An Experienced Attorney for Bucks County Personal Injury Cases
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics reports that the number of physician office visits for unintentional injuries is 39.5 million and the number of emergency department visits for unintentional injuries is 24.5 million. Of those injured, 173,040 injuries will be fatal. Unintentional injury is the third most common cause of death in the United States. Falls, poisoning, and motor vehicle crashes are among the leading causes of accidental death in the United States. Preventable accidents can lead to severe injury or even death, entitling victims to monetary and other damages. Relative to other accidents and personal injuries, motor vehicle crashes lead to some of the most severe injuries. Personal injury cases are some of the more common litigation claims that could reach the trial stage when pre-trial settlement negotiations do not reach an adequate resolution.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that traffic fatalities in the first nine months of 2020 increased by 4.6% compared to the first nine months of 2019. Despite the pandemic, the motor vehicle-related death rate and injuries have increased.
In 2019, there were a total of 990 fatal motor vehicle crashes in Pennsylvania involving 1,059 fatalities. This works out to approximately 8.3 deaths per 100,000 people. Motor vehicle accidents often lead to significant injuries and significant injuries almost always lead to substantial medical expenses. When someone has caused you injury due to negligent operation of a motor vehicle, it is important to consult with an auto accident attorney in Bucks county to recover compensation for your injuries and expenses.
An attorney can help victims recover compensation from the party at fault. You can use this compensation to ensure your financial security while dealing with medical expenses, lost wages, and more. You must follow the recommended codes of conduct to make a claim.
A civil lawsuit is a complaint originating between private parties, as opposed to a government entity, to rectify a purported wrong by the party bringing the complaint. A plaintiff is the party filing the complaint and a defendant is the party defending against the complaint. There are a variety of civil actions that parties can bring. A personal injury claim is one type of unlawful act or an infringement of a right that leads to civil liability for the wrongful actor. Some other examples include:
- Accidents – A negligent or reckless act that causes harm to another person and/or their property. For example, car accidents, slip and fall cases, medical negligence, etc.
- Deliberate acts – These are situations when someone causes intentional harm to another person. For example, assault and battery.
- Defective products – This type of civil action is characterised by a product that is unable to be used for the purpose for which it was designed and manufactured, and the defect causes economic or physical harm to the victim.
- Defamation – This occurs when false or misleading statements by another causes pecuniary harm to another person’s reputation.
What To Do After an Injury
Regardless of the severity of injury, there are a few basic guidelines to keep in mind if you have been involved in an accident caused by another:
- Seek medical attention – The first thing you should do immediately after an injury is to seek medical attention. Motor vehicle and other accidents often lead to severe injuries such as back or neck injury. Therefore, it is critical to your health and well-being to seek treatment by a licensed medical professional. Many injuries are not readily visible, but it is necessary to get them diagnosed. Seeking medical attention will also establish a record of the injury that can be used to prove damages in a later legal action.
- File a police report – Whether you have sustained minor or major injuries, you should cooperate with the police if they are involved. Depending on the circumstances, in some motor vehicle accidents you may be required to file a report with police. Provide only factual information, avoiding opinion or admissions of fault. Remember, whatever you report to the police will become a crucial part of the legal record.
- Start gathering evidence – Without proper evidence, it will be difficult to establish entitlement to compensation. Therefore, it is advisable to start gathering evidence immediately at the scene of the accident. Speak to any eye witnesses who may be willing to corroborate important details. Record names and contact information whenever possible. Some injuries, like Spinal Cord Injury, may not be detectable until several days or months after the accident. Gathering evidence will help you to establish a claim of personal injury, even if some time has elapsed and will make your case stronger.
- Do not make any statements of admission – In injury cases, you must avoid communicating with the party at fault. When you admit fault or wrongdoing, you could wind up reducing or barring recovery of any potential compensation that you may be awarded. Therefore, it is suggested that you avoid communicating with the opposing party.
- Statutes of Limitation – Every state has different laws and statutes of limitations governing personal injury insurance claims and lawsuits. For example, Bucks County Pennsylvania has a two-year statute of limitations and is a “no-fault” state. “No-fault” insurance means that losses caused by an accident will be indemnified by the insured’s own insurance company as opposed to the opposing party’s, regardless of who was at fault.
An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
An experienced attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance companies. No two personal injury cases are the same, but there are general rules and procedures that all civil suits must follow. Here is a look at the general process followed by legal professionals.
- Investigating the Claims
Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means they only charge after a successful settlement or court decision is reached. Therefore, attorneys take special care to investigate potential claims very carefully to determine whether there are solid legal grounds to seek compensation. They will analyze every aspect of the case. A Bucks County personal injury lawyer will provide an honest assessment of your case and will not waste your time pursuing the claim if the law does not support it.
- Collecting Data
The attorney will gather evidence in support of the claim being made. As stated, the police or incident report will be an important piece of evidence. They will collect photos of property damage, camera footage, and witness statements. Other important forms of evidence are:
- Medical reports
- Other accident related expenses
- Employment documents
- Property damage assessments
- Insurance policies
Handling insurance companies can be an intimidating task for a victim. Attorneys understand the policy language, terms, and conditions. The attorney will represent you in all communications with the insurance company. This has the added benefit of preventing the victim from saying anything that may jeopardize their claim.
- Sending Demand Letters
Your lawyer may send a demand letter to the insurance company or the opposing party, as appropriate. It will state the facts of the victim’s accident and the amount of damages required to compensate the victim for their injury and other losses.
- Preparing Pleadings
A legal professional will prepare a complaint if the insurance company rejects the claim. The complaint sets forth the legal arguments for why the defendant is responsible for the accident. The complaint will also state the amount of damages that their client is seeking. The defendant will typically be provided 30 days to respond with an answer to the complaint.
- Representing You at Trials
Most personal injury cases do not result in a trial. This is because they are typically settled even before the lawsuit is filed. They will only proceed to trial if the insurance company rejects the claim and a settlement cannot be negotiated. An accident attorney in Bucks County who clients trust has years of experience to competently represent you in court.
It is helpful to conduct thorough research before hiring a lawyer. You should ask for a detailed fee structure from the attorney. You should also be familiar with the attorney’s terms and conditions. If an attorney is not following correct court procedure, you have a right to hire another professional who is better equipped to handle your case.
The Law Offices of Samuel Fishman has experienced legal professionals on the team ready to assist you with your personal injury claim. We have years of experience helping many people obtain compensation for their losses due to personal injuries. Feel free to consult our legal team to find out all possible legal options for your situation.