brake lightsIn real life, motor vehicle accident victims come from all walks of life and have all kinds of “back stories.” Sometimes, people make errors of judgment that precede their accidents. If you made some mistakes in the moments preceding your accident, does that mean you absolutely cannot get compensation for your injuries? No. Depending on the facts of your case, you may still be entitled to recovery. To learn more about your options within the legal system, talk to an experienced Pennsylvania car accident attorney.

A recent case from Berks County provides an example of a case in which both sides had some degree of negligence. The case began with John and Ashley heading home from a wedding reception that they had attended. While at the reception, both John and Ashley had consumed alcohol. During the drive home, another driver, Anthony, allegedly began tailgating John. John allegedly became angry and began “brake-checking” Anthony.

At a red light, John got out of his car and began approaching Anthony. Anthony tried to get away in his car, but, in the process, he hit John and dragged him roughly 100 feet. Once EMTs got to the scene, they allegedly found John combative and smelling of alcohol. Eventually, the police charged John with harassment, driving drunk, and driving on a suspended license.

Children's HospitalAnytime anyone decides to pursue an injury case in court, they hope to get a fair trial. Laws and rules of procedure are written to guarantee that the parties will receive a fair trial. This is true of the entire process, including parts that occur before the trial, such as jury selection. If your case was tainted by bias, including within the jury selection process, that may allow you to seek a new trial if your original trial ended in an unfavorable outcome. Whether your case is based on medical malpractice, an auto accident injury, premises liability, or something else, you should retain experienced Pennsylvania injury counsel to make sure that your rights are fully protected in your civil trial.

One recent case from western Pennsylvania was an example of a plaintiff successfully obtaining a new trial. The case involved Mendy’s four-year-old daughter, Jillian, who was in a children’s hospital in Pittsburgh to have reconstructive skull surgery. After the surgery, the hospital placed Jillian in an adult bed in the cardiac intensive care unit. At some point, Jillian fell and landed on her head. This fall allegedly caused two skull fractures and required a second surgery to correct. According to the mother’s lawsuit on behalf of the child, Jillian continued suffering from ongoing behavioral problems after the accident.

The case went to trial, and the jury voted, 10-2, in favor of the hospital. When you encounter a verdict that goes against you, the feeling is probably devastating. You should definitely recognize, though, that you may still have options. Your case may have presented various issues allowing for a successful appeal.

dentistFor many people, trips to the dentist are never fun. That is especially true if you are headed to the dentist’s office to get a root canal procedure. What could be worse than that, you might wonder. Well, one possibility is that your dentist commits malpractice on you while you are undergoing the root canal. While people’s fear of and aversion to dental visits is grist for many jokes, any type of malpractice is the exact opposite of a laughing matter. Whether you have been a victim of malpractice during a dental filling or open-heart surgery or anything in between, you should protect your rights fully and properly by relying on the representation of a skilled Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney.

Any malpractice case, whether the injuries you suffered as a result were merely painful or were totally life-altering, is serious. If your harm was substantial enough to motivate you to consider taking your provider to court, it is serious enough to retain knowledgeable counsel to handle your case. Medical malpractice actions involve many steps. Some of the most important ones may be involved in the pre-trial process, including the amassing of evidence. Included in that is the retaining of an expert witness (or witnesses). There are many other procedural elements that can trip up the uninformed.

Carol was a dental patient who alleged that she was injured due to her dentist’s malpractice during a root canal. Carol went forward in her case without a lawyer. As the case proceeded, the defense asked the judge to throw out the patient’s certificate of merit. (A certificate of merit is a mandatory filing in a malpractice case in which the injured person or her attorney declares that a professional in the field has concluded that the provider did not meet the required standard of care.)

cell towerCases that involve massive injuries often mean that the harm suffered is life-changing, which means an extended period (or even a lifetime) of lost wages and medical expenses. Securing a truly complete amount of compensation means obtaining an award for multiple different types of damages and may mean suing multiple parties. Giving the court all of the evidence needed to prove the full extent of your wide array of injuries is essential to getting all of the compensation you deserve. Additionally, being able to identify all of the defendants who should stand trial in your injury case is another key aspect of ensuring that you can recover the full amount that the court says you should receive. All of these things are areas in which the skill and experience of a knowledgeable Pennsylvania injury attorney may offer essential help to your case.

