If you’ve been injured in an accident due to someone’s negligence, then you may be able to recover damages. Call a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC at (215) 875-7030 for a free consultation. For the past 30 years, our legal team has fought for accident victims. We have the experience you need to help you get the money you deserve.
Contact our law office for a free case review. We are standing by to take your call 24/7. Our team works on contingency, so you pay nothing unless we win.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC?
- The personal injury lawyers at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky have over 80 years of combined experience,
- Family-owned firm that treats you like family,
- Experienced trial lawyers with a proven-track record of winning in court,
- Millions won in awards of settlements for our personal injury clients,
- We know Philadelphia – we have practiced our entire legal careers in Philly.
Why Should I Hire A Personal Injury Attorney in Philadelphia?
Here are a few reasons why you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky to represent you.
Insurance companies are know for trying to settle the case as quickly and cheaply as possible
When you get hurt in an accident in Philadelphia, you might be contacted by an insurance company right away. Adjusters aren’t doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. Rather, they’re trying to resolve your claim for damages before you can get an attorney involved in the process. Why? Because they know that this is a turning point in every injury case.
When you’re represented by our attorneys, insurance companies are forced to play by the rules. They can’t rely on their manipulative tactics or scare you into accepting a lowball offer.
You might be blamed for your injuries
Another reason to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky is that you might be blamed for your injuries. Pennsylvania has modified comparative negligence rules. What does that mean, and why is it important? In very simple terms, more than one person can share responsibility for an accident in Pennsylvania. Sharing blame can affect your ability to recover compensation. If you share more than 50 percent of the blame, you’ll be prohibited from getting any money, at all. If you share 50 percent of the blame or less, your damages will be adjusted to reflect that.
When you hire our personal injury firm, you can rest assured that we’ll stand up and do everything in our power to stop these tactics from working. If you did play a role in the accident, we’ll work diligently to minimize it. The less responsibility you share, the higher your financial settlement or award can be.
Know the true worth of your case
The third reason to hire an attorney after an accident in Philadelphia is so that you can know what your case is worth. When an insurer can’t deny a claim in good faith, it will still try to limit the amount of money it has to pay. They’ll rely on experts, algorithms, and formulas to arrive at an incredibly low settlement offer. So, you really don’t want to let insurance companies decide what your injuries and personal injury case are worth.
When you hire our attorneys to take the lead on your injury case, you can level the playing field and give yourself the best opportunity to get all of the money you deserve.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle in Philadelphia, PA
There are dozens of car accidents in and around Philadelphia every day. Insurance companies do not want to pay out benefits after a crash, even if they’re well deserved. Our car accident lawyers have been going head-to-head with some of the biggest insurers in the nation for years – and winning big for our clients.
It’s not uncommon for injured riders to struggle with chronic pain, be faced with a permanent disability, and find that they’re unable to work in the same capacity. The resulting costs can be overwhelming. A personal injury lawyer at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky will aggressively seek compensation from all liable parties on your behalf.
Slip & Fall Accidents
When you slip and fall on someone else’s property, the owner probably won’t want to accept responsibility for your injuries. That’s true, even if their negligence contributed to or caused you to get hurt. In fact, they might even try to blame you. If those tactics work, your ability to recover compensation can be compromised.
Zavodnick, Zavodnick, Lasky personal injury attorneys will dig deep to uncover precisely what led to your slip and fall accident. We’ll work tirelessly to get you the money you deserve.
Sometimes an accident causes injuries so severe that the victim doesn’t survive. When that happens, the right to file a lawsuit against the negligent party isn’t lost. Rather, it’s transferred to the family. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, certain family members can recover compensation that can make a difference for years to come. Call a personal injury lawyer at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky today to find out what you case is worth.
Why Should I File a Personal Injury Claim?
Don’t underestimate the costs and consequences of an unexpected accident or injury.
It’s estimated that a car accident, when resulting in an injury, can cost anywhere between $27,800 and $96,000, on average. Even a fender-bender or relatively minor crash can cost nearly $10,000. When a crash is fatal, families can experience more than $1.6 million in financial repercussions.
An accident can generate considerable medical bills. It can keep you out of work – temporarily or permanently. The trauma of getting hurt can fundamentally change your life forever. When someone else is at least partly responsible for causing these things, you can and should hold them accountable. You can do that – and secure critical financial compensation – by filing a personal injury claim.
How Long Does a Philadelphia, PA Personal Injury Case Take?
No two personal injury cases are the same. How long your personal injury case takes ultimately depends on the decisions you make. You could realistically have a case that only lasts a few days if you decide to accept an early offer from the insurance company.
