Insight from Our Harrisburg Personal Injury Lawyers
Negligence is a key factor in personal injury cases. It occurs whenever a party – whether a person, company, employer, or manufacturer – fails to uphold the standard of care needed to avoid foreseeable harm to another person or their property. Negligence doesn't have to be intentional, so a person may be found negligent even if they had no intent to cause another person harm or damage. Unfortunately, even the smallest amount of negligence could result in a serious accident and injuries.
Pennsylvania has laws in place to protect victims of negligence. Under these laws, an injury victim has the right to pursue compensation for compensatory, punitive, and nominal damages. These may include medical expenses, property damage, time away from work, emotional pain and suffering, and acts of gross negligence.
What Could Be Considered Negligence?
People suffer serious injuries every day. Some of these injuries are caused by car accidents, dangerous products, lack of property maintenance, and various other issues. When another person's negligence led to these injuries, they may be held liable for the damages they caused.
Negligence could be considered any of the following:
- Allowing a defective product to pass through inspection
- Failing to properly test a consumer product, drug, or medical device
- Being distracted while driving and causing an accident
- Getting behind the wheel while intoxicated or drugged
- Allowing dangerous conditions to exist on your property
- Failing to provide proper workplace training and safety
- Violating the standard of healthcare reasonably expected by a patient
Are There Exceptions to Incidents of Negligence?
It is important to understand that while negligence can be broadly defined, there are certain exceptions involved in some cases. For example, a premises liability claim may arise after a person slips due to a wet store aisle. While the property owner has a responsibility to keep their space hazard-free, the patron must also exercise reasonable care. If there was a warning sign or an obvious spill in front of them, the property owner may not be held liable.
Similarly, a car accident may involve multiple at-fault parties. If you were also distracted while driving, you could be held partially responsible for an accident involving a driver who was texting. Comparative negligence will determine if you can pursue damages or not.
Time Limit for Injury Cases Involving Negligence
Depending on the type of accident or incident that caused your injury, you may have limited time to file a claim. Statute of limitations are laws that dictate how long you have to file a claim after another party's negligence caused your injuries.
Typically, most injury and wrongful death cases in Pennsylvania involve a two-year statute of limitations. There may be cases where an extended timeframe is provided, such as in child injury cases. You may also have a shorter time limits to be aware of, for example, if you are bringing a case against a government party.
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