Question: Last year I slipped and fell on my neighbor’s icy sidewalk in Philadelphia. I hurt my back, and I have a herniated disc from the fall. I didn’t want to sue my neighbor, but my back is not getting better. I need to get epidural shots. Can I still sue my neighbor? What will I be able to recover? How do I prove my damages?
Answer: In Pennsylvania, an injured individual has 2 years from the date of the accident/injury to sue the responsible party. This is known as the statute of limitations. Therefore, if your accident and injury happened last year on January 23, 2015, then you have until January 22, 2017 to file a slip and fall lawsuit against your neighbor. If you do not sue before the 2 year period expires, you will waive your legal right to sue despite having a valid claim.
Even though you can sue your neighbor, you may not prevail unless you prove your claim. See Philadelphia Trip & Fall Law – How to Win a Trip & Fall Case in PA.
In a Philadelphia slip and fall accident lawsuit, the injured individual (the plaintiff) can recover for the following damages:
- past and future medical expenses,
- past and future lost wages,
- out of pocket expenses, and
- pain and suffering.
Medical expenses, lost wages and out of pocket expenses can be proven easily. Medical bills and/or explanation of benefits statements from your health insurance company are often used as evidence to calculate your medical expenses. As for lost wages, W2s and paystubs can help establish lost wages. For example, if you missed 2 weeks of work due to your back injury, your prior pay stubs can help calculate your weekly wages. If you incur any out of pocket expenses, such as hiring a landscaping company to cut your grass, the invoice from the landscaping company can be used to prove out of pocket expenses.
The pain and suffering damage claim, on the other hand, is not easily calculated. The amount of pain and suffering a slip and fall accident victim may recover is dependent on how the injury affects the injured individual’s life. For instance, what activities does your back injury prevent you from doing? Perhaps before your fall, you were a very active individual who spent your weekends hiking outdoors, running, etc. However, after your accident, your back injury prevented you from doing these activities. Your back injury may also affect your ability to perform your job. Therefore, pain and suffering is best determined from specific facts. As Philadelphia slip and fall accident lawyers, we know how to best help you recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
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