Although accidents can happen anywhere and at any time, certain circumstances increase the likelihood of them occurring. Unsafe construction sites, reckless drivers, and negligent manufacturers are only three examples of situations that can lead to serious personal injuries. Personal injury law, or tort law, can help individuals when injuries or other harm is caused from another person’s negligence or a failure to act. Injured parties can seek justice by pursuing a personal injury case. If successful, they may be able to recover monetary damages. Compensation might be awarded to cover a plaintiff’s medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
One of the most common types of personal injury case is motor vehicle accidents. Even though auto-related accidents may occur more frequently, someone who is bitten by a dog or injured by a defective product can also endure long-term consequences, overwhelming expenses, and a diminished quality of life.
Biking is more popular than ever, but bicyclists also put themselves in precarious positions when they share roads with motor vehicles. Cyclists are supposed to wear helmets, but otherwise, they are exposed and do not always exist safely with cars and trucks. There are safety guidelines for both bicyclists and drivers, but if either does not follow these precautions, serious injuries can result. Sadly, hundreds of bicyclists are fatally injured every year in bicycle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises bicyclists to wear properly fitted helmets and brightly colored clothing, avoid bicycling in the dark, use flashing bike lights, obey street signals, and ride with the flow of traffic.
Bus passengers entrust their safety to bus drivers, but these kinds of accidents can be serious and deadly. Buses have more passengers than other vehicles and are much heavier and larger. As an example, a school bus full of students could easily weigh well over 21 tons. Bus accidents can be caused by the driver’s inexperience, fatigue, or negligence; a bus company’s negligence; or another driver’s error. Other causes of bus accidents include bad weather, bus fires, and poor road conditions. More Information
From fender-benders to high-speed catastrophic crashes, car accidents happen every day to all kinds of people. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reports that the number of statewide traffic deaths has increased recently by six percent, especially accidents with single vehicles being run off the road, accidents on local roads, and accidents that involved speeding. Other kinds of car accidents include rear-end accidents, head-on collisions, multi-car involvement, and broadside accidents.
A PennDOT spokesperson emphasized that motorists could help bring these numbers down by following posted speed limits and never driving when impaired. Driver distraction also contributes to car accidents, so keeping both hands on the wheel and avoiding the use of handheld devices while driving are essential. Another one of the most important things to do is to wear a seat belt at all times. More Information
Construction workers are more prone to accidents because there is more risk involved than in other occupations. These workers are more likely to fall from heights, be electrocuted, or otherwise injured by machinery, slip and fall accidents, and exposure to toxic chemicals and materials. In many cases, these accidents are caused by the negligence of a third party. When third-party liability is involved, there can be additional damages paid out by that responsible party’s insurance coverage.
Man’s best friend can become a real threat when a serious dog bite injury occurs. Bad bites can lead to complicated medical issues such as broken bones, nerve damage, and infections. In Pennsylvania, dog owners are required to pay for the victim’s medical expenses, but if negligence is shown, the owner could also have to pay for a victim’s additional losses and may even face criminal penalties. In some cases, Pennsylvania residents may be able to sue successfully if they can prove that the dog owner failed to control the pet or was aware of the dog’s so-called unmistakably vicious tendencies.
Motorcyclists also have to be well trained before heading out, because they ride out in the open and are more vulnerable to serious personal injuries if involved in an accident. With just a helmet as personal protective gear, these riders can end up in emergency rooms when involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. Moreover, many motorcycle accidents do not even involve other drivers, since motorcycles can skid on slippery roadways, encounter debris in the roads, and deal with uneven road surfaces.
To help prevent motorcycle accidents, bikers can avoid riding in between lanes, sharing lanes, speeding, and driving under the influence. Since motorcycles are smaller than cars, bikers should take extra care at intersections and avoid tailgating. If weather conditions are poor, especially with rain, high winds, or snow, leaving the motorcycle at home is the safest option.
When pedestrian accidents occur involving a motor vehicle, it is the pedestrian who is much more likely to be hurt. Not only can pedestrians get injured when walking on busy city streets, but also, they can get hurt on rural roads and in parking lots. Intersections can be especially tricky for pedestrians, and the best advice is to pay attention when walking and to follow traffic signs and lights. Pedestrians should walk with the flow of traffic and stay aware of their surroundings; texting while walking is more dangerous than one might think.
Defective consumer products, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products, medical devices, and others can also cause significant personal injuries. Those harmed by defective products may file a products liability lawsuit against responsible parties, including manufacturers and other entities involved in the supply and delivery chains.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Any type of personal or commercial property can present slip and fall hazards, such as debris in a hallway, a greasy floor, or an uneven sidewalk. Individuals can slip and fall in shopping malls, their apartment buildings, in front of a post office, or at a bus terminal. Property owners are responsible for keeping their grounds safe, but sometimes their negligence can lead to a broken arm, burns, back and neck injuries, and worse. More Information
Large trucks such as tractor trailers pose especially high risks to motorists since they are much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles. Accidents that involve pick-up trucks and smaller delivery trucks can also lead to serious personal injuries. Truck drivers have significant safety responsibilities, as they have to follow many guidelines to operate their vehicles properly. In addition to being highly trained on how to drive trucks, they have to ensure that cargo is loaded properly, their vehicle is inspected, and that they never drive while tired or distracted.
Large trucks have larger blind spots as well, so others who share the roads with them must be aware and keep a proper distance. Trucks need more time to stop; therefore, tailgating and passing them illegally are highly dangerous. There is the added risk of unsecured cargo falling off, which is another reason to avoid being too close. Should a truck accident occur, the driver or the driver’s trucking company, and possibly the big-rig’s manufacturer, could be held responsible for the accident and any injuries sustained.
Pennsylvania state law defines wrongful death as that resulting from a wrongful act of neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another. That is a fairly broad definition, and the actions causing a death are similar to those in personal injury claims. Wrongful death claims can also be filed when criminal charges have been filed by the state. These claims are filed by personal representatives of deceased persons’ estates. As with other kinds of personal injury claims, there may be statutes of limitations to follow.
Northeast Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Wiggins Law can Provide Sound Legal Guidance for Your Personal Injury Case
Every personal injury case is different, and the chances for a settlement or damages awarded depend on the harm suffered, medical expenses, insurance policies, and whether the defendant breached their legal duty to the injured plaintiff. If you or someone you care for has been injured and needs help with a personal injury case, contact the knowledgeable Northeast Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Wiggins Law. You can schedule a free consultation by calling us at 267-225-0770 or by contacting us online. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, and we proudly serve clients in Northeast Philadelphia, including Kensington, Tacony, Torresdale, Mayfair, Port Richmond, Allegheny, and Olney.