take a long time. Fortunately, you have the option of hiring a Lancaster personal injury lawyer to guide you through the legal process. The trusted attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have many years of combined experience recovering favorable compensation in a variety of personal injury cases. Our personal injury attorneys have been recognized by some of the most prestigious legal organizations in the nation, including Best Lawyers® and Super Lawyers.
Your consultation is free and comes with no obligation. You will not be charged for our services unless you receive compensation. There is no risk to contact one of our qualified lawyers to review your potential legal options.
Damages from a Personal Injury
Our Lancaster personal injury lawyers may be able to pursue compensation for various types of damages you suffered from your injuries, including:
These are all the damages that have a specific dollar amount attached to them. In other words, when your attorney is calculating the value of economic damages, he or she will be able to determine the exact monetary value. These damages have receipts or bills that can be used to calculate the amount of compensation you are owed.
Economic damages include:
Your personal injury lawyer in Lancaster can pursue compensation for all medical expenses from the treatment of your injury, both now and in the future. This includes:
- Transportation to the hospital in an ambulance
- Prescriptions, including medications you receive at the hospital
- Physical therapy
- Medical tests (blood tests, MRIs, X-rays, CT scans)
- Other hospital bills
- Transportation to appointments with doctors
- Transportation to appointments with specialists
- Long-term care
- Durable medical equipment (wheelchairs, crutches, etc.)
Make sure to keep all receipts or bills for treatment you receive for your injury. This will allow your attorney to determine the full cost of your medical bills.
Injury victims are often physically unable to work after their accident. You may also need to miss work to attend appointments with doctors or receive physical therapy or other treatments. This may cause you to lose income if you are not being paid when you are not working.
Fortunately, your attorney can pursue compensation for all wages lost as a result of your injuries. Your attorney will help you obtain the necessary documentation to prove you missed work and determine the full cost of your lost wages. This is often done with a letter from your employer noting the times you missed work, why you were not at work, and your regular rate of pay.
Lost Earning Capacity
Some injuries are so severe that they affect you for a long time. When this happens, you may not be able to work as much or in the same capacity as you did before. This is often the case when you have physical limitations from your injury and your job requires physical labor.
In some cases, injury victims must work in a different field because they can no longer do the job they once did.
Your Lancaster personal injury lawyer may be able to obtain compensation for loss of earning capacity as a result of your injuries. This is intended to make up for the income you would have earned if you had not suffered the injury.
If your personal property was damaged in the accident, we may be able to pursue compensation to repair or replace the fair market value. This is often an important part of a car accident claim, as your vehicle may have suffered damage in the crash. A Lancaster car accident lawyer can help you determine the full value of the damage so you can be fairly compensated.
Some personal injuries make it difficult or impossible to do certain activities around the house. For example, some injury victims are forced to hire someone to do household chores, take their kids to school or pick up groceries.
If this happens, be sure to explain the situation to your Lancaster personal injury attorney. He or she may be able to obtain compensation to cover the cost of hiring help. You may also be entitled to compensation for the cost of making repairs to your home to accommodate your physical limitations.
This covers damages that do not have a monetary value attached to them, such as physical, emotional or psychological issues caused by your injuries. This includes:
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering, including discomfort, mental anguish and depression
- Lost enjoyment of life activities, including family life, work and leisure activities or hobbies
- Permanent disfigurement, such as a scar from surgery or facial disfigurement
- Lost companionship, which refers to the effects of your injury on your relationship with your spouse, including your sexual relationship
- Embarrassment or humiliation due to your injuries, which may apply if the injury causes sexual dysfunction or makes it difficult to use the bathroom on your own
Compensation is rarely awarded for punitive damages. You can only obtain compensation for punitive damages if you are able to prove the at-fault party engaged in willful, wanton or malicious conduct. In other words, you must be able to prove the at-faulty party's conduct was intended to cause you harm.
Our Lancaster personal injury attorneys are committed to pursuing compensation for all the damages you suffered. We are prepared to launch a comprehensive investigation to determine the full value of your claim. We know how valuable compensation can be as you attempt to move forward with your life.
Call the firm today to schedule a free legal consultation. (888) 476-0807.
Limits on Personal Injury Compensation
Many states impose limits on the amount of compensation injury victims can recover in a personal injury lawsuit. Pennsylvania does not impose caps on compensation except in specific types of cases.
