It is every parent’s nightmare to consider their child suffering a serious injury. Children can be injured in a variety of contexts: a serious automobile accident, a medical error, a workplace injury, an assault, or a product defect. And when a child is injured, the parent will undoubtedly want to hold the wrongdoer accountable. The parent may also wish to be compensated for the child’s injuries, in particular, when there are considerable costs to pay for the medical and rehabilitative care for their child.
Personal injury lawyers in Philadelphia can assist you every step of the way, relieving you of certain burdens so you can focus your attention on the care and well-being of your child. Philadelphia negligence lawyers will also help you understand the important laws that apply to your rights as a parent. For instance, you have the right to bring a personal injury claim on behalf of your child, so long as your child is under the age of 18.
That may sound strange: a parent is always a parent to their child – why would the right to sue on their behalf change at the age of 18? As you may have guessed, the age matters because at the age of 18, the child becomes a legal adult and as a legal adult, the child will have the right to sue on their behalf.
So, age matters, and timing matters.
In Pennsylvania, you can file a personal injury claim up to two years after the child turns 18 (i.e., up until their 20th birthday). But you should never wait that long to consult a lawyer. If your child suffered an injury, you need to contact a Philadelphia personal injury attorney as soon as possible to preserve your claims.
And while your child’s case doesn’t expire until your child turns 20, YOUR case expires two years after you knew or should have known that your child’s injury was someone’s fault. It is thus critical that you connect with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney as soon as you suspect your child was injured.
It’s important to note, as mentioned above, that once your child turns 18 years old, they can sue on their behalf. But the same statute of limitations applies to their case. In other words, they have two years from the time they knew or should have known that their injury was the fault of someone else.
In Pennsylvania, there are two main categories of compensation: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are quantifiable, the exact figure can be established with documentation. Examples of economic damages include past and future medical expenses (often incredibly expensive), loss of future earnings, and lost wages (for parents who had to stop working to care for their injured child).
Non-economic damages are not quantifiable – they are more of a subjective assessment of the sad consequences of a birth injury. Examples of non-economic damages include loss of companionship, loss of life’s pleasures, pain and suffering, humiliation and embarrassment, and disfigurement.
No amount of money will take away the pain a child and their family feel after their child gets injured. But, with an experienced personal injury attorney in Philadelphia, you can at least rest assured that you will get the most compensation possible for your case.
Learn more about the rights you have as a parent to file a personal injury claim on behalf of your child. Contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at VSCP Law today.
Philadelphia personal injury lawyers know that one of the most important actions they can take to increase the value of a personal injury case is to aggressively pursue and preserve evidence. They know what actions must be taken early in the process such as ordering medical records; reviewing police reports; and collecting witness statements, photographs, and videos. The presence or absence of these crucial forms of evidence could determine whether your lawsuit is successful or not. Much of the critical evidence is in the possession of the defendant and if those items aren’t requested early in the process, the defendant might destroy them, even inadvertently. And of course sometimes the defendant has the evidence in their possession and still fails to hand it over. In that case, your personal injury attorney can file a motion to compel the production of the evidence. If the motion is successful, the court will order the defendant to hand over the evidence. Thus, you need an experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in Philadelphia to know what to ask for, how to ask for it, when to ask for it, and what to do if the defendant fails to produce it.
And while personal injury attorneys will aggressively seek as much evidence as possible, the clients, themselves, need to do some work too. Personal injury clients usually have firsthand access to medical records, financial documents, police reports, photographs, and videos, and all of these items can be useful in increasing the value of your personal injury case.
Your Philadelphia negligence attorney will review medical records, health summaries, hospital notes, lab results, police reports, workplace reports, insurance documents, and all other necessary paperwork to fully understand what took place that led to your workplace injury, slip and fall, car accident, or other catastrophic personal injury case. Your personal injury lawyer knows how to analyze piles and piles of records and determine which pieces of evidence are key to the success of the case.
An experienced catastrophic injury attorney evaluates your case with knowledge of all possible causes of action and claims for damages, and will draft your Complaint utilizing that key knowledge. The Complaint will also comply with all applicable statutes. In other words, an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney knows how to craft your claim in the way that puts you in the best position to win.
