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What you need to know about personal injury cases

The following information was discussed by Attorney Whitney Hughes on the June 5, 2007 edition of Legal Briefs on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live Show.

What is a Personal Injury Case?

A person may have a personal injury claim if he/she suffers physical or emotional harm based on the actions or negligence of another person.

What is the difference between a personal injury claim and a products liability claim?

In a products liability claim, an individual has been injured because of a product, rather than the actions or negligence of a person. Keep in mind that the product must have been used as it was intended by the manufacturer.

Are there different types of products liability and personal injury cases?

Yes. A personal injury case can be something as minor as a simple slip and fall or a dog bite, or as complex as a motor vehicle accident or a wrongful death claim.

Products Liability cases fall into 3 categories:

  1. Manufacturing Defect ­ An unintentional flaw occurred while the product in question was being made
  2. Design Defect ­ The product was specifically designed in a particular way that included a defect
  3. Inadequate Instructions ­ The product's instructions failed to warn consumers of possible dangers and defects

Why are some attorneys reluctant to handle a slip and fall case when it seems so simple?

These are premises liability cases in which the person is liable for your injuries because he/she is responsible for the premises on which the injury occurred.

They can be difficult because you must prove:

Also keep in mind that Pennsylvania follows a concept called comparative negligence which essentially states that the amount you stand to recover may be reduced by the amount that you were at fault in the accident.

I've been injured - now what?

Keep in mind these helpful tips: