I frequently handle the following types of personal injury claims:
Product Liability: Everything from an electric shaver to the airbags in your car is considered a consumer product that is governed by product liability law.
Pennsylvania product liability law provides you with a legal claim for damages against the product manufacturer if:
- The product itself was unreasonably dangerous (due to a manufacturing defect, for example); or
- The product was unreasonably dangerous only if certain warnings were not heeded (“Should not be taken by pregnant women”, for example), and those warnings were not provided.
Testosterone Treatment Lawsuits: Testosterone therapy offers great benefits for many men who suffer from chronically low testosterone. Unfortunately, some testosterone drugs, such as Androgel, are suspected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Testosterone therapy drugs are considered “products” within the coverage of Pennsylvania product liability law and can be targeted in a product liability lawsuit.
- The victim must die of his injuries;
- The claim is generally filed by the personal representative of the victim’s probate estate; and
- The money goes to the victim’s close family members.
The estate may claim damages not only for medical expenses, burial expenses, and loss of the services provided by the deceased.
Survival Action: A survival action is a close cousin to a wrongful death action. It is typically filed by the personal representative of the deceased victim’s probate estate at the same time as a wrongful death claim.
While a wrongful death action compensates family members for their losses arising from the death, a survival action compensates the victim’s probate estate for losses suffered by the victim. Damages can include pain and suffering by the victim, lost earnings and other losses.
Car Accidents: Over a thousand people died on Pennsylvania roads last year – and many times that number were seriously injured. Most of these accidents were the direct result of someone’s negligence or recklessness. When that someone wasn’t you, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
You are entitled to partial compensation even if the accident was partly your fault, as long as you were less than 50 percent at fault. Insurance companies routinely try to trap unrepresented claimants into saying something that they can use to blame the accident on the victim.
Construction Accident Cases: Construction work is some of the most dangerous work available, and the accident rate is shockingly high. Most construction accident claims are handled under the jurisdiction of the workers’ compensation system, which doesn’t require you to prove negligence to win.
However, when a work accident is the fault of someone other than a worker’s direct employer, you may be able to file an ordinary personal injury lawsuit. The suit would be brought against any other person or company that caused or contributed to the accident. This can include other workers on a job site, subcontractors, a property or construction manager, just to name a few. Personal injury lawsuits can be harder to win than workers’ compensation claims because of the need to prove negligence. However, you are also likely to be eligible for greater compensation, such a pain and suffering. Generally, workers’ compensation claims provide for medical benefits and indemnity (a portion of an injured person’s lost wages) but the damages available in personal injury claims are more extensive.
Construction Falls: Falls represent a very large proportion of construction accidents, and they are among the deadliest. If you have been injured in a construction accident fall, or if your close family member has been killed in such an accident while working, you may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Under certain circumstances you also may be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim. One of the best ways to win an ordinary personal injury or wrongful death claim is to uncover a violation of an OSHA safety regulation and use it to prove that the defendant was negligent. Even if OSHA does not investigate the accident, our team has extensive experience in litigating construction accidents and can utilize OSHA and other safety standards to show how a defendant violated basic safety rules and caused an accident.
Scaffold Accidents: Scaffold accidents are frequently serious, and they can be caused by a variety of factors such as loose guardrails or supports, or careless behavior by a worker. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) strictly regulates scaffoldings, and proving the violation of an OSHA regulation is a way to help prove a defendant was negligent.
Under Pennsylvania personal injury law, you can win a negligence claim by proving that the defendant violated a safety regulation – as long a you can also prove that the violation caused or contributed to the accident that injured you.
Trench Collapse Accidents: Dozens of construction workers are killed every year in trench collapse accidents, and many times that number are seriously injured. OSHA regulations require that safety systems be put in place to prevent trenches from collapsing, and that trenches be inspected by a qualified inspector at regular intervals.
Most trench collapse accidents can be traced to the violation of OSHA regulations – failure to inspect, use of an unqualified inspector, and improper trench construction are a few of the many possible bases for liability.
Electrocution and Electric Shock Accidents: Electrocution accidents typically occur on construction sites – in fact, they are one of the top five leading causes of construction site deaths. Examples of typical causes of electrocution accidents at construction sites include:
- Failure to power down electric lines prior to work
- Defective equipment
- Failure to properly mark locations where excavation can cause electrocution
Because electrocution injuries can be horrific, damage awards can be extensive. John can has successfully represented victims of electric shock injuries, including in cases against PECO and Sunoco.
Forklift Accidents: Vehicle accidents don’t always involve cars – they also can involve construction vehicles such as forklifts. Because a forklift is such a powerful machine and accidents involving forklifts are frequently serious, they must be operated with particular care. Not only construction workers but also pedestrians can be put at risk by a forklift.
OSHA regulations impose strict requirements on training for forklift operators. A forklift accident might be traced to a negligent forklift operator, or it might be traced to inadequate training of the operator by their employer.
Slip and Fall Accidents: A slip and fall accident can occur at a construction site, a retail establishment, or a private home. Hundreds of thousands of people are injured every year in slip and fall accidents, and the responsible party is often the owner or renter of the premises in which the accident occurred. Elderly people are especially vulnerable to slip and fall injuries.
Owners and renters of premises are legally obligated to maintain their premises in a manner that offers guests reasonable safety. That normally means repairing a dangerous condition or warning of it. Our firm once recovered $900,000 for the victim of a slip and fall accident.
Dog Bites: Millions of people are bitten by dogs every year, and most of the injuries are not all that serious. Some dog bites, however, are serious injuries that require significant compensation. In fact, the average recovery for a dog bite claim in the the tens of thousands of dollars.
To win a dog bite claim in Pennsylvania, you do not have to prove that the owner knew the dog had bitten before – you only have to prove that the dog had “vicious propensities” that the owner should have known about. If you win your claim, your damages will likely come from a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, not the dog owner’s pocket.
Liquor Liability & Dram Shops: How do you collect fair compensation if you are injured by a drunk driver who is uninsured or underinsured? Pennsylvania law provides an additional remedy under certain circumstances. Under the Pennsylvania dram shop law, you can sue a nightclub or tavern that provided alcohol to the driver after he was already “visibly intoxicated.”
If the drunk driver was a minor, you can win a claim against the bar even if the minor was not visibly intoxicated at the time he was served. You can also claim against both defendants at the same time – the driver and the nightclub. Recently, John Mattiacci recovered $250,000 from a bar using the Pennsylvania dram shop law.
Civil Rights Violations: Under federal civil rights law, you are entitled to justice if a government official, or someone acting on behalf of the government, deprives you of civil rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. For example, police brutality (the use of unnecessary force) is actionable under federal civil rights law.
Lawsuits against governments involve special procedures that do not apply to ordinary lawsuits. Because civil rights law is federal law, civil rights lawsuits are often heard in federal court rather than state court.
Assault and Battery Cases: Not all personal injury cases are based on negligence. As and example, assault and battery lawsuits are typically based on intentional misconduct. You might have been beaten by a bar bouncer, or roughed up by a security guard, and these actions would constitute such intentional misconduct. You can even maintain an assault claim if someone unjustly pulled a gun on you but never touched you.
If the act that injured you was a criminal offense, you can file a lawsuit even while the criminal trial is underway. It is possible to win a civil lawsuit even if you lose in criminal court.
Septa Accidents and Bus Accident Cases: SEPTA, the Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, operates buses, rail lines, and trolleys throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. Since it serves about four million people a year, it is not surprising that a numerous accidents occur annually.
SEPTA can be sued if the accident was the fault of SEPTA or its driver; and it can provide limited compensation even if the accident was caused by an uninsured third party.
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