Personal Injury: Frequently Asked Questions
- How is my lawyer paid? What if I cannot afford a lawyer?
- How long do I have to bring a case?
- What if I am unhappy with my lawyer? Can I change? What will it cost?
- I spoke with a lawyer who did not think I had a case. Should I get a second opinion?
- I was injured but I feel partly at fault. Can I still sue?
- It does not appear that my injuries are serious enough for a lawsuit. Should I speak with a lawyer anyway?
- Can a lawyer tell me what my case is worth?
- An adjuster from an insurance company wants to settle with me and says I do not need a lawyer. What should I do?
- How long will it be before my case is settled?
- Are all on-the-job injuries covered by worker’s compensation?
- What should I do after an automobile accident?
How is my lawyer paid? What if I cannot afford a lawyer?
In a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will be paid a percentage of your recovery. This fee is paid only after your case settles, or after a judgment is paid. In most cases, all related costs of pursuing your claim will be advanced by the Law Firm of Larry Pitt and Associates and will be only paid upon your recovery. Under this system, EVERYBODY CAN AFFORD TO RECEIVE COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES.
How long do I have to bring a case?
The Statute of Limitations for bringing a personal injury lawsuit varies from State to State. In Pennsylvania, the general rule is that you must bring your lawsuit within two (2) years of the date of your injury. However, you should not wait to consult an attorney. There are many pitfalls in pursuing a claim which can only be avoided with sound legal advice. The best way to protect your legal rights is to contact an attorney as soon as possible following an injury to yourself or loved ones.
What if I am unhappy with my lawyer? Can I change? What will it cost?
In Pennsylvania, you have the right to change attorneys if you become unhappy with your representation. Depending on the nature and status of your claim your old attorney is entitled to recover a fee for the actual time he spent working on your file. Most often this can be negotiated between your old attorney and your new attorney and might not cost you anything until your case settles.
I spoke with a lawyer who did not think I had a case. Should I get a second opinion?
Absolutely! Different attorneys with different experiences are very likely to view a case differently. If an attorney declines to represent you, you should seek another opinion immediately.
I was injured but I feel partly at fault. Can I still sue?
In Pennsylvania, the law allows a recovery even where an accident was partly your fault. You should make an appointment to review the facts of your case with an attorney.
It does not appear that my injuries are serious enough for a lawsuit. Should I speak with a lawyer anyway?
You should consult an attorney and a doctor. Some injuries are not apparent until days, or even weeks following an accident.
Can a lawyer tell me what my case is worth?
Yes, but not at the initial consultation. It may take many months for your attorney to gather all of your medical evidence to determine the nature and extent of your injuries. You should beware of any attorney who promises a quick settlement, particularly if you are still treating with your doctor for your injuries.
An adjuster from an insurance company wants to settle with me and says I do not need a lawyer. What should I do?
You should always remember that an adjuster is employed by the insurance company! Part of the adjuster’s job is to keep settlements small. On the other hand, your attorney is working for YOU. Part of your attorney’s job is to maximize your recovery.
How long will it be before my case is settled?
This varies on a case by case basis. Your case should not be settled until the full extent of your injuries are known. Ordinarily, this means that your treatment needs to be complete.
Are all on-the-job injuries covered by worker’s compensation?
As a general rule, yes. However, you may still pursue a lawsuit against a negligent party other than your employer. Because the Law Offices of Larry Pitt and Associates handles both Worker’s Compensation and Personal Injury, our attorneys can fight to maximize your recovery in both areas.
What should I do after an automobile accident?
Pennsylvania requires that you remain at the scene and render assistance. It is important that the police are immediately notified so that a report can be prepared. DO NOT ARGUE OR FIGHT with the other driver and NEVER apologize for the accident. If there are witnesses, you should attempt to get their full names, addresses and telephone numbers. If you have been injured, you should seek medical attention immediately. You should not assume that you are just “shook up” and will be O.K. Many injuries get progressively worse in the days and weeks following the collision. The sooner you begin to receive appropriate medical care, the more quickly you can recover from your injuries.