Your Personal Injury Questions, Answered
If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence, you are likely to be filled with questions and concerns. I am Virginia King, founder of ViKing Law, and I’ve been asked too many questions to count in my two decades of practice. I’m always happy to provide answers, however, because I believe clients should be as informed as possible.
On this page, I’ve provided answers to some of the most common questions I receive. If you have additional questions after reading this, please contact me to discuss them in a free consultation.
What is the statute of limitations?
This is the time limit within which you must bring your case. For example, in Pennsylvania, you have two years from the time you are injured or become aware of the extent of your injury to file a lawsuit to recover personal injuries. If you do not file a lawsuit within that time period, you cannot bring a lawsuit.
If the statute of limitations is two years, why do I need to call you right after I get medical treatment for my injury?
Because witnesses and evidence can disappear within weeks, if not days or even hours, after an accident occurs. For example, surveillance cameras are almost everywhere these days, but some of them delete old footage within 30 days, or even 48 hours, depending on the location.
You cannot rely on a potential defendant to keep video evidence of their own liability unless you have a lawyer who sends them written correspondence demanding they preserve all evidence as soon as possible. That’s why as soon as you are medically stable, you should call me. In instances where you are too injured to call, have a trusted friend or relative call on your behalf.
Is a property owner liable if my slip-and-fall accident was due to snow and ice on their sidewalk or driveway?
It depends on when the accident occurred in relation to inclement weather. If you slipped and fell on snow or ice either during a snowstorm or immediately afterward, the property owner would not have had adequate time to remedy the slippery conditions. If the snow and ice were still there two weeks after the most recent snowfall, you would have a much stronger case for liability.
Can I still sue the other driver after a car accident even if I opted into Pennsylvania’s no-fault insurance?
As you likely know, Pennsylvania’s car insurance fault laws are rare. Most states are either a “fault state,” where the at-fault party’s insurance pays for the auto accident, or a “no-fault state,” where all drivers initially file claims with their own policy without regard to fault. Pennsylvania gives drivers the choice to opt for less-expensive no-fault coverage (limited tort) or the more expensive full-tort coverage.
If you have the latter, there are no legal hurdles to clear before suing the other driver. If you have no-fault coverage, however, your injuries must be considered sufficiently serious to be eligible to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver. This is not an impossible burden to meet most of the time, but it is wise to work with an experienced attorney.
What are my legal options if my injury happened at work?
If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance (as is mandatory in most cases), your options might be limited to seeking workers’ compensation benefits. However, if the accident was caused by a third party other than your employer or a coworker, you may be able to bring what’s known as a third-party liability lawsuit.
I invite you to contact my office to get case-specific advice and guidance. Even if I am unable to help you with your worker’s compensation claim, I would be happy to refer you to an excellent attorney who can.
Can I file a product liability claim for my injuries even if I knew the product was dangerous when I bought it?
The answer is usually yes, depending on the details of the case. Some products are inherently dangerous (like a hunting rifle, for instance). You need to know how to use it safely if the product is functioning normally. But if you were injured because the product malfunctioned, or by a little-known danger that the manufacturer failed to warn you about, the manufacturer could likely be held liable for your injuries.