Even if you file your personal injury lawsuit promptly, there will still be a wait time of at least a couple of years before your case goes to trial. Between the time your attorney files the Complaint and the actual trial date, there is a lengthy period called “Discovery.” Discovery is where both sides to the lawsuit request, exchange, and examine information and evidence pertaining to the case. This includes depositions of parties, experts writing reports, and often a series of motions and hearings on evidentiary issues.
And notwithstanding the considerable length of the discovery period, another delay looms large in Personal Injury Attorneys in Philadelphia: cases are backlogged due to the COVID pandemic. So, there is a long line of postponed trials that get priority over recently-filed cases.
This is why it’s essential to connect with a Personal Injury Attorneys in Philadelphia as soon as you are injured; it will help your personal injury lawyer to get the ball rolling so that you can be compensated for your injuries as swiftly as possible.
To find an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney, contact the lawyers at VSCP Law.
Personal injuries can range anywhere from a minor nuisance to a life-altering tragedy. What people don’t often understand is the wide range of financial implications of personal injuries. Read on to learn about possible financial setbacks caused by personal injuries.
Lost wages. If you were working at the time you were injured, it’s possible that your injury could cause you to miss work for a temporary amount of time. If your injury is serious enough, it could prevent you from returning to work altogether. In other words, you may miss a set amount of time (say, 6 months) of work and related wages – or, you may have to quit your job because you are no longer physically or mentally able to continue working. If you have to quit your job, you are likely losing a significant source of steady income.
Household and living services. People often take it for granted when they are physically and mentally well enough to cook dinner, pack a child’s lunch, vacuum a carpet, dust a mantel, replace a lightbulb, carry a laundry basket, lift a young child, shovel a driveway, drive to the supermarket, etc. When your injury prevents you from executing these common household and family tasks, you may have to pay someone else to do them.
Medical expenses. Your personal injury may require you to go to a doctor, a hospital, rehabilitation center, or other facility that will help treat your injuries. You may need to begin taking prescription or over-the-counter medicine to help treat your injuries. You may need to purchase crutches or a cane or compression socks. All of these purchases fall under the category of medical expenses. Some of your medical bills might be covered by insurance, but some may not.
Travel expenses. When people are injured, they may have to travel to deal with the consequences of their injury. For instance, suppose someone is injured who lives several dozen miles away from the nearest hospital or from the appropriate rehabilitation facility. And they have frequent follow-up appointments or a rehabilitation program that requires them to drive to the rehabilitation center multiple times per week. Gas and tolls and wear-and-tear on your car add up and can be financially crippling.
Property damage. In many cases, along with injury to your person, you may also suffer damage to your property. The most common example of this is a car accident where your car may have been significantly damaged and would require repair. As some injuries to your body may be minor and some may be catastrophic, some damage to your property may be minor and some damage may be catastrophic (and, in the case of serious injuries, irreparable).
The above expenses can be financially devastating. Filing a personal injury lawsuit could help you become financially secure. For premium legal advice about how to go about this, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at VSCP LAW.
When the headlines announce big jury verdicts, some people are fooled into thinking that a jury verdict is to be an expected outcome of every lawsuit. But, in fact, 95% of lawsuits result in settlements rather than jury verdicts. That is to say, only about one in 20 lawsuits will end up with a jury verdict at trial, rather than a settlement.
What is it?
A settlement is an agreement in which the person who was injured agrees to accept personal injury compensation in exchange for dismissing a claim for damages against the defendant who caused the injury. A settlement is often exclusively an award of money, but settlements can also include non-monetary awards, such as an apology from the defendant or a change in policy and procedure.
When does it occur?
For a personal injury case, the settlement can occur at any point from the time the injured person contacts an attorney to the very end of a trial. The case could be settled even before the Complaint is filed. But it’s more common for a personal injury settlement to occur after the Complaint has been filed and before the case goes to trial. Sometimes, attorneys for both sides might not enter settlement negotiations until after they start trial. And the injury claim process is so variable that sometimes settlement negotiations may continue even after the point at which the jury has heard the entire trial and begins deliberating. There have been many frustrated juries that come back to the court after spending hours or even days deliberating, only to be told by the judge that the lawyers reached a settlement!
Why enter into a settlement?
Many cases resolve by settlement before trial begins. Indeed, a main motivation in settling the case before trial is that trials can be expensive and risky. Even if your case seems strong, you can never truly predict what the jury will think and what conclusion they will draw. Perhaps they agree that the defendant caused your injuries, but what if they think you’re not really that injured? They may grant you a very small award.
