Questions Frequently Asked About Personal Injury Cases
If you are injured in an accident, don’t add insult to injury by trusting the insurance company to handle your personal injury claim. You need an experienced attorney on your side to go after the money you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and mental distress. For over 30 years, I have helped thousands of accident victims and their families in personal injury cases, getting the money damages and other compensation they deserve for their claims. I am attorney Alan Natalie, and I offer here some helpful information to guide you as you pursue your personal injury case with help from my law firm, Alan Natalie, Attorney At Law.
What do I do after an accident?
Of course, the first thing to do if you are in an accident is to make sure you take care of any immediate bodily injuries you may have sustained. If you feel you may have been injured in any way, you should call 9-1-1 for emergency medical and police responses. If you cannot call 9-1-1 yourself, ask other drivers or bystanders to do it for you. If you are able, you should also try to photograph or video the scene of the accident, the vehicles involved, license plates of vehicles, and nearby traffic control devices (stop signs, traffic signs, and the like) and street and lane markings. You should try to identify any witnesses, and obtain their names, addresses, and telephone numbers. You should cooperate with any police investigation, but try to avoid making any uninformed statements or rash conclusions with other people involved or bystanders. As soon as possible, seek medical attention from an emergency room, urgent care center, or your family doctor as your condition requires. Sometimes, acute injuries do not fully show up until days or even weeks following an accident. As soon as you verify with a competent medical professional that you sustained a physical injury, call Alan Natalie, Attorney At Law, for a free consultation regarding your case and to learn more about getting the money you deserve.
How long can I take before I have to file a personal injury case?
The time to pursue a personal injury case is dictated by the statute of limitations applicable to your case. In most personal injury cases, Pennsylvania allows a person to pursue their personal injury case until two years have passed since the accident. One clear exception is for minors, or injured persons who have not yet reached the age of 18. For a minor injured in an accident, their parents can pursue compensation for them up until age 18, then the injured person herself can pursue their claim up to age 20, or two years from their eighteen birthday. It is important to meet these and other deadlines, so call Alan Natalie, Attorney At Law, as soon as possible after being injured in an accident to protect your rights to pursue your or your family member’s claim.
Should I talk to any insurance representatives or adjusters about my case?
You should not speak with any insurance representatives or adjusters about your case until you have discussed their involvement in your case with an experienced personal injury attorney. The law and your insurance contract requires you to cooperate with your own insurance company for them to handle your covered claims, however, Alan Natalie, Attorney At Law provides representation, counsel, and advice throughout these communications. Most importantly, you should not speak with any insurance person representing the interests of the party that caused your accident. They are not on your side, and you should not face them on your own. They will try to get you to give a recorded interview where they will try to harm your case by getting you to admit facts favorable to the party that caused your accident. They will also try to get you to sign papers to get your personal information or, worse yet, sign away and release your personal injury claim unfairly or cheaply. When you hire my law firm, I will help you as early as possible after your accident and I will communicate with insurance representatives and protect you from being taken advantage of by an insurance representative or adjuster.
What can I recover in a personal injury case?
The law allows for full and fair compensation for all damages you sustain in an accident. These can include economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are otherwise known as out-of-pocket damages.They include past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages or loss of earning capacity (disability), property damages, and other costs incurred because of your injury and disability, like household help, property maintenance, and other tangible losses. Non-economic damages are more not calculated in the same way as economic damages. They are intangible, but no less important. These include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of the enjoyment of life’s pleasures and activities, as well as scarring or disfigurement. Hiring Alan Natalie, Attorney At Law, with the experience behind my personal injury practice, helps you to identify, prove, and recover these damages in your personal injury claim.
How much is my personal injury case worth?
Every person is different. Every case is different. The value of your case is based primarily on two elements: liability and damages. Liability is the provable fault of the party that caused the accident when you were injured. It can be as straightforward as running a red light or stop sign at an intersection. Liability can, however, be elusive. Having an experienced personal injury attorney can make all the difference in proving the fault, or liability, of the other party. The greater the proof of liability, the greater the likelihood of a full and fair settlement of your case. Damages include all the law allows to compensate you for your personal injury. Damages include medical bills, lost wages, work disability, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other losses. The compensation for damages will depend on the extent of these damages, whether they can be proven with medical evidence, and the jurisdiction or court where your case will have to be pursued. At my law firm, Alan Natalie, Attorney At Law, I will work with your medical professionals and employer to prove your damages to the greatest extent under the law to ensure the fair worth of your personal injury case is pursued.
