Kennett Square Personal Injury Attorney
Have you or your loved one suffered a serious injury in an incident or accident that wasn’t your fault? The law is on your side. With the help of a Kennett Square personal injury lawyer, you can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit to pursue justice and compensation for your injuries.
Personal injury law protects victims of wrongful acts. It’s designed to save you from incurring losses if you, your loved one, or your property are harmed by someone else’s fault.
Your finances, property, reputation, and quality of life shouldn’t suffer at the expense of someone’s actions or failure to act. Team up with Wilk Law, a highly experienced personal injury lawyer in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and bring negligent drivers, doctors, employers, landlords, and companies to justice.
Contact Wilk Law today for a free consultation. Tyler J. Wilk, an experienced civil trial lawyer, and his team are ready to fight on your behalf to ensure you get fair and just compensation for personal injuries.
How a Kennett Square Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Do you need a lawyer to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit?
Many personal injury victims debate over whether to hire a lawyer or pursue a claim themselves. While you can certainly go at it alone, lacking competent legal representation in insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits can easily jeopardize your case.
A personal injury lawyer’s job is to ensure you get the rightful compensation, down to the last penny. It’s a job well suited to attorneys versed in tort law. A lawyer makes a huge difference in your case in the following ways:
Providing Essential Legal Guidance
Legal proceedings are an intricate maze. Without a legal background, you might have a hard time interpreting cryptic, jargon-ridden laws. On top of that, the claim process involves tons of paperwork and careful maneuvering.
A lawyer will help you navigate the legal processes by taking care of all the paperwork and deadlines. They’ll also advise you on the dos and don’ts.
Determining Who’s Liable for Your Injuries
Directing and proving blame in personal injury cases is often not as simple as it looks. Let’s say you’re suing a physician for medical malpractice. While you may only be targeting an individual, your lawyer might see an opportunity to hold the entire medical institution liable for your injuries.
An experienced tort attorney leaves no stone unturned—they identify all the at-fault parties and all possible sources of compensation.
Your case could be much deeper and worth a lot more than you think. You can trust a good lawyer to uncover how far the negligence goes and the maximum compensation you can get for your claim.
Calculating the Damages and Losses Incurred as a Result of Your Injuries
Another important aspect of tort law is determining the sum of losses incurred due to wrongful injury. The figure represents how much you’re owed and should be the basis of your claim. Here’s a list of common damages and losses you can claim under Pennsylvania personal injury law:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral expenses (for wrongful death of a loved one)
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Future losses
Your lawyer will help you compile a comprehensive list of all the damages you’ve suffered. More importantly, the lawyer will link each damage or loss directly to the injury and justify its monetary value.
Gathering Irrefutable Evidence to Back Your Claim
As the claimant or plaintiff in a personal injury case, the burden of proof is on you. That means you have to back every bit of your claim with indisputable evidence.
Generally, you must prove three things to legally qualify for compensation:
- You suffered an injury as a direct result of someone’s negligence
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care, which was breached, leading to the injury
- The injury has caused you monetary and/or non-monetary damages
Proving personal injury involves gathering supporting documentation such as police reports, medical records, vehicle repair bills, bank statements, and employer letters. CCTV footage, eyewitness accounts, and photographs may also come in handy.
A Kennett Square personal injury attorney will help you gather and organize all the necessary evidence to support your claim. Medical records, CCTV footage, and other sensitive pieces of evidence are particularly difficult to come by. But lawyers can be very persuasive and unrelenting in the hunt for evidence.
Standing Up Against Predatory Insurance Companies
Once you file a claim, the insurance company launches an investigation. Their goal is to find any loopholes or reasons to deny the claim. The insurance investigators will do all they can to reject your claim or minimize the available compensation.
Some of the tactics insurers use include offering quick lowball settlements, denying liability, belittling your injuries, and alleging that your injuries have nothing to do with the incident. They may even file a counterclaim against you.
Personal injury lawyers know all these tricks and how to face them. Luckily, you won’t fall for any such tricks with a good lawyer by your side. So, consult a lawyer before sharing any information with the claim investigators, no matter how friendly they might seem.
Wilk Law Holds Negligent Individuals Responsible
In some cases, the claimant is partly to blame for the incident or accident resulting in their injuries. Say, for instance, you were involved in a head-on car collision when a drunk driver swerved into your lane. The drunk driver would clearly be at fault. But you may also share some blame for your injuries if you were not wearing a seatbelt during the crash.