To eliminate that risk of a jury that doesn’t agree with your position, both sides have to give in a little to reach a settlement. Indeed, settlements are often compromises. President Dwight D. Eisenhower is attributed as saying, “Compromise is like the middle of the road; always safer to walk on than the edges.” Thus, settlement is a safe way to ensure that both parties walk away with something reassuring: for the injured person, they walk away with guaranteed compensation; for the defendant, they walk away with the relief of not risking a large jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff.
If you would like to consult with experienced personal injury lawyers, contact the attorneys at VSCP Law.
If you think you have been a victim of surgical errors, here are some ways you can maximize compensation in your medical malpractice case.
Often, victims of surgical errors inadvertently lose or destroy key pieces of evidence. It is imperative that you preserve all necessary records and items pertaining to your surgical errors medical malpractice case. If you are unsure whether a document is essential to your case, err on the side of holding onto it. Keep everything you can because you don’t know yet what item will become crucial to the success of your case.
Examples of evidence include medical records, intake forms, toxicology reports, labwork, prescription slips, photographs and videos, work records, financial statements, and physical objects that are related to the medical malpractice (e.g., prescription bottles, medical devices, etc.). Even media such as emails, text messages, and social media posts should be preserved in case they can help your case.
Again, the absence of these items could reduce the value and success of your surgical errors medical malpractice case.
KEEP UP WITH FOLLOW-UP MEDICAL CARE
An error that victims of medical malpractice often make is failing to go to their follow-up care. Whether it’s out of a distrust of doctors, inconvenience, or physical discomfort, some people just discontinue seeking medical treatment after their medical injury. This is a huge mistake. You may seek a second opinion, you may change doctors, but you should not skip your follow up care. Further, make sure to document and keep track of all out-of-pocket medical expenses. Extensive follow-up care helps establish your future care needs for your surgical errors medical malpractice case and, hopefully and most importantly, it also helps you recover.
DOCUMENT YOUR INJURY AND RECOVERY
In order to maximize compensation, it will be important to establish that the effects of the surgical errors are continually burdensome. Make sure to take photos and videos throughout your journey to give a visual picture of the scarring and disfigurement you’re suffering. Journaling is another way to keep track of your injury and the uncomfortable effects of it.
It’s also helpful to document your conversations with healthcare providers. With time, your memory may fade a little so try to write down conversations with healthcare and rehabilitation providers soon after they occur.
TALK TO A LAWYER
In addition to the above important steps, a step you should take early on in the process is to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer. This lawyer will be able to make sure you abide by all the necessary regulations, including the time-sensitive statute of limitations. Your lawyer also knows all the important steps you need to take to maximize compensation and will help guide you through them.
If you believe you are a victim of surgical errors, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at VSCP Law.
In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world as we know it, hospitals and doctors’ offices had to scramble to transform traditional medical practice into one that could survive widespread shutdown orders. And thus, telemedicine – for the first time in history – became the primary way doctors and patients interacted with each other for most outpatient appointments. “Telemedicine” – also referred to as “telehealth” – is the delivery of healthcare using electronic information and technology, such as computers, videoconferencing, wireless communications, and the internet.
DEFICIENCIES IN TELEMEDICINE
While this form of virtual healthcare is inarguably more convenient than in-person healthcare, it is not necessarily better. Indeed, both doctors and patients will concur that some in-person visits are essential for proper care, diagnosis, and treatment. For instance, a dermatologist would have a difficult time establishing whether a mole is cancerous simply by looking at it on the small screen on her laptop. Instead, she’d have to look at it in person, from different angles and distances, tap it, squeeze it, and measure it to truly know whether it should be biopsied to check for cancer.
TELEMEDICINE AND PERSONAL INJURY LIABILITY
As to how telemedicine affects personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits, it operates under the same laws as traditional, in-person medicine. That is to say, if you have been injured because of what a doctor or medical team has done or not done, then you might have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit. This is true whether the treatment took place in the same room or across the telecommunications highway. Even when the doctor is communicating with you and rendering medical treatment through electronic means, they must provide you proper care and if they don’t, they could be liable for your injuries.
