Our Answers To Common Questions About Personal Injury
At AlpernSchubert, P.C., we have helped injury victims seek justice and fight for fair compensation since our founding in 2006. We know that the situation after an accident is stressful and uncertain and that you or a loved one may have many questions and concerns.
Below, we share some of the most common questions we have answered for our clients over the years. We hope these can serve as an initial reference for you after an accident.
Can a victim hire a lawyer at any time?
Accident victims often believe they have no chance of winning or do not want to go through the trouble of hiring a lawyer. Some victims do not understand their options or how the claims process works. These accident victims might be defrauded by their insurance companies and not realize it. When an accident occurs, the victim should contact a car accident lawyer immediately. The lawyer can review the case to determine its validity and continue to collect evidence if they believe they have a strong case.
Some car accident victims might have hired the wrong lawyer or tried to represent themselves. Even if the victim is in the midst of settlement negotiations or litigation, they can contact a lawyer for assistance. If the victim’s current lawyer is not making progress in the case, the victim can replace them immediately. Victims should hire a lawyer who has several years of experience in the industry and understands how car accidents should be investigated and litigated.
What forms of compensation can victims receive?
When accident victims or their families file suit to recover compensation, they may opt for a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits are used to recover lost income, lost earning potential, medical expenses, estate administration costs, burial expenses, the family’s pain and suffering, as well as possible punitive damages. It is important to note that the executor of the deceased’s estate or an immediate family member, such as a parent, spouse or child, must file this lawsuit. Any damages awarded are divided according to state intestacy laws while giving priority to the spouse and children, closely followed by the parents.
Personal injury lawsuits use the same evidence that would be collected for a wrongful death suit. Medical bills are calculated by a doctor, and the doctor can submit a statement explaining how much the patient’s recovery will cost. Lost income can be calculated, and paystubs will note how much the victim could have earned had they not been hurt. In general, punitive damages should not be more than 10 times what was awarded in the lawsuit.
A car accident lawyer will do the math to ensure that their client receives the exact compensation they deserve. When that final number is tallied, it can be used in settlement negotiations or in court to provide the client with a judgment that helps them move past the accident. These civil actions may also be combined with recommended criminal charges imposed by local authorities against the at-fault driver or entity.
What is a bad faith insurance lawsuit?
When insurance companies agree to cover their customers, they plan to pay as little as possible. Insurance companies pay their lawyers a lot of money to ensure that policyholders and accident victims are not covered properly. As the insurance company is fighting against accident victims, a car accident lawyer will work to see that all claims are paid appropriately. When the insurance company has gone out of its way to deny coverage, it could be subjected to a bad faith insurance lawsuit. A bad faith insurance lawsuit claims that the carrier has done the following:
- Denied valid claims
- Laid the burden of proof on the victim
- Delayed payment
- Defrauded victims who believed they were covered
Victims need to consult with a lawyer immediately when it is clear the insurance company is acting in bad faith. Bad faith efforts by the insurance company to save money could result in further injuries or even death.
A personal injury lawyer has the experience and negotiation skills to protect your rights. At AlpernSchubert, P.C., we are fully dedicated to assisting the legal needs of personal injury victims across western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, Lawrence County and Washington County.
Contact Us To Discuss Your Concerns
Let our seasoned lawyers help you. We will listen to your concerns and give an honest evaluation of your situation. Call 412-506-9561 or fill out our online form today to schedule a free initial consultation.