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Personal Injury

What Are Personal Injury Claims?

A personal injury occurs when a person suffers some form of an injury as the result of an accident. The injury can be either physical or psychological and can come from many forms, including an injury from an automobile collision, an accident at work, a slip-and-fall, a dog bite, a defective product or any injury caused to you or a loved one by someone else’s negligence. Personal injury claimants are often entitled to financial compensation for their injury and for losses attributed to that injury, including lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and property damage.

If your injury is the result of another party’s negligence, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately to ensure a thorough and efficient recovery. This will help prevent the destruction of evidence and ensure the time limit for bringing a claim does not expire (statute of limitations). A personal injury lawyer will help you make a determination as to whether or not your injury should be pursued through a personal injury claim.

What Should I Do If I'm Injured in an Automobile Collision?

First, you should remain calm and call 9-1-1 for police and medical help. The police will play a vital role in collecting the facts of the collision. Next, you should obtain contact information for all parties involved in the collision and any witnesses to the
collision, but don’t discuss the collision with anyone or blame yourself for the collision. Once the scene is secured, you should collect evidence of the collision, take photographs, make a diagram, note the date, time, weather conditions and location of the collision and write down exactly what happened. If your injuries are too severe, you can rely on a relative or friend to collect this information for you. Contact your own insurance agent to report the accident, but don’t speak with the other party’s insurance
company as any statements may be used against you in the future. Also, don’t sign any papers.

Finally, call an attorney. An attorney will be able to efficiently and thoroughly investigate the accident while keeping your financial, medical and overall well-being in mind. A personal injury lawyer will help you pursue the compensation that you deserve and will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Time is of the essence in a personal injury case. Any delay in contacting an attorney could cost you.

How Should I Deal With the Insurance Companies?

Insurance company representatives have their own interests in quickly settling your claims. Representatives from your own insurance company and from the other party’s insurance company will be attempting to contact you for a statement regarding the accident. These insurance companies are not on your side and talking to them could possibly hurt your case. Oral promises from a representative are not binding and no conversations are "off the record." Even if a representative seems friendly, they are
likely trying to charm you into divulging information that they can use to weaken your claim. Anything that you tell a representative can be used against you. Promises of saving you attorneys fees are often misleading as a quick settlement may compromise your right to the money you deserve. A personal injury lawyer will deal with the insurance companies on your behalf and help you recover damages for things like loss of income, pain and suffering and damage to your car and other property.

What is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Many drivers do not carry insurance coverage at all and those that do carry insurance often have insufficient coverage. Motorists that carry no insurance coverage are considered "uninsured," and thus, no liability coverage exists. Motorists that carry
insufficient insurance coverage are considered "underinsured," and thus, not enough liability insurance exists to cover your damages. In order to fully recover for your own damages, you must elect to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
on your own insurance policy.

What Should I Do If I'm Injured at Work?

First, you should report the injury to your employer as soon as possible because your claim can be denied if you don’t report within the required time period. Employers are required to provide Workers’ Compensation coverage to their employees. Pennsylvania has enacted laws from which an injured worker can collect for lost wages and medical expenses. Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation covers injuries from work-related incidents, including injuries arising from your employment,
pre-existing injuries that are aggravated because of your employment and illnesses that are caused by your work, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Next, your employer may require you to be treated by a doctor on its approved list. If the doctor places you on a medical leave for more than seven days, you can file a claim to begin receiving Workers’ Compensation wage loss benefits.

Finally, your employer will either accept or deny your Workers’ Compensation claims. If your employer denies responsibility for your injuries caused at work then it is essential to seek legal help in fighting for the compensation you deserve.

What Should I Do If I'm Bitten by a Dog?

In Pennsylvania dogs are required to be reasonably controlled by their owners at all times. This requirement includes confining a dog within the owner’s property or restraining a dog by a leash and collar. If you are injured by a dog attack, you must be able to show that the attack was the result of the dog owner’s negligence in order to recover for your injuries.

What Should I Do If I'm Injured by a Defective Product?

Product liability arises when a seller or manufacturer places a harmful or defective product into the hands of a consumer. Whether the defect is found in the design, manufacturing or marketing of the product, you have a right to recover for your injuries.
Defective products range from children’s toys, elevators and prescription drugs, to lawn mowers, forklifts and automobile parts (including seat belts, tires and brakes).

Product liability lawsuits are essentially a very effective means of consumer protection as the suit will help to protect the public from future harm caused by poorly designed or negligently manufactured products.

Be sure to take measures to secure the defective product and get the names and addresses of any witnesses to your accident. Also, take photographs of the scene.

Finally, contact an attorney that will be able to effectively assist you in recovering for your injuries and stop the negligent manufacturer or seller from injuring anyone else.

Davis & Davis Attorneys at Law offers a free initial consultation fee to all personal injury claims.

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