The dedicated legal team of Caputo & Mariotti
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
Helping Clients in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, Pittston, Dickson City, and Throughout PA
If you have been hurt as a result of someone else’s negligent behavior, you may be concerned about your future. With medical bills piling up and with no form of income, you may be frustrated, lost, and not sure what your next steps should be. Should you sue for compensation? Will the settlement offer from the insurance company pay your bills? Will you ever get to work again?
If you are currently looking for answers to these questions, you’re going to need help from an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side to help you through this difficult process. For decades, Caputo & Mariotti has been recognized as one of Northeastern Pennsylvania's premier personal injury law firms and represents personal injury victims throughout Pennsylvania.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don't have to pay anything if we fail to get you the compensation that you deserve following an accident. With only two years to file your personal injury claim, your time may be running out, and our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers are waiting. The sooner you call us, the quicker we can get to work, gathering and protecting evidence while starting the negotiation process with those involved with your accident.
What is Considered a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim occurs when one party is harmed or injured from a negligent act caused by another individual or entity. For example, you get into a car accident with a drunk driver. The accident causes serious injuries and property damage.
In the case above, you will be filing a claim against the other party’s insurance company to pay any medical bills, property damages, loss wages, and other damages like pain and suffering or loss of consortium. There are two outcomes to a personal injury claim:
- Settlement. This occurs in the majority of personal injury claims and can even occur before a lawsuit is even filed.
- A Lawsuit. If a settlement cannot be reached, the injured party can file a civil complaint against the other party or parties responsible for the injuries.
Examples of Personal Injury Cases
Various practice areas fall under personal injury litigation. Here are a few examples of personal injury that Caputo & Mariotti handle.
It is the duty of every driver on the road to operate their vehicle in a responsible manner. However, this is not always the case. According to the latest data from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 209 persons are injured in reportable crashes each day, about 9 injuries every hour, and 3 people lose their lives in traffic crashes.
Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, which means each driver’s insurance will be responsible for paying the medical bills following an accident, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. However, if your accident causes a serious or severe injury, you do have the option to pursue the party responsible for the accident for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. Because of the no-fault system, it can be difficult to try and get compensation on your own, even with your own insurance company. It’s important to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer to understand your options so you can receive full benefits following a crash.
Product liability claims, or more commonly known as defective products, are claims filed by the consumer to hold manufacturers and sellers responsible for a dangerous or defective product that has caused an injury. According to Pennsylvania law, a manufacturer or seller can be held responsible if the product has a defect in either the design of the product or an error that arose during the manufacturing phase.
Product liability claims also cover defective or dangerous drugs that the manufacturer purposely knew the dangers yet rushed the medication or device to market. An example of this would be Zantac. Studies have shown for decades that the popular heartburn drug had contained toxic levels of a cancerous contaminant in some formations of Zantac. Yet the manufacturer continued to keep the medicine on the market.
Every day, we put our health into the hands of medical professionals and institutions, trusting them to protect us from harm and cure our illnesses. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. According to recent data, 1 in 20 patients are subjected to medical errors annually with approximately 12% of those preventable errors resulting in “prolonged, permanent disability,” or death.
When medical malpractice occurs, the results can be catastrophic for you and your family, resulting in more medical bills to reverse the damage that was done. The most common forms of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis; failure to treat; prescription drug errors; surgical or procedural errors; and birth injuries.
Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse has been ignored for decades. Yet recent events have opened our eyes. With over 14 million people living in nursing homes in the United States, it’s difficult to ascertain just how many residents are facing harm by overworked staff members. Many are afraid to speak up, either because they’re embarrassed by the abuse or they’re afraid it will just get worse.
To prove nursing home neglect or abuse, you will need to gather as much evidence as possible. Take photos of injuries, save medical reports, and keep a journal of any concerns you may have about abuse. Make sure you inform the nursing facility about your concerns. And, if the abuse continues and nothing is done, turn to a nursing home abuse attorney to help you with the next steps.
Premises Liability Claims
It is the responsibility of a business owner or company to keep the premises of their land safe for any visitors who come on the property. If the owner or company fails in the duty, the injured party does have the ability to file a premises liability claim for any injuries received on the property. But many business owners will fight your claim by saying the accident was caused by your own negligence. This is why it's important to have an experience lawyer by your side to show the dangers on the property caused your injuries.