However, if you decide to fight for more money than they’re offering, chances are the case will take longer to resolve. In that case, things like investigations, determinations of fault, consultations with expert witnesses, and back-and-forth negotiations can take time. Call a personal injury attorney at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky for more information.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Worried that you can’t afford a personal injury lawyer? That’s not the case when you call Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC. Why? Our legal team works on a contingency basis. In the simplest possible terms, this means that you don’t owe us any money unless we win your case. You pay nothing until we recover a settlement offer or financial award on your behalf.
When we win, our law firm will collect a pre-agreed upon percentage of your financial recovery. This arrangement allows you to get the help you need without the burden and stress of up-front legal fees. Give our no win, no fee Philadelphia personal injury lawyers a call today to learn more about our fee structure.
What is the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Cases in Philadelphia?
The state of Pennsylvania limits the amount of time accident victims have to file an injury claim for damages. While the time limit can vary, you’ll typically have up to two years to file a civil lawsuit. You could have more or less time, depending on the specific circumstances of your individual case.
However, that tends to be the exception, rather than the rule. When you hire a personal injury lawyer at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky shortly after an accident, you can rest assured that your case will be filed in a timely manner and that your right to compensation will be preserved.
What Compensation Can I Get If I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
There are two types of damages that might be available to you after an accident in Philadelphia. These are compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are paid to compensate you for your injuries, suffering, and costs after an accident. These awards are actually broken down into two distinct categories: economic awards and non-economic awards.
Economic damages are paid to compensate for the calculable and verifiable financial costs of an accident. These include:
- Medical expenses (e.g., ambulance service, hospitalization, surgery, medical devices, medication)
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- The cost of replacing or repairing damage to property
- Lost wages and income
- Temporary and/or permanent disability
- Reduced earning capacity, and
- Funeral and burial expenses.
You are entitled to seek economic damages for both present and future costs.
Non-economic damages are paid to compensate for the intangible, subjective, and highly-personal consequences that an accident might cause. These include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress including, but not limited to, anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Loss of consortium, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
There are many factors that can affect how an unintentional injury will affect a person. So, these damages tend to be difficult to value in terms of dollars are cents. The value can vary substantially from one case to another. It’s critical to enlist the help of qualified experts and specialists during the valuation process.
Punitive damages have one singular purpose: to punish the defendant for conduct that is particularly bad. In Pennsylvania, punitive damages can only be awarded when it’s established by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s conduct was malicious, willful, wanton, extreme, or outrageous. So, punitive damages are typically not available in all personal injury cases. Rather, they’re reserved for when an extreme remedy is necessary.
Our Philadelphia personal injury team will carefully review your case and identify any and all damages that might be available to you.
How is Fault Established in a Personal Injury Case?
In order to recover compensation in a personal injury case, the plaintiff – or person who has suffered harm – must be able to prove another person – the defendant – is at fault. There are a number of ways that fault can be established in a personal injury action.
Negligence is the basis for most personal injury lawsuits and insurance claims filed in Philadelphia. What exactly is negligence, anyway? Negligence means that you have suffered an injury because someone else wasn’t careful, even though they had an obligation to be.
How is negligence determined in a personal injury case? When you file a claim on the grounds that someone else was negligent, you’ll have to prove all four of the elements of the tort. These include:
- Duty: Someone else (the defendant) owed you a duty of care.
- Breach: The defendant breached this duty of care.
- Injury: You’ve suffered physical, emotional, and/or financial harm.
- Causation: The defendant’s actions (or failure to act) caused you to get hurt.
In other words, you’ve only been injured because of the defendant’s actions (or failure to act) in a particular situation. When you can prove negligence, you can hold the defendant financially responsible for your damages, injuries, and suffering.
Under Pennsylvania state law, gross negligence is defined as “reckless, willful, or wanton misconduct.” It’s much more than mere carelessness. Rather, gross negligence is “significantly worse than ordinary negligence.” In order to establish that a defendant’s actions were grossly negligent, it must be proven that they “significantly departed from how a reasonable person would act under the circumstances.”
For example, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) of .08 percent – the legal limit – would likely be considered negligent. On the other hand, if someone decided to get behind the wheel of a car and drive while blackout drunk when their BAC was .17 percent, that would most probably be considered gross negligence.
Why would you want to establish gross negligence in a personal injury action? Punitive damages are often on the table in situations where a defendant’s conduct was grossly negligent. Additionally, it can be easier to establish liability and recover a substantial monetary award.
Negligence Per Se
Remember those elements of negligence discussed earlier? Duty, breach, causation, injury? There are times when it’s not always necessary to prove each one of those things. Rather, negligence can be implied because the defendant broke the law.