Pennsylvania follows the 51% comparative negligence rule when settling personal injury claims. According to the Pennsylvania General Assembly Statute §7102, personal injury plaintiffs can claim compensation even if they contributed to negligence, but only if they were less negligent than the defendant.
In other words, you can claim personal injury damages if you were less than 50% at-fault. It also follows that you can only recover damages based on your percentage of blame. If the court finds you were 20% negligent, you’ll be eligible for 80% of the total compensation.
As we’ve said before, determining fault is more complicated than merely pointing fingers. And transferring blame is just another trick insurance companies and defendants like to pull in order to escape tort liability. At Wilk Law, we ensure that no such thing happens. We conduct thorough investigations to find whoever is responsible for your injuries and make them pay.
Examples of Personal Injury Cases
What constitutes a personal injury case, and how do you know you have a valid claim? A personal injury case is a civil lawsuit whereby an injured person sues the person or entity responsible for their injury. The goal is to seek financial compensation for the damages suffered due to the injury.
Here are common cases covered by personal injury laws:
According to PennDOT’s Crash Facts and Statistics, there were 115,938 car crashes on Pennsylvanian roads in 2022, resulting in 67,030 injuries and 1,179 fatalities. Many of the crashes were caused by vehicle defects, driver negligence, and poor driving conditions. And most occurred on interstate and state highways such as US Route 1 and Pennsylvania Route 82.
- 18-Wheeler and Truck Accidents
Pennsylvania is home to millions of trucks. In 2022 alone, PennDOT registered over 3.4 million trucks and trailers. And with over 80,000 truck drivers, Pennsylvania ranks as the third US state with the most truckers. Most trucks ferry coal, propane, pharmaceuticals, machinery, and electronics within and outside state lines.
With so many heavy trucks on Pennsylvanian roads, there’s bound to be collisions between trucks and other road users.
- Motorcycle Accidents
To quote the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “While there is no ‘typical’ motorcycle crash, what is ‘typical’ is that a motorcycle crash is a violent event.” Over 80% of reported motorcycle accidents result in injury or fatality.
Most motorcycle crashes stem from negligence. Distracted, inconsiderate, speeding, and intoxicated drivers can easily crash into motorcycles. Also, negligent motorcyclists are a danger to themselves and other road users.
An alarming number of cyclists get involved in road accidents. In 2022, bicycle crashes accounted for 0.7% of all reported traffic accidents in Pennsylvania. While 0.7% may seem negligible, it still represented 801 injuries and 15 fatalities.
Pedestrians are the most at-risk road user group—they often bear the brunt of traffic recklessness and have no protection against collisions with vehicles. Thousands of Pennsylvanian pedestrians suffer severe and fatal injuries every year in hit-and-run, crosswalk, dart-out, intersection dash, and back-up accidents.
- Uber and Lyft Accidents
Rideshare services are a convenient way to get around in Kennett Square. While you can trust Uber and Lyft drivers to take you to the Market at Liberty Place or the Philadelphia International Airport, remember, these are basically taxis that can get into car crashes. In the unfortunate event of a crash, you may be eligible for compensation.
- Premises Liability
Premises liability is a legal theory that holds property owners responsible for injuries that occur on their property. As a resident or visitor in a commercial establishment, residential home, private estate, or government building, you may get compensated for injuries resulting from the host’s negligence, such as falls, dog bites, poor security, falling objects, etc.
- Product Liability
Product liability is a part of tort law that deals with injuries resulting from defective or unsafe consumer products. Poor design, flaws, and oversight during the manufacturing process can produce dangerous consumer goods that cause harm to users. For instance, a vehicle with faulty steering can veer into oncoming traffic, causing a devastating road accident.
This law also covers false advertising and brand misrepresentation.
- Mass Transit and Bus Accidents
Mass transit vehicles such as buses and trains get involved in traffic crashes too. However, claiming compensation for mass transit accidents can be a complex and lengthy process with several moving parts.
For one, most mass transit vehicles in Kennett Square, such as the TMACC SCOOT and the Port Authority Bus, are owned and operated by government agencies. Lawsuits against government agencies are handled differently than those involving private companies or individuals. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get compensated for injuries sustained in mass transit accidents.
- Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Caregivers in nursing homes sometimes take advantage of the elderly residents in their facilities. A recent study describes elder abuse in nursing homes as “an overlooked patient safety issue.” Elder abuse includes physical torture, neglect, sexual abuse, financial extortion, willful deprivation, confinement, and emotional abuse.
The facility’s management or individual caregivers can be held responsible for elder abuse, and the victims can be compensated.
- Wrongful Death
Have you lost a loved one to a wrongful civil act such as a car crash, work-related injury, medical malpractice, or slip and fall accident? You may be eligible for compensation if you have a solid personal injury case. The settlement for wrongful death covers funeral expenses, medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of guardian/consortium/breadwinner, and administration fees for the estate.
Who Is Responsible for My Medical Bills?
If you’ve ever been hospitalized, you know how quickly medical bills can add up. So, who covers medical expenses in a personal injury case? Well, that depends on the nature of the case.
Let’s start with traffic crashes. Pennsylvania is a no-fault state. Your auto insurance policy will cover medical expenses for injuries sustained in a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. But that cover only goes so far. If the medical expenses exceed your policy’s limit, your health insurance takes over. This goes for the driver and any passengers in the vehicle too. Meanwhile, pedestrians are covered by the insurance of the vehicle that struck them.
If you get compensated by the at-fault party, your health insurer may want reimbursement for the medical bills they paid. It’s only fair that they take a cut of your settlement. The settlement also covers any out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Secondly, workers’ comp covers all medical expenses for work-related injuries, again, regardless of who’s to blame for the injury.
Thirdly, medical expenses related to product or premises liability are handled by the victim’s health insurance. However, most health insurance companies will want their cut of the settlement. But you can always claim out-of-pocket expenses and other financial damages.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer?
Personal injury lawyers charge a contingent fee rather than an hourly or retainer fee. As a general rule, the attorney takes a third of the settlement amount, or 40%, if the case goes to trial. This arrangement means you don’t pay a penny until you win the case. It also works in your favor by incentivizing the lawyer to fight aggressively for a win.
However, if the case goes to trial, you’ll incur additional court charges such as filing, processing, court reporter, and copying fees. Depending on your agreement with the lawyer, they may bill you as the charges occur or cut the accumulated sum from the final settlement.
Your lawyer should be clear about how much the case will cost you. The contingent fee and all other costs should be put in writing and agreed upon.
But all in all, hiring a lawyer is the best investment you can make in a personal injury case.
What Is a Tort?
A tort is a wrongful act or infringement on your rights for which the court may impose civil liability. Put simply, torts are any harm committed against someone that can be tried in a civil court. Personal injuries fall under tort law.
These are the three main types of torts:
- Intentional torts: These are harm caused intentionally, such as assault and battery.
- Negligent torts: Negligence means breaching a duty of care or acting carelessly regarding the safety or wellbeing of others. Most personal injury cases are based on negligence.
- Strict liability torts: These are torts that hold someone accountable for personal injury even when their actions were not careless or intentional.
Some tort cases have numerous plaintiffs against one or a few defendants—these are known as mass tort lawsuits. A class action lawsuit is similar to a mass tort, except that in class action, only one person represents a group (class) of plaintiffs with common grievances in court against one or a few defendants. Such cases involve torts that affect large groups of people, such as product liability, premises liability, employer negligence, and nursing home abuse.
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
This small town is famously known as the “Mushroom Capital of the World.” And for good reason. Chester County produces 47% of the entire US mushroom crop.
Sticking to the topic of personal injury, here are some facilities where you can get excellent healthcare in Kennett Square:
- Tower Health Urgent Care
- Kennett Medical Campus
- LCH Health and Community Services of Kennett Square
- Premier Physical Therapy
Pennsylvania Injury and Accident Attorneys
Are you looking for a personal injury attorney in Kennett Square? Wilk Law is here to help you win your case. Tyler J. Wilk, the founder of Wilk Law, is a highly skilled and experienced personal injury attorney specializing in car crashes, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian crashes, and more.
In addition to Kennett Square our legal team also serves West Chester, Coatesville, Downingtown, Philadelphia, Phoenixville, Pottstown, Berwyn, Devon, Exton, Frazer, and more. Contact Wilk Law for a free consultation.