The State of Pennsylvania affords legal protections to individuals who suffer serious or fatal injuries in accidents. If you or a loved one were harmed because of another person or entity’s careless or negligent actions, you have the right to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.
No matter if your injuries stem from a slip and fall accident, defective product or car accident, a personal injury lawyer serving Westmoreland County at the Law Offices of Berger and Green can help you hold the responsible party financially liable for your injury-related expenses and other damages. If you would like us to review your case at no cost or obligation to you, we invite you to call us today at 412-661-1400.
We understand a serious or catastrophic personal injury can lead to dire financial circumstances, especially when you are the primary earner of the family. For this reason, it is imperative you take legal action quickly. Let us protect your rights and ensure you receive a fair and full settlement while you focus on your recovery and rehabilitation.
What do I need to know about the Pennsylvania personal injury process?
In the vast majority personal injury cases, the process begins with the injured party filing an insurance claim. You will need to identify the person responsible for your injuries and find out the insurance company that provides his/her homeowner’s, business or auto liability coverage. Once you file a claim, you will need to provide evidence to show s/he caused your injuries.
Most personal injury cases hinge on the ability to prove the at-fault party was negligent. Demonstrating negligence requires meeting four elements:
- They had a duty of care to prevent you from suffering injuries.
- They failed in upholding this duty. (Negligence)
- This failure caused an accident. (Causation)
- You suffered actual physical, mental or financial injuries. (Damages)
Of course, proving negligence requires substantial evidence. Berger and Green can play a critical role in collecting this evidence and building a strong case. While this evidence varies from case to case, common types of proof include:
- Police or incident reports
- Video of the incident
- Pictures of the scene
- Eyewitness statements
- Your medical records
- Documentation of your injuries
- Expert testimony
In most cases, insurance companies examine the evidence and offer a settlement. We are often able to negotiate a fair settlement for our clients at this stage. If not, however, we will not hesitate to take your case to court to ensure you receive the maximum compensation allowed under the law.
What types of compensation can I recover with a personal injury claim?
With proper documentation of your losses, you can recover a broad range of damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy expenses
- Ongoing care costs
- Current and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Other accident-related expenses
For many, it is tempting to accept the insurance company’s first settlement offer. Accepting such an offer is rarely a good idea, however. Instead, it is in your best interest to have a personal injury attorney on your side who can defend your rights and ensure your settlement offer covers the full extent of your damages. Agreeing to a settlement without a lawyer’s prior review can severely limit your ability to take further legal action, if necessary.
What if the other side’s insurance company claims I am at fault for the accident?
The at-fault party’s insurer or legal team will investigate the accident to determine whether or not your actions led to your injuries. If they can assign some of the blame to you, they can argue to settle for a lesser amount. While this is a common defense tactic, it is allowed under Pennsylvania law.
However, Berger and Green can fight the insurance company’s defense by gathering the evidence necessary to either lessen the amount of your contribution or demonstrate you did not contribute to the accident.
How long do I have to file my personal injury claim?
Under Pennsylvania law, you have two years from the date of your injury to take legal action against a negligent party. Though the statute of limitations is two years, you should not wait until it is close to expiring to meet with a personal injury lawyer. Evidence can disappear, witnesses can forget the details of the event, and months can go by in negotiations. Additionally, there are special situations in which the time to bring forth a claim is shorter such as when your accident involves a municipal, county, state or other governmental agency. Again, the sooner you take action, the better it is for your case.
Should I hire a lawyer to help with my personal injury claim?
Insurance companies are notorious for being difficult to work with and causing delays in the process. They can wrongfully deny claims and employ tactics to reduce payouts. For this reason, it is wise to meet with a qualified personal injury attorney before speaking with the insurance company or filing your claim.
Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
At Berger and Green, we guide clients in Westmoreland County through the insurance claims process, from collecting evidence and obtaining expert testimony to negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance adjuster. If we cannot reach a fair settlement, our firm can prepare your case for trial.
Our injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no upfront fees to get started on your case. Additionally, we do not collect payment for our legal services unless we secure a settlement on your behalf. We represent clients in a wide range of accident cases. Call us at 412-661-1400 today to schedule your free, no-obligation initial consultation.