Negligence per se applies when:
- The law or ordinance is applicable to the defendant’s conduct
- The law or ordinance was designed to prevent the type of incident or accident that’s occurred, and
- The law or ordinance was intended to protect you from the type of injury you’ve sustained.
In other words, negligence per se is applicable when a defendant violates a law or ordinance that’s intended to protect you and causes harm.
For example, let’s say you’re involved in an accident at a busy Philadelphia intersection. When the police arrive on the scene, they suspect that the driver of the other vehicle is intoxicated – so they administer a breath test. The other driver is legally drunk. You can invoke the doctrine of negligence per se, arguing that that the driver is implicitly negligent because they were driving drunk – in direct violation of Pennsylvania drunk driving laws.
Note, once you raise the argument of negligence per se, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant. This means that they’ll have to prove that they (a) didn’t violate the law, (b) the law didn’t apply to them, or (c) the law wasn’t intended to protect you or prevent the harm that’s occurred.
Sometimes the amount of care or effort a defendant exercise is irrelevant, and liability can attach, anyway. Strict liability is most often applicable in premises liability and product liability matters.
For instance, dog owners in Pennsylvania are strictly liable for the actions of their canine companions, regardless of the steps they take to prevent an attack or bite. It doesn’t matter if the dog is on a leash or kept behind a sturdy fence – if the dog bites another person, the owner is on the hook for the consequences.
Similarly, companies that make and sell products in Pennsylvania can be strictly liable for harm caused by any defects. Again, this is the case, regardless of how careful the company is in designing, manufacturing, or marketing the product.
An attorney can help you understand if strict liability might apply to your personal injury case.
You don’t necessarily have to be hurt as a result of negligence, recklessness, or carelessness to have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against another person. You can also file a lawsuit and demand compensation if you’ve suffered an injury because of another person’s intentional conduct. This is typically the way fault is established in assault and sexually assault injury matters or cases involving police brutality.
What Steps Are Involved in a Personal Injury Case?
So, you’ve decided to file a personal injury claim and demand compensation for injuries suffered in a Philadelphia accident. Here’s a general overview of what you can expect during this process.
1. Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
There’s too much at stake to attempt to navigate a personal injury case on your own. You should be focused on dealing with your injury and recovery, not engaging in a hotly-contested legal battle with an insurance company. So, the first step in your case should be searching for a reputable and experienced personal injury lawyer near you.
At Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, we offer a free consultation so that all of your questions and concerns can be addressed. At the same time, we’ll be able to tell you whether you have a legitimate claim and offer some preliminary legal advice about moving forward.
2. Identify Potential Bars to Recovery
Once you’ve hired an attorney, the next step to begin preparing your injury claim. One of the most important aspects of this is checking to see what potential bars to recovery might stand in your way, and determining how to sidestep those obstacles.
Notably, this includes identifying the statute of limitations that applies to your claim and determining how much, if any, fault you may share for your injuries. At Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, we work hard to identify any potential threats to your case early on so that we can neutralize them and get you full compensation.
3. Launch a Thorough and Detailed Investigation
An investigation is critical to any successful personal injury claim. Our lawyers will visit the scene, review photographs and video footage, consult medical records and police reports, find and speak with witnesses, and enlist the aid of skilled accident experts. The information, details, and evidence secured during this in-depth look into your accident will serve as the foundation for your injury claim.
4. Prepare and Submit an Insurance Demand Letter
Under Pennsylvania law, the first place you’ll have to look for compensation after an accident is your insurance company. You can file a claim to secure benefits from your own policy. In order to secure insurance benefits, your attorney will draft a demand letter. This basically outlines your case and provides backup for your demand for compensation. It’s submitted to the insurance company after you’ve notified them that you intend to submit a claim.
The insurer will either accept your demand in full or in part, or reject it. If the offer is rejected, the company might issue a counteroffer for less money.
If your settlement demand is denied (in full or in part), if you’re dissatisfied with the offer you get, or if your damages exceed what you’re paid, you can move forward with a formal lawsuit against at-fault parties and/or other insurance providers.
5. File a Lawsuit
The vast majority of personal injury cases settle before either side ever goes to court. In fact, government data reveals that only 3 percent of civil tort cases are resolved by verdict. However, sometimes it’s necessary to file a lawsuit to (a) show the other party you’re serious and compel meaningful settlement discussions or (b) secure the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Our lawyers will always try to recover compensation on your behalf as swiftly as possible – while ensuring that we don’t sacrifice the quality of your case or amount of recovery you deserve. However, we’ll always prepare your case as if we’re going to trial. So, when the time comes, we’ll be ready to file a formal lawsuit and see it through the civil court system.
