Personal Injury FAQs

Helping clients understand the issues in their cases

Personal injury law seems fairly straightforward. Someone makes a mistake. You get injured as a result. That person pays you compensation for your injuries. Unfortunately, it is often much more complicated. Our personal injury attorneys at Long & Long, LLC understand how confusing the process can be. That is why we work closely with our clients to ensure they understand their rights and what they can expect during the personal injury litigation process.


A good personal injury law firm understands that keeping its clients informed and educated can go a long way toward decreasing their anxiety and increasing their satisfaction. That is why we offer answers and explanations to questions and misconceptions our frequently have about their claims. Please note that these answers should not be considered a substitute for competent legal advice from an experienced injury attorney.
The law entitles personal injury victims to compensation for economic losses such as out-of-pocket medical expenses and present and future lost wages. An injured person may also recover compensation for noneconomic losses including pain and suffering, loss of life’s pleasures, disfigurement and humiliation. In cases where the responsible party’s conduct was willful or reckless, punitive damages may also be available, although this is rare.
Fortunately, in Pennsylvania an injured party may still recover compensation even if he or she was partially at fault, so long as the injury would not have occurred absent negligent conduct on the part of another. The injured party’s recovery may, however, be proportionally reduced to reflect its percentage share of fault. A jury usually assigns percentage shares of fault should the case go to trial.
There is no easy answer, as it can vary greatly depending on the nature and complexity of the case and the demeanor of the defendant or the defendant’s insurer. Attorneys can often reduce the time required by negotiating out-of-court settlements or using alternative dispute resolution techniques such as arbitration or mediation to avoid the need for a formal trial. An experienced attorney must work with his or her clients to decide if the potential for a larger recovery at trial justifies the delay.
The general rule is that the statute of limitations for a negligence lawsuit is two years in Pennsylvania. This is subject to several exceptions and qualifiers including a shortened limitation period for suits against government entities, more time for minor plaintiffs and special rules when injuries are not immediately apparent. The short answer is that it is best to consult an attorney promptly following an accident.
Pennsylvania law generally prevents an employee from suing his or her employer for a work- related injury, limiting recovery to what is provided by the workers' compensation law. If a third party, such as a property owner or equipment manufacturer, contributed to the injury, however, a personal injury lawsuit may still be possible, allowing an injured worker to recover additional compensation.
Pennsylvania law creates a special companion cause of action for the spouse of an injured person. A loss of consortium suit allows a spouse to recover for things like loss of household services and loss of society. Compensation for loss of consortium is usually only a fraction of what is recovered in the underlying personal injury suit. But it can still be substantial.