A Personal Injury Lawyer for Greater Philadelphia and All of Pennsylvania
A slip and fall accident can occur with astonishing rapidity, and it can result in anything from a mild inconvenience to lifelong disability. Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents proportionately target the elderly – in fact, one out of every three senior citizens suffers a slip and fall accident every single year. Some of these accidents will support a compensation claim, and some will not.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will know exactly how to investigate your case to discover hidden facts that might support liability, so that you can be compensated for your injuries. You might not know, for example, that over two million slip and fall accidents every year can be attributed to improper flooring materials. This fact alone, however, opens up new avenues for possible compensation.
Pressing Your Claim
In all likelihood, you will need to seek compensation from an insurance company for your slip and fall accident. Insurance companies make their money by selling people policies and then denying claims whenever they can. Many insurance adjustors are brutally effective negotiators, because they’ve been facing victims just like you for decades now. I won’t let them get away with it.
As a personal injury lawyer for 22 years, and as an advocate for victims only, I am ready to stand in the gap for you. Insurance companies may resort to bullying tactics with unrepresented victims, but they know better than to try it with me. They also know from previous experience what to expect from me in court – which is precisely why I am able to settle over 90 percent of my clients’ claims.
My Clients Speak Out
“Jeffrey’s work is without question superior, and his attention to detail is spectacular. I would absolutely recommend him.” – Thaddeus
“The Ins. Company was giving me a hard time. I called Jeffrey and he figured the problem out in an hour. The police officer gave me the wrong numbers for the police report. Awesome job!!!!” – Jamie
My Other Practice Areas
Bus Accidents: A bus accident may involve a crash, or it may involve some other sort of incident, such as a slip and fall accident. In most cases, however, a bus accident claim will have to be asserted against a municipal government, which involves certain restrictions that do not apply to other types of personal injury claims.
Car Accidents: Surprisingly, more Pennsylvania car accidents are caused by speeding than by texting and DUI combined. The vast majority of car accidents can be traced to negligence or recklessness on the part of at least one driver. Even if you were partly at fault for a car accident, however, compensation is not necessarily out of the question.
Bicycle Accidents: There is no one on the road more vulnerable than the bicyclist – unlike a motorcyclist, a bicyclist cannot normally even accelerate out of a dangerous traffic situation. Although bicycle accidents are no more common per passenger mile than car accidents, injuries tend to be far more common and far more serious when they do occur.
Truck Accidents: A large commercial truck has the ability to crush an automobile like an accordion, not to mention what it can do to a motorcycle. It is for this reason that commercial truck drivers are subject to numerous regulations – even the number of hours they sleep is regulated. A regulatory violation can provide the basis for liability if it can be tied to an accident.
Medical Malpractice: Not many people like to meditate on the human frailty of doctors while lying on a gurney waiting for surgery – it is just too frightening to think about. This frailty becomes all too apparent, however, if your doctor harms you through professional misconduct. Fortunately, most medical malpractice claims are secured by malpractice insurance.
SEPTA Accidents: Although SEPTA has suffered through public relations difficulties over the years, its buses, trains, and trolleys have enjoyed a reasonably good safety record. Nevertheless, the sheer number of passenger miles dictates that accidents will be frequent, even if the actual accident rate is low. Since SEPTA is a government entity, filing a claim involves special considerations.
Dog Bites: Some state apply a “one bite rule” that shields a dog owner from liability for a bite if the dog had never acted aggressively before. This is not the case in Pennsylvania – dog owners are strictly liable for the aggressive acts of their dogs and can be held liable without negligence. Fortunately, insurance covers most dog bite claims.
Wrongful Death: A wrongful death lawsuit is a way of compensating the close relatives of the victim of a fatal injury caused by someone else’s misconduct. Damages awards can be quite large, especially if the deceased was a young wage earner with dependents. A defendant does not have to break any criminal law to be liable for wrongful death.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I win a SEPTA claim for a slip and fall accident?
Although Pennsylvania, like other states, enjoys limited immunity from civil lawsuits, it is still possible to sue for a slip and fall accident under most circumstances. Filing a claim against SEPTA involves certain complexities and limitations, however, because SEPTA is a government entity.
I was injured in a gym, and I signed a contract with an arbitration clause. Does this hurt my chances?
If you signed an arbitration clause, you may be stuck with arbitration. Nevertheless, arbitration proceedings are relatively quick and simple, and there is no particular reason to suppose that your chances would be any worse in arbitration than in court.
I broke my hip for the second time, and now the insurance company is refusing to pay because I have a “pre-existing injury.” Can I still recover damages?
Yes, you can. This type of injury is called an “aggravation of a pre-existing condition,” and can be very valuable depending on the circumstances. Although under certain circumstances a pre-existing injury can affect the size of your compensation award, you are still entitled to compensation. It is the insurance company that bears the burden of proving that your pre-existing injury should affect the size of your compensation award.
Can I still win if I was partly at fault?
Pennsylvania applies a “comparative negligence with a 50 percent bar” rule to accidents in which more than one party was at fault. This means that if you were more than 50 percent at fault, you can recover nothing; otherwise, you can recover your damages discounted by your percentage of fault. FOr example, if your case is worth $100,000.00 and it is determined that you are 40% at fault, you will recover $60,000.00.
Will my personal injury verdict or settlement be subject to federal taxation?
The IRS does not typically tax personal injury damages. It will tax judgment interest, however, as well as punitive damages. A settlement agreement that includes these amounts must be very specific in order to prevent the IRS from over-taxing your compensation.
Should I settle my claim or file a lawsuit?
Although a settlement is obviously preferable, you might end up having to do both. Filing a lawsuit is the only way to convince some defendants that you mean business, so that they will offer an adequate settlement. Filing a lawsuit does not necessarily mean you will go to trial.
Why do I need a lawyer to help me settle out of court with an insurance company?
When negotiating an insurance claim, the insurance company is not your friend, since your interests are directly opposed to each other. You will be facing a professional negotiator across the bargaining table, and it helps to have someone experienced on your side.
The accident occurred at my neighbor’s house and I don’t want to sue. What should I do?
As long as your neighbor was properly insured, you will essentially be suing the insurance company, not him or her. Homeowner’s insurance policies often cover slip and fall accidents that occur in private homes, and their claim limitations are usually plenty enough to cover a dog bite claim. I often make a claim against the neighbor’s insurance company, without EVER having to sue your neighbor.
What is the deadline for filing a slip and fall lawsuit?
In Pennsylvania the deadlines are:
- two years after the accident; or
- two years after you discover the injury (if the injury was latent); or
- two years after your 18th birthday, if you were a minor at the time of the accident; or
- two years after the victim’s date of death, if you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you miss the deadline, your claim will probably be forever barred.
You Don’t Need to Worry About Whether You Can Afford a Lawyer
Because I win about 95 percent of my cases, I work on a contingency system. In the unlikely event that I fail to win compensation for you, you will owe me a grand total of $0.00 in legal fees for the entire case. If I do win compensation, my legal fees will be proportionate to the size of your compensation. Essentially, then, it is the defendant or his insurance company who ultimately pays your legal fees.
The Sooner You Obtain Effective Representation, the Better Your Chances Will Be
The ball is not likely to really get rolling on your claim until you hire an effective, aggressive personal injury lawyer to fight for your rights. Since evidence deteriorates over time, the sooner you get started, the better. To schedule a free case evaluation with me, call 800-465-8795 (office), 215-771-0430 (cell), or fill out my online contact form with your questions.