For example, there are limits on compensation if you are filing a lawsuit against a government agency or employee acting within the scope of his office or employment (Chapter 85 of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes). According to Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 8528, damages from the same cause of action or series of causes of action cannot exceed $250,000 for each at-fault party or $1,000,000 combined for all at-fault parties.
This section also limits the types of damages that are recoverable:
- Past and future loss of earnings and earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Reasonable and necessary medical and dental costs, including prosthetic devices, care and recovery, physical therapy, hospital, professional nursing and ambulance services
- Loss of companionship
- Property losses, excluding property damages caused by potholes and other dangerous conditions on the road (Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 8522(b)(5))
The Lancaster personal injury attorneys at our firm have in-depth knowledge of limits on compensation. Our goal is to obtain all the compensation you deserve, up to the limits imposed by law.
Contact Schmidt Kramer right now by completing a Free Case Evaluation form.
Statute of Limitations
There is a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit, also called a statute of limitations. You should contact a Lancaster personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure your lawsuit is filed before the deadline passes. Once the statute of limitations expires, you lose the right to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Pennsylvania's statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date negligence occurred. For example, if you were involved in a car accident, you would have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. This statute applies to any other type of personal injury lawsuit, such as lawsuits over the following:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites/ attacks
- Motorcycle crashes
- Truck accidents
You might be thinking that this statute will not matter because you are planning to pursue compensation through an insurance claim. However, sometimes insurance claims are unsuccessful. Insurance companies could refuse to settle or offer less compensation than you deserve.
The statute of limitations will be running while you and your Lancaster personal injury lawyer are pursuing compensation. The insurance claims process can take several months or more to complete. If you are unable to obtain fair insurance compensation, you will have less than two years to file a lawsuit.
There are a few exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations. If one of these applies to your claim, you may have more than two years to file a lawsuit:
Discovery of Harm Exception
There are times when personal injury victims are unaware they were injured or were victims of negligence. For example, maybe you were injured in a slip and fall accident but you did not know or have reason to suspect the property owner was negligent.
In these types of situations, the statute of limitations will not start running until the date you know or should know you were a victim of negligence. This could give you a few extra weeks, months or possibly years to file a lawsuit.
Exception for Minors
If you were a minor when your injury occurred, the two-year statute of limitations will not start running until you turn 18 years old. This means you have until your 20th birthday to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Defendants Who are Out of State
The defendant is the at-fault party in a personal injury case. If this person moves out of state for at least four months when the statute of limitations is running, the period when this person is out of state will not be counted toward the two-year statute of limitations.
Schmidt Kramer's personal injury lawyers in Lancaster have many years of combined experience pursuing personal injury cases. We know how to determine when the statute of limitations for your case ends. We can ensure your lawsuit is filed before time runs out.
Contact us today by calling (888) 476-0807.
Steps to Take After a Personal Injury
The steps you take after a personal injury could help or hurt your chances of recovering compensation. This is why you have to be careful what you say and do after a personal injury.
Some of the things you can do to help build and preserve your case include:
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Your health is your first priority after suffering an injury. You need to be thoroughly examined by trained medical professionals to identify all of your injuries and begin treatment.
If you are severely injured at the scene, an ambulance will probably arrive at the scene to transport you to the hospital. If you are not incapacitated after the accident, take yourself to the hospital or have a friend or family member take you there.
Starting treatment is not only important for your health, it can help connect your injury to the accident. If you wait to seek treatment, insurance companies and lawyers for the at-fault party will argue that your injury was caused by something other than the accident. Waiting to seek treatment can make the entire process more difficult than it needs to be.
If you are able, try to collect evidence from the scene of the accident after your injury occurs. You should only do this if you will not be putting yourself in danger or aggravating your existing injuries.
For example, if you were involved in a car accident and it is safe to get out of your car and take pictures, you should do it. Take pictures of your injuries, the place where you were injured and any obstacles or hazards that contributed to your injury.
If you see any witnesses, talk to them about what happened. Write down their comments and their contact information so you or your attorney can contact them in the future.
File an Insurance Claim
If your accident is covered by insurance, you should file a claim right away. Insurance companies often have deadlines and you do not want to lose the chance to pursue insurance compensation.
Provide the basic facts about the accident, such as when and where it occurred. Explain that you are seeking medical treatment but do not attempt to identify your injuries or describe the amount of pain you are feeling. The insurance company can obtain that information from your medical records.
It can be dangerous to provide too much information right away. The insurance company will try to use anything you say against you so it is best to stick to information that will not hurt your chances of recovering fair compensation.