An example of a case involving multiple injuries and numerous types of harm was the accident suffered by Tommy. In the case, reported by LehighValleyLive.com, the worker was a man whose job involved installing telecommunications equipment on cell towers. While the man was working on a tower in the Allentown area on one June day, the ladder rung that was supporting him gave way. The man had received a safety harness and had tied himself off. Unfortunately, that rung didn’t hold either, and the man plummeted 50 feet to the ground below.

In Tommy’s case, he suffered multiple fractures to his pelvis, spine, arm, and legs as a result of his fall, according to the report. His injuries were so severe that he spent months in a coma. That almost inevitably meant that the amount of past medical expenses he incurred from his hospitalization was extremely large.

knee x-rayIf you have a medical condition that has left you unable to work, you may need the assistance of disability benefits. Receiving an award of benefits can greatly enhance the quality of life of the recipient. However, the legal processes of your claim for disability benefits can seem daunting. Giving yourself a strong chance of success often means having a detailed understanding of the law, as well as of the procedures and processes that go into putting together a winning case. Your disability claim is far too important to entrust to anyone other than an experienced Pennsylvania Social Security Disability attorney who knows how to give you a good chance to get the benefits you need.

Andrea was a woman from western Pennsylvania facing such a need for disability benefits. In her case, she was seeking an award of disability benefits due to her osteoarthritis in her knees, along with her back and shoulder pain. As part of the process, Andrea underwent a consultative exam in February 2014. That doctor concluded, at the end of his examination, that Andrea could “occasionally lift up to 20 pounds and carry up to 10; sit for two hours at a time and for three total; stand for 15 minutes at a time and for one hour total; walk for 15-20 minutes at a time and for one hour total.”

In reaching her conclusion, the administrative law judge in Andrea’s case relied upon part of the doctor’s opinions but discounted other opinions expressed by that doctor. The ALJ did not explain in her opinion why she accepted the conclusions she accepted and rejected the ones she rejected. Andrea was able to use this lack of explanation to secure a remand of her case after the ruling was an unfavorable one.

HipWhen you seek to receive workers’ compensation benefits, there are several key hurdles in your case. There is your original claim and an award of benefits. After that, you face another important hurdle if your employer makes a request to cut off your benefits. At all of these steps, it is very important to make certain you have a knowledgeable Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney on your side to ensure that you get all of the benefits that you deserve.

Marguerite was an employee who succeeded in obtaining benefits and overcoming an employer’s request to cut off those benefits after approximately 12 months. Marguerite worked at a county jail in western Pennsylvania. During a scuffle, an inmate and two co-workers fell onto Marguerite, injuring her right knee. The fall left the employee with torn cartilage in her right knee. That tear eventually required surgery, which took place eight months after the accident.

According to Marguerite, the right knee injury wasn’t her only harm. The fall also caused injuries to her right hip, right side, low back, and left knee. She allegedly complained of hip and groin pain right after the accident. Additional medical treatment eventually revealed torn cartilage in the employee’s hip. Marguerite’s doctor diagnosed the hip cartilage as being a result of (or a condition aggravated by) the workplace accident.

baggage handlerIn many workers’ compensation cases, both sides may have medical experts, and these opposing doctors’ testimony may be the key to succeeding or not. Having a doctor whose testimony is believable and persuasive is essential. Whether it is accumulating and presenting expert witness testimony or some other variety of important evidence, a knowledgeable Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney can help you make the compelling presentation you need for a successful result.

