The Pittsburgh Office
Personal Injury Lawyers in Pittsburgh603 Stanwix St., Suite 1825
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
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Falling victim to a personal injury incident can create a wide variety of problems, some of which can produce long-term negative consequences. Some of the injuries sustained require months of treatment and rehabilitation sessions, which can run medical bills into thousands of dollars. With money flying out of your bank account to cover health insurance deductibles and copayments, the seriousness of your injuries also has forced you out of work. Now you are a victim of a classic Catch-22 scenario.
You may be financially obligated to pay off thousands in medical bills, while at the same time your source of income has dried up.
How do you address the financial implications of sustaining one or more injuries as the result of a personal injury incident, such as a car accident or defective product? Do you have to take out a short-term emergency loan to make ends meet? For the worst-case scenario, should you take the draconian step of filing for bankruptcy to prevent creditors from garnishing your bank account? The answer is none of the above. Instead, you should search for an experienced personal injury lawyer who specializes in handling your type of case.
Working with a personal injury lawyer in Pittsburgh delivers several benefits. First, you gain the legal expertise of an experienced attorney who provides helpful legal advice, such as deciding whether to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Second, a personal injury lawyer conducts an exhaustive investigation into what caused you to sustain one or more injuries as the result of a personal injury incident. Third, partnering with an accomplished attorney helps you file the most persuasive insurance claim. Finally, a personal injury lawyer ensures you meet every deadline that is associated with your case.
At Morgan and Morgan, our law firm has represented clients that required legal support for personal injury cases since 1988. Our more than 30 years of experience helping clients recover financial losses makes us one of the most successful law firms in the United States. We have recovered more than $15 billion in monetary damages for our clients by winning legal judgments and negotiating settlements. Our experience litigating personal injury cases is unsurpassed among law firms operating in America.
Do not allow the heavy burden of debt to prevent you from taking the first step toward returning to financial solvency. Schedule a free case evaluation today with a personal injury lawyer at Morgan and Morgan.
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What Are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Incidents?
When you meet with a personal injury lawyer from Morgan and Morgan, one of the first items on the to-do list involves your attorney reviewing the formal incident report to determine the cause of the personal injury incident. Our more than 30 years of experience litigating personal injury cases has allowed us to discover the three most common types of incidents that cause victims to sustain one or more injuries.
Motor vehicle collisions represent the number one cause of personal injury cases. Several different factors can lead to two or more cars getting involved in an auto crash. One of the most common causes of car accidents concerns reckless driving, which includes speeding, failing to yield, and running stop signs and red lights. Another reason for the high number of car accidents is the use of an electronic communication device while operating a motor vehicle. Despite state and local laws that prohibit texting and driving, far too many drivers continue to risk injury by sending text messages.
The rapidly growing aging population means elder abuse cases have increased at the same rate as well. Detecting elder abuse can be difficult to do because in many cases, the signs of abuse are not readily apparent. However, if you notice a loved one has sustained some level of bruising or displays remnants of cuts and lacerations, one or more employees working at an assisted living facility might be hurting your loved one. Because of the acute shortage of workers, many assisted living facilities cut corners when it comes to screening employees, which means unqualified candidates get hired to take care of the most vulnerable people in our population.
When you receive medical care from a properly credentialed healthcare provider, you expect the healthcare provider to follow the duty of care doctrine. The duty of care doctrine requires healthcare providers to take the steps necessary to protect the health of patients. Unfortunately, some healthcare providers violate the duty of care doctrine by delivering inferior medical care that often places patients in grave physical danger. The most common causes of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and the prescription of the wrong medication. By partnering with an experienced personal injury lawyer from Morgan and Morgan, you can build a compelling enough case to receive compensation for sustaining the injuries caused by one or more acts of medical malpractice.
What Should I Do After a Personal Injury Incident?
Although different types of personal injury incidents require different nuanced responses, a vast majority of cases follow a series of five steps that help victims receive the compensation that they deserve.
Get Treated for Your Injuries
Whether you sustained a fractured wrist caused by a slip and fall or you need to receive treatment for lacerations after a car accident, seeking medical attention after a personal injury incident should be the first step you take on the road toward recovering financial losses. For one or more severe injuries, a team of EMS workers transports you to the nearest hospital for emergency medical care. For less serious injuries, you still must get medical care to create a paper trail that verifies the value of your financial losses. One of the most important reasons to get treated right after a personal injury incident is to determine whether you sustained an injury that develops delayed symptoms, such as a concussion or whiplash.
