A Personal Injury Lawyer for Philadelphia and All of Pennsylvania
In all likelihood, by the time you finish reading this paragraph, somebody in the United States will have been seriously injured in a car accident. In many accidents, the person injured wasn’t even the person who caused the accident. Although these people have valid personal injury claims, the majority of them will settle their claim for significantly less than it is worth, all because they are inadequately represented.
I won’t stand by and let this happen to one of my clients. In fact, you could say that I am “two-faced.” I endeavor to treat my clients in an attentive and caring fashion, but to protect my client’s interests, I sometimes have to show a tougher, more aggressive side to stingy insurance companies who are trying to take advantage of my clients. After 22 years of practice, I know just how to handle them.
Don’t Settle for a “Buffet Lawyer”
The legal practice of many lawyers looks something like an all-you-can-eat buffet. They serve a little bit of everything – personal injury law, wills and trusts, and maybe a criminal defense case here and there. That might be the best way to prosper in the short run, but it is certainly not the best way to become the best at what you do. I practice personal injury law, and only personal injury law, 100 percent of the time.
Although most of my clients receive settlements without ever having to walk into a courtroom, the irony of personal injury law is that to maximize your chances of settlement, you have to establish a strong track record of success in court. Insurance adjustors laugh at lawyers who seek settlement but cannot enforce their clients’ claims in court. Insurance companies know me, and they are not laughing.
My Clients Speak Out
Jeffrey’s work is without question superior, and his attention to detail is spectacular. I would absolutely recommend him. – Thaddeus
I was hit from behind. The Ins. Company was giving me a hard time. I called Jeffrey and he figured the problem out in an hour. The police officer gave me the wrong numbers for the police report. Awesome job!!!! – Jamie
My Other Areas of Practice
I handle the following types of personal injury cases, among others:
Bus Accidents: Bus accident claims, whether against SEPTA or another party, are often unique. Special restrictions apply to claims against a government entity, and it is also more difficult to seek compensation when you have to stand in line behind other victims for a limited amount of compensation. I can help you successfully navigate this legal maze.
Bicycle Accidents: Two dangers beset a bicyclist – low visibility and non-existent frame protection. Although these dangers can be partially offset by bright clothing and a bicycle helmet, bicycle accidents are more likely to result in serious injury than just about any other type of traffic accident, with the possible exception of motorcycle accidents.
Truck Accidents: The sheer destructive power of a moving truck is one of the reasons why truck drivers are so heavily regulated. Truck accidents tend to be serious, and compensation claims tend to focus on driver regulatory violations. In some cases, it is possible to sue the trucking company that hired the at-fault driver, while in other cases you must rely on the truck driver’s insurance coverage.
Medical Malpractice: Medical malpractice is so common that many people would be reluctant to seek medical treatment if they realized the full extent of the problem. Much of it goes undetected, because patients are often ill-equipped to distinguish between malpractice and unavoidable medical risks. Fortunately, most health care providers are fully insured.
SEPTA Accidents: Although SEPTA offers a fairly safe way to travel, accidents do occur from time to time. Some of these accidents are caused by SEPTA or its drivers, while others are caused by a third party such as another motorist. Either way you are entitled to compensation, and in some cases you can claim against SEPTA even when a third party is at fault.
Slip and Fall Accidents: Slip and fall accidents can result in serious injuries – broken hips, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even death. The owner or renter of a public establishment or even a private home is legally responsible for making sure the premises are safe for guests, and failure to do so results in compensation liability.
Dog Bites: Although Pennsylvania dog bite law is a bit complex, suffice it to say that it is possible to be compensated for a dog bite even if the owner had no reason to believe that the dog was capable of aggressive behavior. The typical dog bite claim is worth tens of thousands of dollars and is covered by insurance.
Wrongful Death: Any personal injury claim can become a wrongful death claim if the victim dies of the injury. A wrongful death claim works much like a personal injury claim in terms of determining liability. The differences lie in who files the lawsuit, what compensation is available, and who receives the compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What happens if the accident was partly my fault?
Under Pennsylvania comparative negligence law, you can recover a portion of your damages even if you were partly to blame, as long as you were not more than 50 percent at fault. Your damages will be reduced in proportion to your fault.
What kinds of mechanical malfunctions can cause a car accident?
The most mechanical defects that commonly cause car accidents are:
- Suspension defects
- Powertrain problems
- Steering defects
- Malfunctioning brakes
- Bad tires
As long as the defect was not your fault (due to faulty maintenance, for example), you might have a product liability claim against the manufacturer or the retailer.
Will my personal injury verdict or settlement be taxed?
Personal injury damages are not taxed by the IRS. Judgment interest and punitive damages (if any) are taxable, however. It is important to have the court or the settlement agreement specify which amounts are for which purpose, so that you will not end up paying too much in taxes.
What special considerations apply when I sue a division of the state government?
Certain restrictions apply. You cannot sue the government over a political decision, for example, such as the decision not to install guardrails on a certain section of road. You generally have only a few weeks or months to file a complaint directly with the government bureau involved, and you must exhaust your administrative remedies before you can file a lawsuit.
How can I collect compensation if the at-fault driver was uninsured or if the value of my claim exceeds the insurance coverage?
Pennsylvania requires all drivers to carry minimum auto insurance, which typically includes uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of $15,000 per victim and $30,000 per accident. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is included unless you reject it in writing. You can also seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s personal assets.
If a truck hit me, can I sue the trucking company?
Perhaps. If the truck driver was an employee of the trucking company, it is likely liable for your injuries even if it was not itself negligent. Even if the driver was an independent contractor rather than an employee, you might be able to establish negligence on the part of the trucking company – negligent hiring, for example, or cargo overloading.
Should I resort to mediation to resolve my claim?
Many people do. Mediation can serve as a useful substitute to a trial because:
- It is usually quicker than a trial;
- It is more predictable than a jury trial; and
- It is consensual, unlike a courtroom verdict.
A third-party mediator is sometimes able to reach an agreement when the parties negotiating alone have reached an impasse.
How should I seek compensation for a hit and run accident?
You can seek compensation from your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy which, as mentioned above, comes with your mandatory auto insurance unless you rejected it in writing. If you do not have this insurance because you do not own a vehicle, you can try for compensation of up to $15,000 under the Pennsylvania Financial Responsibility Assigned Claims Plan.
Will you keep our communications confidential?
Yes, I will. It is my solemn duty as an attorney to keep all of our conversations strictly confidential, except to the extent that you give me explicit permission to divulge information. This duty is enforced by the professional ethical obligations that apply to all lawyers as well as state law.
It’s the Strength of Your Claim That Matters, Not the Size of Your Bank Account
Many car accident victims come to me with little or no financial resources with which to pay a lawyer. That’s OK. Because I work in a contingency basis, ultimately it is the opposing party (typically an insurance company) who pays my legal fees, not you. Feel free to see me without a dollar in your wallet – I do not charge upfront fees.
Contact Me Today for a Free Case Evaluation
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident that you believe was mostly someone else’s fault, contact me as soon as possible. I am available 24/7, and I can even come to see you in the hospital if necessary. Schedule a free case evaluation with me by calling me at 800-465-8795 (office), 215-771-0430 (cell), or fill out my online contact form with your questions. I am looking forward to hearing the details of your claim and helping you explore your legal options.