6. Navigate the Civil Lawsuit Process
Filing a lawsuit is just the first step. In Pennsylvania, your case will be subject to very strict rules and procedures. Rest assured, our team will expertly navigate the necessary steps on your behalf. This might involve:
- Filing your civil complaint before the applicable statute of limitations expires
- Serving copies of your complaint to the defendant(s) named in your case
- Filing motions with the court
- Conducting inquiries during the discovery phrase – including subpoenaing documents and witnesses, as well as conducting depositions of relevant parties
- Keep in contact with the defendant(s) in your case to discuss the possibility of a settlement
- Prepare your case for trial
- Litigate in front of a judge and jury.
If your case does reach the trial phase, know that our attorneys are known for their ability to win in court. In fact, our firm’s reputation is built on our demonstrated record of success inside and outside of the courtroom. That can work wonders for you during negotiations, as other parties think twice before going up against us in front of a Philadelphia jury.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Cases
Get more information and answers to our frequently asked questions.
Will I Have To Go To Court?
Could your case go to court? Yes. However, the vast majority of personal injury lawsuits don’t.
Defendants and plaintiffs in these matters tend to settle privately before a trial is necessary.
Trials can be particularly time-consuming and expensive – and insurance companies don’t always fare well in front of a jury – so out-of-court settlements are pretty common. If you’re concerned about going to court, speak to our injury lawyers about your case.
Can I Still Get Money If I’m Partly Responsible For My Accident?
Quite possibly, yes. While some states bar victims from recovering compensation if they contribute to their accident, Pennsylvania does not. Instead, Pennsylvania has modified comparative negligence rules. Simply put, you can recover compensation for your accident-related damages as long as you’re not primarily at fault. Your claim will only be barred if you share more than 50 percent of the blame.
While sharing fault won’t necessarily stop you from recovering money, it will affect how much you can ultimately get. Your financial award will be adjusted downward to compensate for your contributions to the accident. For example, sharing 30 percent of the blame will mean that your damages will be reduced by 30 percent.
Always seek the assistance of a Philadelphia personal injury attorney after an accident, especially if you might be blamed by other parties. Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC will work to minimize your role. We know that the less fault allocated to you, the greater your financial recovery can be.
Who Has the Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Case – Me or the Defendant?
Since the plaintiff is the one who’s initiated the legal action, they’re the party that assumes the burden of proof. In other words, the plaintiff has the responsibility of proving that what they’re arguing in their injury claim is true.
For example, let’s say you’re involved in a bicycle accident on Broad Street in north Philly. You were struck by a vehicle making a right-hand turn at an intersection. You decide to file a lawsuit against the driver and ask to be compensated for your injuries. In order to win, you will have to prove that the driver is at fault.
Proof must be established by a “preponderance of the evidence.” Simply, your side of the story just has to be more believable than the defendant’s.
Note, there are times when the burden of proof shifts to the defendant. This is the case when certain legal doctrines – such as negligence per se or res ipsa loquitor – are invoked. Your attorney will help you navigate any of these legal complexities.
Philadelphia, PA Personal Injury Stats and Information
Philadelphia is the sixth-largest city in the United States, home to more than 1.5 million people. Hundreds of thousands more pour into the city every day to work, go to school, and simply enjoy all that it has to offer. Not surprisingly, that means that I-95, I-76, Broad Street, Route 1, and hundreds of other roads in Philadelphia are always congested. Traffic on bridges leading in and out of New Jersey always seems to be at a stand-still.
As a result, traffic accidents are pretty common in and around the City of Brotherly Love. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT), there were 11,003 traffic accidents in Philadelphia County in 2018. That accounted for more than 8 percent of all of the accidents across the entire state.
So, on an average day in Philadelphia County, there are more than 30 car accidents. That’s more than one crash an hour. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, call our personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation.
Call Our Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys Today For Help
No matter your situation or injury, we are here to turn things around for you. Our goal is to see that you are justly compensated for your pain, suffering, and any other loss. Put our years of experience to work for you.
The personal injury lawyers at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, have helped thousands of people regain their lives and secure their futures. Check out some of the verdicts and settlements we have achieved for our clients. We can do the same for you.
Personal Injury Blogs
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- How Will a Statute of Limitations Affect My Ability to File a Lawsuit After an Accident?
Visit Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC Personal Injury Lawyers
Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC is located 123 S Broad St #1220, Philadelphia, PA 19109. We’re located just a few blocks from Philadelphia City Hall and the 13th Street Metro Station. Call our office for more information at (215) 875-7030. We serve all of Philadelphia including Bella Vista, Callowhill, Center City, Queen Village, South Philadelphia, Springfield, and West Philadelphia.