Follow the Treatment Plan
You should always stick to the doctor's orders on your treatment. Many personal injury cases fall apart simply because accident victims decide not to continue treatment. Simply failing to continue treatment can invalidate your claim and eliminate your chance of obtaining compensation.
Following the treatment plan means taking the medications you are prescribed, avoiding physical activities you are told to avoid, going to appointments, completing physical therapy and doing the tests that are requested. Finishing treatment may seem exhausting, but it will pay off if your claim is successful and you are compensated.
You should strongly consider working with a personal injury attorney in Lancaster. He or she can work with you on every aspect of your case to pursue full compensation for your damages.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today.
What Are the Advantages of Hiring an Attorney?
There are numerous benefits to working with a personal injury lawyer in Lancaster:
Contingency Fee Arrangement
The attorneys at Schmidt Kramer work on a contingency fee basis. This means your consultation is free and you do not owe us anything up front for representing you. We are only paid if you receive compensation. We take a percentage of the recovered funds to cover legal fees and other costs of representing you.
This means there is no risk to you in contacting us and having us represent you in your case. You do not have to worry about how to afford our services.
Investigating Your Injury
We have the resources and know-how to conduct a comprehensive investigation of your injury and the circumstances that led to it. This includes:
- Taking pictures at the scene
- Obtaining any available video footage
- Obtaining and reviewing medical records
- Obtaining a copy of the accident report from the police department
- Using accident reconstruction experts or technology to reconstruct what happened
- Discussing your injuries with medical experts to determine how severe they are
This will allow us to build a strong case for why someone else is at-fault for your injuries. This will also help us to determine all the damages you suffered and their value.
Our Lancaster personal injury lawyers are skilled negotiators with many combined years of experience. We are prepared to aggressively pursue fair compensation. We will not accept lowball offers from insurers or at-fault parties.
While many cases are resolved through negotiation, sometimes negotiation does not work. That is why our attorneys are prepared to go to court to obtain the compensation you deserve.
We understand you may be nervous about going to court. We are prepared to explain what you need to know about this process so you are prepared.
Knowledge of Relevant Laws
Your Lancaster personal injury lawyer has detailed knowledge of relevant personal injury laws, such as the statute of limitations and laws on negligence. These laws are very difficult to understand and apply if you are not familiar with them. This is why you need an experienced attorney representing you.
Contact Schmidt Kramer right now by calling (888) 476-0807.
Each personal injury case is unique, but no matter what type of case it is, you must prove negligence to be able to obtain compensation. There are different requirements for negligence depending on the type of case, but generally your Lancaster personal injury attorney will need to prove these four things to have a chance of obtaining compensation:
- There was a duty of care – The at-fault party had a legal obligation to act the way a reasonable person would if he or she was in a similar situation. For instance, a reasonable driver would obey traffic laws and a reasonable property owner would remove hazards that could injure guests. The duty of care depends on the situation and legal responsibilities of the at-fault party.
- The duty of care was breached – Your attorney needs to prove the duty of care for the situation was not upheld. This means that at-fault party's action or lack of action violated his or her legal duties to act the way a reasonable person would if he or she was in a similar situation.
- Causation – There must be a direct link between the injuries you suffered and the breach of duty of care. In other words, your personal injury lawyer in Lancaster needs to show you would not have suffered an injury if not for the action or lack of action of the at-fault party.
- Damages – This means you suffered damages from the injury, such as lost wages or medical expenses. You will need proof of your damages, such as medical bills or records from your employer.
What is Comparative Fault?
It is possible that your actions played a role in your injury. If this happens, your case will be governed by Pennsylvania's comparative negligence law. This law says you cannot recover compensation if your percentage of fault is greater than 50 percent.
If your percentage of fault is less than 50 percent, your total compensation award will be reduced by your percentage of fault in the accident. This means your award would be reduced by 30 percent if you were found to be 30 percent at fault.
Our attorneys will work to build a strong case to try to ensure you are not assigned more fault than you deserve. We do not want you to lose compensation because you are being unfairly blamed for what happened.
Schedule a free consultation today by calling (888) 476-0807.
Contact a Lancaster Personal Injury Lawyer Right Now
Have you suffered a personal injury that you believe was caused by someone else's negligence?
You should contact an attorney to discuss your situation. You may be entitled to compensation for the damages you have suffered, including lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical bills.
The attorneys at Schmidt Kramer can manage every aspect of the legal process, as we pursue all the compensation you deserve. We offer a free consultation and will not charge for representing you unless we obtain fair compensation.