Report the Incident
One of the most influential documents received by your personal injury lawyer is the incident report describing the extent of your injuries, as well as what transpired before, during, and after the personal injury incident. For a car accident, the formal incident report comes from the law enforcement agency that responded to the call for help. If you sustained one or more injuries as the result of a personal injury incident on a public-accessed property such as a business, the owner or manager on duty is responsible for completing an incident report that is sent to your personal injury lawyer. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney ensures you receive an incident report in a timely manner.
Attend a Free Case Evaluation With a Personal Injury Lawyer
Many lists that describe what to do after a personal injury incident place meeting with an attorney at the bottom of the to-do list. However, before you contact the appropriate insurance company and organize the documents required to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages, you should first meet with an attorney to determine the best course of action. Although you can file an insurance claim without the legal support of an experienced personal injury lawyer, many insurance companies might take advantage of your lack of legal support by denying a valid claim or undervaluing an approved claim.
Gather and Organize Physical Evidence
One of the most important benefits of hiring a highly-rated personal injury lawyer at Morgan and Morgan involves collecting influential physical evidence to build a strong enough case to win the approval of an insurance claim, as well as a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. After a personal injury incident, you should gather physical evidence by taking photos of the accident scene. If you have to seek immediate medical care, asking someone you trust to take photos of the incident scene can help your personal injury lawyer determine whether another party should assume legal liability for causing your injuries. Your attorney also should request any video footage captured by a traffic or security camera system.
File and Insurance Claim
Working with a law firm that has compiled an impressive record of success for more than three decades comes in handy when the time arrives to file an insurance claim. Your personal injury lawyer from Morgan and Morgan ensures you fully complete an insurance claim with accurate information. Just one mistake in the contact section of your insurance claim can lead to a quick denial of compensation. Waiting to file an insurance claim until after you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer also ensures the insurance company follows every deadline mandated by Pennsylvania law.
Does Pennsylvania Impose a Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
One of the most important types of legal support provided by a personal injury lawyer regards the deadline for filing a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Like every other state, Pennsylvania has established a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Most states have set a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit between two and four years. However, you should note that some states allow as long as six years and as few as one year for plaintiffs to take legal action involving a personal injury incident. Pennsylvania grants plaintiffs two years to file a personal injury lawsuit, with the clock starting to tick on the day of the personal injury incident. However, the one exception to the rule is for cases when the plaintiff sustained one or more injuries that developed delayed symptoms.
Two years seems like plenty of time to put together a strong case, but you should act with a sense of urgency and take legal action as quickly as possible after a personal injury incident. Your personal injury lawyer needs to speak with witnesses as close to the date of the accident as possible to obtain the most accurate versions of events. Witness accounts tend to lose credibility the longer they are provided after a personal injury incident. Another reason to act with a sense of urgency is for you to receive compensation to take care of your financial obligations. Creditors do not wait for you to receive compensation before sending out bills. Taking prompt legal action helps you receive compensation faster than if you wait to file a civil lawsuit close to the state-imposed deadline.
If you fail to meet the two-year deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit as established by Pennsylvania law, you can expect the court clerk processing your case to remove it from the judicial docket.
What Are the Three Types of Monetary Damages?
Judges hearing personal injury cases typically award three types of compensation to plaintiffs.
Also called special compensatory damages, economic damages consist of tangible financial losses that are associated with a personal injury incident. By far the costliest type of economic damages are the medical bills generated by diagnostic tests, treatment programs, and physical therapy sessions. You also have the right to recover the costs of prescription medications and the use of an assistive device such as a wheelchair. Lost wages and property damages also represent types of economic damages.
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages do not generate price tags. Instead, non-economic damages cover pain and suffering, such as the mental and emotional distress that is often triggered after a serious accident. Your personal injury lawyer calculates a value for non-economic damages by using a formula that factors in the value of economic damages.
A judge awards punitive damages not to help a plaintiff recover financial losses, but to punish the defendant for committing one or more acts of negligence. The awarding of punitive damages also deters the defendant from committing one or more acts of negligence in the future. For cases of gross negligence, the value of punitive damages can exceed the combined value of economic and non-economic damages.
Contact Morgan and Morgan
If you’re in need of a personal injury lawyer in Pittsburgh, don’t hesitate to reach out to Morgan and Morgan today. We can review your case for free and help you to determine what your next best steps could be.
Learn more about how a personal injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation that you deserve by scheduling a free case evaluation with Morgan and Morgan today.