Legal Toolkit Pennsylvania Injury and Accidents

What to Know About Injury and Accidents

a

Injury or accident cases
These cases can be lengthy and your personal recollection of the details may fade with time. Immediately following the accident or injury, putting the details in writing will preserve things for you and your attorney. As you write your summary, remember that you need to help your attorney understand all the aspects of your accident or injury so they can present the best case for you. You’ll want to remember to include details like day and time, weather conditions, what happened, what was said, who you spoke to, any witnesses at the scene, what parts of your body felt injured at the scene, why you think the accident/injury may have occurred, and how your life, family, and job has been affected by the accident/injury. If you are not able to do this because of your injury, a loved one can write the summary for you. Having pictures of appropriate physical injuries and property damages can also be used to illustrate the severity of the experience, long after your bruises have faded. As your case proceeds, continue to document the day-to-day realities of how you’ve been affected mentally, physically, and financially by the accident or injury.

b

Insurance Settlement:

The facts of most injury and accident cases become clear fairly quickly and insurance companies usually respond to reasonable financial settlement requests or negotiations. Injury and Accident attorneys are skilled at negotiating these settlements and most cases don’t go to trial because they are settled ahead of time. Settlements can be beneficial to the client as they may secure payment for damages more quickly and may pay less in legal fees then they would by the time a case finally got to trial. Settlement may not be beneficial if the injury and accident attorney settles on an inappropriately low financial award with the insurance company, in the interest of expediency alone.

c

Case Selection:

Because they take cases on a contingency basis, injury and accident attorneys may choose not to take cases if the damages suffered by the client don’t outweigh the cost of having the attorney working on the case. They may also decline to take cases that don’t have a good likelihood of being settled or winning in court.

d

Dangerous Products/Product Liability:

Manufacturers have a responsibility to create safe products for consumers and to inform consumers if one of their products is now discontinued because of a previously unknown safety hazard. When a consumer product fails to perform safely and someone has been injured (or is now dead) as a result, a case may be able to be made for product liability. An injury and accident attorney will have experience in this area and can advise consumers about the best course of action related to a dangerous product/product injury.

e

Lawsuit Timing:

If you suspect that you may need to enter into litigation with another party over a legal issue, meeting with an attorney early in the process will help ensure that evidence is preserved and that statutes of limitation and timing deadlines are addressed. An injury and accident attorney can advise you about the particulars of your legal situation and how to proceed in your best interests.