Accidents of nearly every kind may result in someone’s personal injury or death. While some accident injuries are minor and easily recovered from, others are catastrophic and require life-long care. Accident lawyers help victims of accidents caused by someone’s negligence or a defective product, and the families of those victims, by holding those responsible for the victim’s injury or death accountable through the institution of negligence, product liability, and wrongful death actions.
If you have been injured or a family member has been killed as a result of an accident and you suspect that your injuries or loved one’s death were caused by someone’s negligence or a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation through legal action. The Killino Firm’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, accident attorneys have extensive experience with all types of accident cases and can help you achieve justice from those who have caused your injuries or loved one’s death. Call The Killino Firm at (215) 569-1299 for a free evaluation of your case and information about your legal options.
Legal Liability for Accident Injuries or Deaths
Accidents leading to personal injury and death occur every day throughout the country. Many are caused by the negligence of one or more individuals or entities, by a defective product, or a combination of both.
Liability for Accident Injuries and Deaths Caused by Defective Products
When an accident that injures or kills a victim is caused by a defect in a product, the victim or the victim’s family may be entitled to recover damages suffered as a result of the injury or death through the institution of a product liability or wrongful death action. In the case of an accident resulting in death, the survivors of the victim may be able to bring an action under most states’ wrongful death laws for the damages they have suffered as a result of their family member’s death. Such an action would be filed against the same defendants as those against whom a product liability action for non-fatal injuries would be brought.
Product liability actions are governed by the law of the state in which they are filed. Though the law may differ in certain respects from one state to another, the product liability laws of most states allow for the bringing of product liability actions against the manufacturer, designer, supplier, assembler, and others in the chain of a defective product’s distribution. Such actions may generally be brought as breach of warranty, negligence, or strict liability claims. When a product liability action is brought to recover damages for someone’s personal injury or death, however, the action is usually brought as a strict liability claim. This form of product liability action provides the plaintiff with the advantage of not having to establish negligence or other fault on the part of any of the defendants. The plaintiff may satisfy the burden of proof in such cases by establishing that it is more likely than not that a defect in the product existed at the time of the victim’s accident, that the defect was a cause of the victim’s accident injuries or death, and that the plaintiff suffered legally compensable damages as a result of the victim’s injury or death.
Liability for Accident Injuries or Deaths Caused by Negligence
Many accident injuries or deaths are caused by the negligence of one or more individuals and/or entities. Under the negligence laws of most states, in order for a plaintiff to recover damages for injuries or deaths sustained through the negligence of another, the plaintiff must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care, that the defendant breached that duty of care, that the breach of the duty of care was a cause of the victim’s injury or death, and that the plaintiff suffered legally compensable damages as a result. The proof required in negligence actions can vary widely in complexity. Some of the most catastrophic injury actions involve the negligence of multiple drivers, for example, as well as the negligence of those whose duty it is to properly maintain roads. Determining causation and liability in such cases may require the assistance of engineering, medical, and other aspects and months of intensive investigation.
Accidents caused by negligence also occur in daycare centers, schools, health clubs, private homes, airplanes, restaurants, and nearly anywhere frequented by human beings. The liability of the owners and/or maintainers and managers of such locations may depend on whether a duty of care was owed to the victim by the defendant under the particular circumstances and applicable law. The laws related to premises liability, for instance, may vary from state to state and may distinguish between trespassers and those who have been invited onto land or into a building in determining an owner’s liability for injuries caused to a victim while he or she was on the owner’s premises.
In many cases involving accidents caused by the negligence of an employee (such as a restaurant or hotel employee), the employee as well as the employee’s employer may be held liable for a victim’s injury or death. The employer may be found indirectly liable for injuries or deaths caused by its employee’s negligence. An employer may also be found directly liable for injuries or deaths caused by the employee’s negligence if, for example, the employer is found to have been negligent in screening, hiring, training, and/or retaining the negligent employee.
If you have sustained an accident injury due to someone’s negligence or a defective product, The Killino Firm’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, accident attorneys can help you obtain the compensation to which you and your family are entitled. Contact us at (215) 569-1299 for expert assistance with your accident case.