GOT QUESTIONS? WE’VE GOT ANSWERS!
We know you’ve got questions and hopefully, you’ll find most of the answers below. If there are still some questions you may have, please don’t hesitate to call us or submit your additional questions below.
WHY SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNEY?
At our Firm, we aim to be “Personal. Injury Attorneys” rather than just “Personal Injury Attorneys” – if you are ever injured and need legal help, the distinction will become clear.
The right attorney has the personal skill and experience to truly understand the client and his/her case and deals with the client one-on one. Every client is unique and needs an individual game plan created by the attorney to achieve the best result. We aim to make the client feels comfortable so they can concentrate solely on getting well to carry on with their day to day job and responsibilities. When you hire us, your problem is now our problem and we are in it together.
In today’s world a great deal of information is just a few clicks away on the Internet. As a result, people are tempted to read a few articles on-line and adopt a “do-it-yourself” approach to their case. The “do-it-yourself” approach, at least with respect to legal matters, is a bad idea.
If you needed surgery, would you operate on yourself? No. you would go to a medical professional with the education, training, experience, and skill necessary to handle the task. Why, then, would you try to “do-it-yourself” when it comes to handling your case? Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is your best bet. Going at it along just can’t replicate the results that our three years of law school, countless prior injury cases and the many, many hours of courtroom experience can.
When hiring us you will have an opportunity to meet with a licensed attorney so you can ask the questions that are important to you and gather the information you need before making an educated decision about how to proceed with your case.
Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney means you will have a strong advocate in your corner. Someone who has been “in the trenches” for many years and has the education, training, experience, and skill necessary to handle your case. Working with a professional also ensures that you will not fall victim to the many tricks and pitfalls associated with the handling of personal injury claims, such as notice requirement s to state agencies, Statute of Limitations deadlines, duty to protect medical liens, sources of insurance coverage, determining tort status and exception, to name a few.
There is no upfront cost for our time. If we win or settle your case, the firm is paid an agreed upon percentage of your “winnings” at the end.
Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney means you can focus on what is most important to you – getting better. With a professional handling your case, you will have more time to focus on your recovery, your family, your work, and all of the things that you hold dear. You will have more time to go to doctor visits, have tests and medical procedures performed, participate in therapy, rest, and do whatever else is necessary to get better.
Having the benefit of a strong team means you can maintain your focus on getting better.
CAN’T I JUST SETTLE MY CASE ON MY OWN?
You have to ask yourself if you have sufficient knowledge to go toe to toe with the insurance company or defense attorney. Do you think what they tell you is accurate or in your best interest? No way, they have completely opposing interest to you. They don’t want to protect you – they want to protect their insured/client and pay you as little money as possible to settle the claim. They don’t care if you need medical treatment. In fact, they want you to settle as quickly and cheaply as possible, even if you still need treatment, haven’t fully recovered, and still may miss work. A good, experienced attorney on your side will know how to evaluate your cases value and maximize your claim.
A basic example – Say the insurance company offers to settle your case before a lawsuit for $500.00 (a very standard offer made to unrepresented parties to induce a quick settlement). If you hire an attorney that can settle your case for $750.00, after paying the attorney you still net the same take home dollars and you didn’t have to deal with the negotiation or personal hassle. So if an attorney can maximize your case value by 50%, then hiring the attorney paid for itself. If our firm can maximize your case by more than 50%, then not only did we save you the time and hassle, but we put more net dollars in your pocket.
Since most people have never negotiated a personal injury claim on their own behalf, how would they even know what their case was worth and if the $500.00 offer in the example above was fair or an insult? They wouldn’t, which is why you should contact our firm for a free consultation.
SHOULD I GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM, FAMILY DOCTOR, ETC. RIGHT AWAY?
The most important thing is your health. If you’re in a car crash, you’ve likely been hit by a several thousand pound piece of machinery and pushed suddenly. Or, possibly you’ve had a serious fall and may have broken or torn something. Whatever happened, if you have pain you should get it checked out to be safe. You don’t want to make things worse. Many times immediate treatment can reduce recovery time or otherwise treat a problem before it becomes irreversible.
Secondary to regaining your health, when you’re injured seeking immediate treatment is also important to your case. The insurance company or defense attorney will argue if you didn’t go to see a doctor right away then you must not have been that hurt. They’ll assume lack of treatment means lack of injury. Going to a good doctor is not only the best course of action for your health, but also creates a record that can be used to prove your damages. Records are very helpful, if not absolutely necessary, when making a claim.
WHAT IF I’M HURT BUT NO ONE IS AT FAULT?
Mistakes happen, but from a legal perspective someone is always at fault. We all have a duty to act reasonably and take precaution to avoid causing injury. When another person fails in upholding that duty, no matter slight a failure, they are at fault to some degree for causing your injury.
Other times, there is clearly a faulty party, but they can’t be identified, such as a hit and run. Auto insurance carriers typically offer what is called uninsured motorist / underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage which may apply to a situation like this. Customers are required to accept or waive UM/UIM coverage in writing when they purchase their auto insurance coverage. As long as the coverage has not been waived, there may be insurance coverage available when the identity of the at-fault party is unknown.
HOW FAST MUST I FILE A LAWSUIT?
Generally speaking, in Pennsylvania an injury lawsuit must be filed within two (2) years from the date of the incident that gave rise to the injury (i.e. date of assault, date of the car crash, date of the slip/fall). See 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5524.
The most routine exception to the 2 year period pertains to kids/Minors. If a person is an unemancipated Minor on the date of injury, they have until their 20th Birthday to file an injury lawsuit. See 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5533.
Because of potential procedural pitfalls, when possible, attorneys do not prefer to wait until the last minute to file a lawsuit. The proper facts and parties must be explored in advance. Inaccuracy in this regard could be fatal to your case. Don’t delay – contact our office promptly. It won’t cost you anything but a few minutes of your time.