If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident and believe it was caused by someone else, you may have a personal injury case. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about personal injury lawsuits and the steps you should follow in determining your next course of action. Click on any question below to get the answers you need.
Why do I need an attorney?
Just as the insurance company has agents, adjusters, and appraisers representing its interests, you too should have a professional team who is on your side. In addition, our staff of attorneys, case managers, and legal secretaries will take the burden off of your shoulders so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Ultimately, we will fight to see that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Can any lawyer handle my case?
Any lawyer in Pennsylvania is allowed to handle your case, however, not all lawyers have the same knowledge and experience in all areas of the law. At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg, our lawyers are experienced personal injury trial lawyers. We confine our practice to handling personal injury cases only. You have the right to ask about the experience and training of the lawyers you hire. Remember, at Handler, Henning & Rosenberg we have a great deal of experience in handling personal injury cases and these are the only cases that we handle.
What if I am not sure whether I have a legitimate case? Will there be a charge to find out if I have a valid case?
No. At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg, we provide a free consultation. This can be done either by telephone or in person depending on the circumstances. We will review your case without any charge to you and advise you if we feel that we can represent you and pursue a case on your behalf. If we decide that there is a case and you wish to pursue it, we will then move forward on a contingency fee basis.
What do I have to pay Handler, Henning & Rosenberg if I hire you to represent me?
In personal injury matters we represent people on a contingency fee arrangement. A contingency fee means “no recovery – no fee.” In other words, if we do not make a recovery for you there will be no fee charged. Additionally, we will advance expenses to pursue your case and we do not get repaid unless we make a recovery for you. At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg, if we handle your personal injury case, you will have no obligation to us unless we make a recovery for you. It is as simple as that. The amount of the contingency fee may vary depending on what matter we are representing you for. We will always discuss the fee with you before representation begins. Also, you will sign a Fee Agreement which will outline our arrangement. Remember, we do not get paid unless we make a recovery for you.
What kind of attention will my case get?
At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg, we use a team approach in handling our cases. Our attorneys and case managers will keep you informed as your case progresses and we will answer your questions as they arise. We pride ourselves in being easy to talk to and always being available for our clients.
How much money is my case worth?
Your case is ultimately worth what we can negotiate with the insurance company or the amount of the cash award granted by a judge and/or a jury. We will review your case in detail to arrive at a figure that we believe the insurance company will pay for your injuries. This is usually dependent upon the type of injury that you have, the type of treatment that you receive, whether or not you make a full recovery and what your past and future expenses are. All of these factors are important in valuing a case. Generally, we cannot tell you how much your case is worth until you have finished all of your treatment and you know what your future will hold for you. Remember, at Handler, Henning & Rosenberg we want to resolve your case for the most money because we do not get paid unless you get paid.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
Generally speaking anywhere between 1 to 3 years. A personal injury case will not resolve until your medical treatment has concluded and you have recovered completely from your injuries. If you have sustained permanent injuries your case will not resolve until your physicians feel you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). Many other factors can also affect the length of time it takes to resolve your case such as (1) what you are willing to settle the case for, (2) the insurance company involved, and (3) any liability issues.
Will I have to go to court?
If the insurance company agrees to pay you what we believe your case is worth and what you are willing to settle your case for, then you will not have to go to court. The majority of cases resolve without going to court and merely by pursuing the claim process with the insurance company, however, some cases cannot be resolved for a fair value with the insurance companies and these cases require some formal legal proceeding. Remember, we are experienced personal injury trial lawyers and, if need be, we will pursue your case in court.
Should I sign Releases and/or give statements to the insurance adjuster?
No. You should only give statements to an insurance adjuster or sign Releases for an insurance company after you have spoken with a qualified personal injury trial lawyer. Unfortunately, if you say the wrong thing or give the wrong information to an insurance company it can, and likely will, be used against you in the future.
Can I sue my employer or co-worker for pain and suffering arising from a work injury?
No. When an employee is injured on the job, the injured worker is limited to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation benefits provide for the payment of medical bills for the treatment of the work injury and a weekly disability benefit for those time periods that an injured worker is unable to work. Under some circumstances, you may be able to sue another party. If you are already receiving Worker’s Compensation benefits and the insurance company is trying to stop or modify your benefits or if you have been denied benefits to which you feel you are entitled, contact one of our attorneys who are experienced in handling workers’ compensation cases.
I’m receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits, when am I entitled to a lump sum settlement?
This is a question frequently asked by our Workers’ Compensation clients. It depends on the facts of your case. Many Workers’ Compensation cases involve a limited period of disability: i.e., compensation is paid only during this period, which stops when the claim is closed. However, in some situations where a person is unable to return to their pre-injury occupation due to the permanent effects of the work injury, the injured worker may be entitled to a lump sum settlement, in lieu of receiving ongoing weekly compensation payments. There are pros and cons to a settlement, and there are different types of Workers’ Compensation settlements. If you are receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits and have questions regarding a possible settlement of your claim, please do not hesitate to call for a FREE consultation.
What is the difference between Full Tort & Limited Tort?
Those who select full tort coverage on their automobile insurance policy retain the right to bring a claim for pain and suffering if they are injured in a motor vehicle crash. Those who select limited tort generally give up the right to bring such a claim. What many consumers don’t realize is how their personal tort selection affects, not only their rights, but the rights of their family. The tort option you select follows you and every member of your household, both as a driver or as a passenger in your own car or another. Your tort option is with you even when you are walking down the street, but, more importantly, it is with your children everywhere they go. Before you renew your automobile insurance, please examine it carefully. If you have limited tort, we strongly urge you to contact your insurance agent and request a change to full tort, for your sake and that of your family.