TELEMEDICINE AND PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUITS
As in traditional personal injury lawsuits, telemedicine lawsuits will require the thorough preservation of evidence. Evidence includes health summaries, hospital notes, prescription slips, lab results, and other medical reports. When the doctor or hospital provides virtual care, they have the same duties to make an adequate record of their treatment of the patient. Even though the setting is different, their obligations to their patients are the same. Notably, it can be argued that the virtual healthcare setting is ripe for more medical mistakes. Indeed, as mentioned above, how can anyone be certain of a proper diagnosis when it’s rendered through a video conversation rather than through a thorough in-person screening?
Telemedicine cases can open up new issues for personal injury lawyers such as, where should the Complaint be filed if the patient was in one state and/or county and the doctor rendering care was in another? This and other confounding issues make the need to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer that much greater.
To consult with an experienced personal injury attorney about your potential telemedicine personal injury case, contact the lawyers at VSCP Law.
According to the John Lewis Institute for Social Justice, “social justice” is “a communal effort dedicated to creating and sustaining a fair and equal society in which each person and all groups are valued and affirmed.” Further, it seeks to end “all systems that devalue the dignity and humanity of any person.”
Given that social justice is an effort at the community level, how are personal injury lawyers advancing it? In order to understand that, first let’s explore a sampling of contexts in which certain persons are devalued, thereby creating the need for social justice advocacy.
In workplaces across the country, companies may engage in racist hiring, retention, compensation, and termination practices. Other unfair practices may include, for example, not providing proper safety equipment to a subgroup of workers, rendering them more likely than their colleagues to suffer serious injury from workplace accidents. Personal injury lawyers advance social justice when they fight on the behalf of these injured workers and ensure workplace safety is prioritized over company profit.
Disability rights are social justice rights. In other words, those in the disability community are included in the group of marginalized people who seek a fairer and more equitable society. There are various circumstances where a personal injury lawyer can help fight for disability rights. For instance, let’s say a company fails to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA mandates that public accommodations (whether owned by the government, a non-profit organization, or a private company) must meet certain minimum standards for accessibility. Failure to meet these guidelines can cause people in the disabled community serious injury. A personal injury attorney can sue the company on behalf of the injured person.
Section 1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code provides an individual the right to sue state government employees and others for civil rights violations. Prisoners can use Section 1983, for example, to sue the prison for inhabitable living conditions, faulty healthcare, or the failure of a security guard to protect a prisoner during an assault. Other possible claims against a prison include false arrest, wrongful conviction, false imprisonment, abuse of process, and the use of excessive force. A personal injury lawyer can file a lawsuit against the prison and other government entities for the personal injuries they caused to the client.
As may be obvious, in many examples of social justice violations, there’s a corporate greed that seems to be valued over human safety. Often, injuries happen to people because the company is more concerned with their bottom line than the health, wellbeing, and safety of others.
Personal injury lawyers can help drive societal and systemic change by holding profit-hungry corporations, companies, agencies, and organizations accountable for their actions and inactions. And, notably, change happening at the court level operates at lightning-fast pace compared to change happening at the congressional or legislative levels.
To fight inequality and further social justice, hire the personal injury lawyers and social justice advocates at VSCP Law.
If you believe you’ve been injured as the result of someone else’s actions or inactions, you should consult with a Philadelphia personal injury attorney. Read on to understand the two main things you can do to prepare for the consultation.
When you meet with a Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer, try to have with you documents that will be necessary in determining whether you have a viable case. Documents that may be necessary include: your work history, medical records, cell phone records, photos, emails, medical records and reports, statements from eyewitnesses, contact information for eyewitnesses, police report, and other information that helps establish what was happening immediately before you got injured as well as how you got injured and what happened after you were injured.
The more evidence you bring to your initial meeting with the Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, the better. And personal injury lawyers will always appreciate it if you organize the notes and records to make the review of them that much easier.
Notably, sometimes, your attorney might tell you not to do things that you think you probably should. For instance, if you were in a car accident, you may be inclined to have your car repaired immediately. But your Pennsylvania personal injury attorney would advise against that. How your car looks and how damaged your car is due to the accident are crucial elements of evidence and should not be altered. Thus, before the car is repaired, your lawyer may want to take a look and send an automotive expert to do so as well.
BE READY TO SIGN FORMS
Before the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer can review all of the crucial evidence for your case, you need to sign a Contingent Fee Agreement with them. This agreement establishes the
client-attorney relationship. It stipulates that you, the client, do not need to pay the lawyer anything upfront. The lawyer will assume all the costs and expenses to build and try your case. The lawyer only gets paid back for all of those costs and expenses if the lawsuit is successful.