What if I was partly at fault for the accident?
The fault arising out of an accident is sometimes shared between the parties. It is apportioned or divided among the parties by percentages. In Pennsylvania, if you are injured in an accident, you can still recover damages so long the percentage to your fault does not exceed 50%. Then, the money damages to which you would otherwise be entitled would be reduced by the percentage of fault. This is a complicated area of personal injury law, and you should trust Alan Natalie, Attorney At Law, to protect your rights and seek compensation for your personal injury claim to the fullest extent the law allows, and defend or minimize any allegation of shared fault on your behalf.
How long do personal injury claims take?
In most personal injury cases, the law allows a full two years to pursue compensation and settle your case before you have to file suit. As your attorney, I do not try to settle a client’s case too early before all the effects of the personal injury are understood and accounted for. Once a client has been treated for a personal injury, or reached a predictable level of recovery, whenever that may be, then I seek to settle the personal injury claim for full and fair compensation. If the case has to be filed in court, then the court schedule will typically dictate the pace of the case to conclusion. However, most cases settle even after ending up in court. As an experienced personal injury lawyer, I prepare every case as if the fight will require court action, then when settlement can be reached, it is with all valuable information and preparedness.
Who will pay my medical bills until I settle my personal injury case?
In Pennsylvania, the automobile insurance law requires that all vehicle owners insure themselves and members of their household with at least $5,000 in medical coverage to pay for medical treatment following an accident. Additional coverage is optional. This form of automobile insurance is the primary source of payment for most people. If that coverage does not exist, or is used up, then an injured person would typically submit bills for treatment to their health insurance company. If the accident is not related to an automobile, then access to health insurance is often pursued as a primary source of coverage. If the accident took place during work or was work-related, then the medical bills are typically submitted to workers’ compensation coverage. Once you hire Alan Natalie, Attorney At Law for your personal injury case, I will work with your medical providers and health or workers compensation insurance company to determine what medical bills may be recovered in the claim or if there are other sources of payment.
How can I get paid for lost wages until I get settle my personal injury case?
Pennsylvania law does not require automobile owners to carry insurance for loss of wages or other income. The coverage is optional but, if you have it available to you as a policyholder or relative residing with a policyholder, you may be able to get immediate insurance coverage for lost wages. Otherwise, you may have access to short term or long term disability insurance. In either event, once you hire Alan Natalie, Attorney At Law, for your personal injury case, I will work with your medical providers and employer to prove any loss of wages or income and what sources of payment may be available. Of course, if the claim against the other party would be pursued for past and future lost wages.
What if my accident happened at work?
Typically, when you are hurt on the job, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company will cover your medical bills and approximately two-thirds of your average weekly wages. However, if your injury was due to the fault of a third party, such as an automobile driver in a car crash, or the manufacturer of a defective machine or other product, then you should consult my law firm about pursuing a personal injury claim against the third party at fault. Such a claim can seek recovery for money damages that a workers compensation claim cannot, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of the enjoyment of life’s pleasures, and some scarring or disfigurement claims.
Do I need a lawyer for a personal injury case?
In most cases, having an experienced personal injury attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome in the case. Insurance companies have experienced claims representatives that work to limit your recovery of money damages for your personal injury. Going it alone can result in the insurance company taking unfair advantage of you to settle your personal injury case fast and cheap. Or worse, you may miss important deadlines or evidence requirements that may make you lose your rights and your case altogether. I am attorney Alan Natalie, and I will be on your side to protect your rights, gather helpful evidence, and either negotiate a fair settlement, or pursue your rightful claims in court.
How do I pay for a lawyer in a personal injury case?
When you hire me to represent you in your accident case you pay nothing unless you recover money damages. Then, and only then, will my firm be entitled to a fee based on a percentage of the recovery. The percentage is usually based on the amount of time, work, and effort involved in preparing and prosecuting your personal injury case. With this system, called a contingency fee, your personal injury attorney is motivated to maximize your recovery of money damages since the attorney fee is contingent on a successful outcome and a percentage of the recovery. Email me through this website or call my office at 814-455-7467 to get started.