Although many think of slip and fall accidents when speaking of premises liability, other types of accidents also include animal bites; negligent or inadequate security; dangerous property conditions; and swimming pool injuries.
According to Pennsylvania law, when you are injured while on the job, you can received compensation from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance no matter who is at fault for the accident. Even if you slip in a puddle after spilling a glass of water, your injuries are covered under the 1915 Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.
However, employers fail to realize the responsibility belongs to them and will either ignore or refuse to file your claim. And with workers’ comp claims extremely complex, it’s important to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to make sure your claim will not go ignored. If the injury had resulted in a disability that prevents you from returning to work, we will discuss your options and help you fill out the proper forms to receive Social Security disability benefits.
When a loved one dies because of someone else’s negligence, not only will you have to deal with the pain and grief of that loss but you’ll have to deal with the financial burden that comes with it. This is a time you need to figure out how to continue on, not fight another party in court following a negligent act.
Our caring and compassionate wrongful death attorneys will take the time to work with you during this difficult time. We understand the pain and anger you and your family must feel and we’ll do everything in our power to make sure you get the compensation your family deserves to move forward.
How Do You Prove Your Personal Injury Claim?
In personal injury claims, you will need to prove the other driver’s negligence by proving the following:
- The party responsible for the injury owed the victim a duty of care. Duty of care is the legal obligation of each individual while performing acts that could harm others. For example, we all have a responsibility to drive a vehicle in a safe and responsible manner every time we get behind the wheel.
- The defendant was not careful at the time of the accident. This is also called breaching the duty of care. Examples of breaching the duty of care include texting and driving, speeding, or exhibiting signs of aggressive driving behavior.
- The defendant’s conduct had caused your injuries. Because the defendant failed in their duty of care, their behavior caused your injuries. Using the drunk driver example from above, because the driver was drinking while operating a vehicle, this caused the accident.
- As a result of the injuries, you had suffered a loss. Because you were severely injured following the accident, you suffered a type of loss, such as lost wages or earning capacity, property damages, or pain and suffering.
Knowing what is needed to prove your claim, there are a few things you or your family members can to in order to strengthen the personal injury claim:
- Receive medical treatment as soon as possible following the accident.
- Obtain the contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the action.
- Write as many details as possible about the event as you can remember. Be sure to include how you were injured, what happened immediately afterward, and what the long-term results were, including lost wages or continuing medical treatment.
- Try to get photographic evidence, if you're able.
- Note any conversations you had with anyone else involved in the accident, as well as any police or doctor’s reports.
- Consult with a personal injury lawyer.
The Personal Injury Case Process
During your free consultation, our lawyers will discuss the accident, your injuries, and any medical treatment. After the consultation, we will obtain your medical records and any bills that are related to your injury. This could take some time because we want to make sure we have all information.
Once we have the facts of the case, our personal injury attorneys will then contact the other party's insurance company or attorney and try to negotiate a settlement. If the settlement talks stall or we cannot reach an agreement, the case will move to the litigation phase.
We will then file a lawsuit in court and begin gathering more evidence. This includes taking depositions from witnesses, make document requests, and interview accident experts about your case. The discovery phase can take several months, even up to a year.
With this information, we will return to the negotiation table to see if a settlement can be reached again. If a settlement still can't be reached, then your claims move to trial.
If the judge finds in favor of your claim, you could receive financial compensation for your medical expenses, loss of income, property damage, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Personal injuries can cause permanent disabilities, financial losses, and a greatly reduced quality of life. Lawsuits cannot repair the harm you may have suffered, but they can help you obtain the financial losses you may have experienced following the accident. Settlement offers can pay for medical treatment, replaced lost income and property, and provide security for both you and your family for years to come.
Remember the insurance company is not there to make friends -- it is trying to get the lowest possible settlement available. Do not take the first settlement it offers.
If you or your loved one have been seriously injured, call Caputo & Mariotti's Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at (570) 342-9999, or use our online contact form to contact us now for a FREE Consultation.