To find a personal injury attorney in Pennsylvania who will review the evidence you collect, thoroughly evaluate your case, file a complaint, and win a successful outcome for you, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at VSCP Law.
If you are wondering, when is the best time to file a lawsuit? A Philadelphia personal injury attorney would tell you: “sooner, rather than later!”
Before examining why filing your lawsuit as-early-as-possible is the best approach, it’s important to understand Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations law.
Pennsylvania Statute of Limitations
Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations allows you two years from when you knew or should have known that your injury was caused by what the defendant did or didn’t do.
For example, in the case of a deceased party, Pennsylvania law allows you two years from the official death date to file a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit. This restriction is typically referred to as the wrongful death statute of limitations.
Timeliness of Evidence
Think of all the evidence a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer may need to present at trial to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries. In the case of an auto accident: police reports; eyewitness statements; photos of the car prior and immediately after the accident; statements from the tow truck company, the automotive repair company, and the insurance adjuster; records of the defendant’s cell phone activity immediately prior to the accident; emergency room and other medical records, including x-rays, CT scans, radiology reports, blood labs, toxicology reports, intake notes, and vitals for both you and the defendant. This list is in no way exhaustive.
What is essential to understand is that some evidence is finite in quality. That is to say, some evidence is more fresh closer to the date of the incident. Witness statements, for example: the testimony of eyewitnesses to the accident that caused your injury will not be fresh forever. With time, the crispness of the memory fades and the details become blurry. That’s why it’s essential to collect witness statements as soon as possible after the injury.
Timeline of Most Personal Injury Cases
Even if you file your lawsuit promptly, there will still be a wait time of at least a couple of years before your case goes to trial. Between the time your attorney files the Complaint and the actual trial is a lengthy period called “Discovery,” in which both sides to the lawsuit request, exchange, and examine information and evidence pertaining to the case. This includes depositions of parties, experts writing reports, and often a series of motions and hearings on evidentiary issues.
And notwithstanding the considerable length of the discovery period, another delay looms large in Philadelphia: cases are backlogged due to the closure of courts during the early months of the COVID pandemic. So, there is a long line of postponed trials that get priority over recently-filed cases.
In sum, the sooner you file your lawsuit, the less time you’ll have to wait until the trial. To talk with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer to help you file your lawsuit in the most timely manner, contact VSCP Law.
How can your Philadelphia personal injury attorney get you the best value for your injuries? Read on to learn the five best ways to increase the value of your personal injury settlement.
Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers know that one of the most important actions they can take to increase the value of a personal injury case is to aggressively pursue and preserve evidence. They know what actions must be taken early in the process such as ordering medical records; reviewing police reports; and collecting witness statements, photographs, and videos. The presence or absence of these crucial forms of evidence could determine whether your lawsuit is successful or not. Much of the critical evidence is in the possession of the defendant and if those items aren’t requested early in the process, the defendant might destroy them, even inadvertently. Thus, you need an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney to pursue and preserve any and all necessary evidence.
Your personal injury attorney will aggressively seek as much evidence as possible, but the clients, themselves, need to do some work too. Personal injury clients usually have firsthand access to medical records, financial documents, police reports, photographs, and videos, and all of these items can be useful in increasing the value of your personal injury case.
Let’s say you coached your kids’ soccer teams for years until you were injured. You also played soccer on an intramural team. Now, as the result of your personal injury, you can no longer play soccer or even coach your kids’ teams. How do you prove that you were once a great player and coach? Photographs, trophies, etc. How do you prove that you’re too injured to play and coach? Document your physical struggles, journal your pain, take photos/videos of yourself on days you cannot get out of bed. How you were before your injury and how you suffer since your injury all help to increase the value of your personal injury case. And you are in the best position to attain and collect this evidence.
At times, insurance companies might reach out to you and try to settle the case early “before getting lawyers involved.” This is a mistake. Whatever amount the insurance company tells you they will settle the case for is typically far less than what a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer can collect for you. Don’t be tempted to settle the case early with an insurance company. Get a lawyer involved so that your lawyer can get you the highest possible value of your case.
Your best chance of getting the most value out of your personal injury settlement is to listen to your lawyer and follow their advice. Your personal injury lawyer has years of experience trying similar cases, has worked against many defense firms and insurance companies, and knows the ins and outs of the Pennsylvania judicial system.
To find an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney, contact the lawyers at VSCP Law.