Some of the more common personal injury frequently asked questions (FAQs) are answered below. These relate more generally to personal injury cases in Pennsylvania. Find the answers to more specific questions by clicking on each Practice Area page in the navigation menu drop down. If you have more personal injury FAQs that are not answered here, please contact us.
I don't like the idea of going to court, so why should I sue?
Lawsuits have two main purposes: first of all, to compensate you if you have been injured and, secondly, to deter future conduct (in other words, to prevent the same behavior from taking place again). As a result, lawsuits protect all of us, our families, and our communities, because individuals or organizations who violate safety rules should not be given a free pass. Especially, if a person has been seriously hurt or killed. In addition, if those who have ignored the safety rules are not held accountable, the same thing may happen to another family. As the saying goes: “conduct rewarded is conduct repeated”. Consequently, those who disregard safety rules must be held accountable to prevent it from happening again, and to protect our community as a whole. We are all safer if wrongdoers are held responsible for their actions.
What accountability is there for those who violate safety rules and what are damages in a personal injury case?
Safety rules exist to protect us, our families, and our communities. If you or a loved one has been injured because someone violated the safety rules, the law in Pennsylvania allows for the recovery of different types of compensation, known as damages.
Economic damages refers to monetary compensation. They provide compensation for out-of-pocket expenses. For example, medical bills, lost wages (past and future), and services you can no longer perform on your own and need help for.
Non-economic damages are determined at trial by the jury and relate to things which are more difficult to place a dollar amount on because they are often the greatest of all damages: damages to the person. In Pennsylvania, non-economic damages represent: pain and suffering; loneliness; loss of mobility; scarring and disfigurement; embarrassment and humiliation; and, the loss of enjoyment of life. The jury takes into account all sorts of factors which are presented by the plaintiff at trial. For example, they can range from the severity and permanency of the injury through to age and life circumstances of the individual.
Loss of consortium
This claim relates to how a spouse’s injuries have affected the other, for example: loss of services and companionship; affection; support; comfort; assistance; association; and, to engage in sexual relations.
When someone I love has been killed by another person's negligence, what damages can I recover?
Wrongful death damages
A person suing for wrongful death is entitled to be awarded an amount of money that fairly and adequately compensates them for everything that the deceased person would have contributed in support of their family. This includes everything the deceased would have spent for or provided to their family for: housing; food; clothing; medical expenses; education; entertainment; gifts; and recreation.
In addition, the person suing for wrongful death is also entitled to an award that will fairly and adequately compensate their family for the monetary value of the services, society, and comfort that the deceased would have given to their family had they still have been alive. This can include services such as taking care of the home, physical and emotional support.
Survival action damages
The damages recoverable on behalf of the estate in a survival action include:
1) lost earnings; 2) loss of earning capacity; 3) pain and suffering; 4) mental and emotional distress, anxiety, embarrassment and humiliation; 5) funeral expenses; and 6) medical expenses.
How much does it cost to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death/survival action case?
Jaime Jackson Law is a contingency fee firm. This means we do not collect a fee or recover the costs we have advanced on your behalf in preparation of your case unless we obtain a settlement or a verdict at trial for you. We do not charge for consultations. You pay nothing out of your own pocket. If we do not resolve your case or win your case at trial, we do not take a fee or recover our costs.