Commonly Asked Questions

In the state of Pennsylvania, how do we prove wrongdoing or negligence in a personal injury case?

Negligence is defined as a failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances.  Most often, negligence is proven by the facts that brought about the injury.  If a car pulls out of a driveway into the path of a motorcycle, negligence is not difficult to prove.  Proof may be much more difficult to establish where two vehicles collide in the middle of the highway.  In that instance, the attorney will often times have to rely upon evidence of negligence provided by an accident reconstruction expert. Evidence and proof of wrongdoing or negligence is often based upon the statements or testimony of witnesses.  When injuries result from recreational or sport accidents, scuba driving accidents, construction site accidents, slip and fall accidents, machinery accidents, accidents at home, and the like, it is often the testimony of witnesses concerning conditions leading up to the accident that are proof of wrongdoing or negligence.  Once a lawsuit is filed, the attorney has what is known as discovery tools available to him.  Generally, by way of written questions, called Interrogatories, examination of witnesses, called Depositions, or requests for documents or items, referred to as Requests for Production, the attorney will receive both documentary evidence and admissions from the defendants, and other parties, which can also prove and establish wrongdoing or negligence.

What money damages can I recover to compensate me for my injuries and loss?

While the law cannot change what happened, the law does provide that upon proof of liability a victim of another’s negligence or intentional act is entitled to an award of money that represents fair compensation for the individual’s damages and loss. The damages that an individual is entitled to receive includes compensation for out of pocket expenses, loss of income or future loss of earnings capacity, all past and future medical expenses, plus compensation for noneconomic losses such as loss of life’s pleasures, pain and suffering, embarrassment and humiliation, disfigurement, etc. It is the focus of the Jorden & White Law Firm lawyers to obtain for you the money damages that the law entitles you to. Most often, this involves a contest with a major insurance company or corporation with deep pockets, and many attorneys at their disposal.

For over 40 years, we have successfully represented our clients in such contests and have secured, either by settlement or verdict, money to compensate them for their losses and to greatly improve their quality of life. When the lawyers of the Jorden & White Law Firm agree to undertake a personal injury case, they also agree not to receive a fee or obtain reimbursement of advanced costs until and unless money damages are recovered. This is referred to as a contingency fee. For more information, click here to go to the “Fees / Contingency” section.

The lawyers of Jorden & White Law Firm have long offered prospective clients a free case review. This evaluation is without obligation to retain the firm of Jorden & White, even if we should determine that your case does have merit. Part of the free case review includes an evaluation of the extent of your damages and how much you might expect to receive by way of verdict or settlement. If you would like to have a free consult, please click here to fill out an online form.

We can help you with cases involving:

  • Medical expenses
  • Income loss
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of life’s pleasures
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement/scarring

Under what circumstances can the victim receive compensation for pain & suffering in Pennsylvania?

The common law provides that any injured victim be entitled to receive compensation for pain and suffering when his injuries are the result of the willful or negligent actions of another, or were caused by the defective condition of products, machinery, or equipment.  There are exceptions and limitations to this general right depending on the nature and circumstances of your accident and the injuries you suffered.  Your rights to be compensated for pain and suffering, your State Legislature, or the Federal Government, may have limited or taken away your right for compensation.  One such example is that in Pennsylvania, if you have been injured in an automobile accident and when purchasing automobile insurance you had chosen a “limited tort” option, you will not be entitled to receive compensation for pain and suffering unless your injury meets a verbal “serious injury” threshold as interpreted by Court decisions.  Another example would be if your injury was the result of negligent actions by a governmental agency.  Unless you fail within certain exceptions in the law, the governmental agency may be statutorily immune from suit.  If you are injured in an accident it is best to consult with an attorney to determine whether based upon the circumstances of your accident you would be entitled to receive compensation for pain and suffering.

What factors are used to determine pain & suffering under Pennsylvania law?

The extent of the pain, physical impairment resulting from the pain, the duration of pain, and whether or not it is permanent are all factors that affect compensation for pain and suffering.

Do most Pennsylvania personal injury cases go to trial or are they resolved outside of court with a settlement?

We estimate that, at least, 95% of the personal injury cases that we handle are settled and do not go to trial.  Most of the cases we handle, however, do require extensive trial preparation.  It is our belief that only by preparing the case and being ready to go to trial are we able to receive a full and fair settlement for our clients.

How can I receive the medical care that I need while my case is in process?

The best way to assure that you receive the medical care that you need while your case is in process is to make certain that you have both motor vehicle insurance and health insurance in place to meet medical needs in the event of a serious injury or accident.  When that has not been possible and where you do not have insurance in place to pay for your medical expenses, your personal injury attorney will work with you and your medical providers to make sure that through various means, including government assistance, that you do receive the medical care you need.

How long does it typically take to conclude in a personal injury case in Pennsylvania?

How long it takes to complete a personal injury case depends on a multitude of factors.  Factors such as the number of potential defendants who may be liable to compensate you for your injuries, the type and amount of insurance coverage available to compensate you for your injuries, the existence of difficult damage and liability issues that may affect your case, the nature and extent of your injuries and impairment or complications resulting from those injuries, and how soon your doctor will be able to supply us with a definitive diagnosis and prognosis statement.  In a typical automobile or slip and fall case, where long term or permanent injuries are not predicted, we attempt to bring these cases to settlement within four months or sooner.  Cases involving significant or long term injuries often require a much longer time for the case to settle or to be brought to a conclusion.  Complex cases involving medical malpractice, toxic illnesses, or product liability also take much longer to conclude.  Cases heavily contested by defendants and their insurance carriers can often take several years or longer to conclude.

Under Pennsylvania law, how much time do I have in order to file a personal injury claim?

The statute of limitations within which to file a personal injury claim in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of injury.  Certain exceptions do apply.  Our advice is to contact an attorney as soon after injury as possible.  It is important that the attorney have as much time as possible before any filing deadline in which to investigate your cause of action, identify all responsible parties, to attempt to settle your case before suit is filed, and, if necessary, to have adequate time to prepare appropriate pleadings necessary to timely commence your action.