A recent example of a worker with persuasive medical expert evidence, who used that evidence to win his case, was Michael, a ramp agent/baggage handler for a major airline. Michael had held this job for 35 years when he was hurt in 2014. Originally, the handler simply listed the new injury he suffered in 2014 in his workers’ compensation claim. The law, however, gives you the opportunity to amend your claim in certain situations, and Michael took advantage of this, amending his claim to assert that the 2014 injury was an aggravation of a pre-existing injury, namely his avascular necrosis and early degenerative joint disease of the right hip.

One of the vital things that you have to prove in any workers’ compensation claim is that the injury you suffered was work-related. To support this assertion, it often helps to have medical expert evidence. Michael used his treating physician, who testified that the pre-existing avascular necrosis contributed to the fracture of the thigh bone that the handler suffered in 2014.

snowSometimes, it can be very subtle details that may entitle you to a successful outcome. For one western Pennsylvania slip-and-fall accident victim, he was able to win his appeal case because of an argument that a property owner and a tenant did not make in the injured man’s trial court case. Legal matters, including injury cases, can hinge upon very specific distinctions, which is just one of many reasons why it helps to have a knowledgeable Pennsylvania premises liability attorney on your side who has a detailed understanding of the law.

The injured man, Robert, and his son were constables in Westmoreland County. On one wintry day in February 2014, Robert and his son’s job duties included serving a warrant. As Robert traversed an alley and approached a gate that provided access to the property, he slipped and fell. There was ice underneath the snow in the area where Robert fell.

The fall caused the constable to suffer injuries, so he and his wife sued. The constable and his wife asserted a claim of negligence for failing to maintain the property properly and allowing snow and ice to build up in front of the gate.

Witness standIn any personal injury action, there are certain elements of the case that can have a major impact on the outcome. One of these is providing the court with authoritative and persuasive expert witness testimony that supports the arguments you’ve made. One of the keys to doing this is making sure that the defense does not throw up roadblocks to getting your expert’s testimony into the record. This, among a wide variety of other things, is an example of the many litigation issues and strategies in which it pays to have experienced Pennsylvania injury counsel on your side.

A recent case from the Pittsburgh area serves an example of an injured person’s successful introduction of expert evidence into his case. The injured man, Matthew, was one of a large group of partiers celebrating one woman’s birthday when he was injured. He and 18 other partiers squeezed into a limousine meant for only 10 passengers. During the ride, Matthew felt an intense pain and, after exiting, discovered that he had a large burn on his leg. The injury later required skin grafts and still left a permanent scar.

Matthew sued the limousine provider. In his trial, the injured passenger had a doctor who testified as an expert witness. The defense tried to keep out the expert’s testimony, but the judge allowed it. In the end, the jury ruled for Matthew and awarded him a half-million dollars.

Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation BenefitsWhen you are injured and successfully pursue a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, that may not be the “end of the line” for your case. Your employer may choose to make attempts to have your benefits cut off. In order to do that, though, the employer must persuade the judge that a change has occurred in your medical condition and that this change means that you are able to return to work. Whether you are pursuing your claim for benefits or opposing an attempt to terminate your benefits, it helps to have experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation counsel fighting to protect your rights and benefits.

The case of Adrian serves as an example of what an employer has to do to get a termination of a worker’s benefits. Adrian was hurt while on the job in Philadelphia. She suffered cervical, dorsal, and lumbar strains due to a vehicle accident that occurred while she was on the job. Adrian filed a claim in 2012, and the workers’ compensation judge awarded her benefits.

Some time later, the employer filed an action seeking the termination of Adrian’s benefits, but the judge refused to end the benefits. In 2014, the employer filed another request to end Adrian’s benefits. This time, after the worker underwent an independent medical exam, the judge concluded that the woman had fully recovered from her accident-induced back injury and was capable of returning to her pre-injury job.