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How Do You Know When to Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm?

Korey Leslie, Attorney-At-Law, LLC July 8, 2024

Injured women filling insurance claim formAccidents happen. But when they do, how do you know if you should contact a personal injury law firm? This question is important if you're looking to protect your rights and secure fair compensation.  

Korey Leslie, Attorney-At-Law, LLC, is here to help you identify the right time to seek professional legal help for your personal injury claim.  

What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim is a legal dispute that arises when someone suffers harm from an accident. Personal injury claims also encompass emotional and psychological injuries, not just physical harm, so it is important to account for all aspects of your suffering in your claim. 

The injured party may seek compensation from the person or entity responsible for the harm. This compensation can cover medical bills, lost wages, and other related costs. 

Personal injury claims can include car accidents, slip and fall incidents, medical malpractice, and workplace injuries. Understanding what qualifies as a personal injury is the first step in knowing if you need legal help. 

To have a valid personal injury claim, you must establish that the harm you suffered was due to someone else's negligence or intentional misconduct. It is not enough to simply be injured; you must prove that the other party's actions or lack of action directly caused your injury.  

Timing is critical when filing a personal injury claim because statutes of limitations set deadlines for initiating legal proceedings. Collecting evidence, such as medical records, witness statements, and other documentation, is essential to substantiate your claim. 

Signs You Might Need a Personal Injury Lawyer

Not all accidents require a lawyer. However, certain situations make legal advice necessary. Here are some clear signs: 

Severe Injuries 

If your injuries are severe or have long-term effects, it is wise to consult a lawyer. Serious injuries often involve high medical costs and extended recovery times. An attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. 

Liability Is Unclear 

A lawyer's guidance can be invaluable when it is unclear who is at fault in an accident. They can gather evidence and build a case to prove who is responsible, which is critical for receiving justice and compensation. 

Insurance Issues 

Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts. If you're having trouble with your insurance claim, or if the insurer offers a low settlement, a personal injury lawyer can help negotiate a fair deal. 

Multiple Parties Involved 

Determining liability can become complex if multiple parties are involved in the accident, such as in a multi-vehicle car crash or a situation involving a defective product. A personal injury lawyer can ensure all responsible parties are held accountable and that you receive the appropriate compensation from each one. 

Legal Deadlines Approaching 

Personal injury claims are subject to statutes of limitations. If you are nearing the end of this deadline, timely legal assistance becomes critical. A personal injury lawyer can expedite the process by ensuring your claim is filed correctly and on time. 

Why Timing Matters in Personal Injury Cases

Timing is critical in personal injury cases. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better. Quick action can help preserve evidence, witness testimonies, and other crucial information. 

Statute of Limitations 

In Pennsylvania, the limit to file a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the accident. Missing this deadline could mean forfeiting your right to sue. 

Evidence Gathering 

Evidence can degrade or disappear over time. Contacting a lawyer promptly ensures that valuable evidence is collected and preserved. This can make or break your case. 

Medical Documentation 

Timely medical evaluations and records are essential for your claim. Delays in seeking medical attention can weaken your case, making it harder to prove the extent of your injuries. 

Financial Stability 

Legal proceedings can be time-consuming and expensive, but early intervention by an attorney can help you secure interim compensation or settlements. This can cover medical bills and other expenses, avoiding immediate financial strain. Early legal action minimizes the risk of out-of-pocket costs growing uncontrollably while your case is being resolved. 

Personal Injury Claims in Pennsylvania

Understanding personal injury laws in your state can impact the success of your claim. Here are some Pennsylvania-specific laws you need to be familiar with: 

Comparative Negligence 

Pennsylvania follows a comparative negligence rule. This means that if you're found partially at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you're 20% at fault, you'll receive 80% of the awarded compensation. 

No-Fault Car Insurance 

Pennsylvania requires drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance that covers medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who caused the accident. However, serious injuries may allow you to step outside the no-fault system and file a lawsuit. 

Dog Bite Laws 

Pennsylvania holds dog owners strictly liable for any injuries caused by their pets. If a dog bites someone, the owner is responsible for medical expenses and other damages. 

Product Liability 

In Pennsylvania, product liability claims can be based on negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty. For a strict liability claim, you don't need to prove manufacturer negligence; you only need to show that the product was defective and caused your injury. Pennsylvania law allows manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to be accountable for the harm caused by their products due to design defects, manufacturing defects, or inadequate warnings. 

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Hiring a personal injury lawyer provides several benefits. They offer expertise and support during challenging times. 

  • Case evaluation: A lawyer can evaluate your case, determine its strength and viability, and advise you on the best course of action. 

  • Negotiating settlements: Many personal injury cases are settled out of court. A skilled attorney can negotiate with insurance companies and opposing parties to secure a fair settlement. 

  • Representation in court: If your case goes to trial, your attorney will present your case, handle legal procedures, and advocate on your behalf. 

  • Gathering and preserving evidence: A personal injury lawyer can collect and preserve important evidence like police reports, witness statements, and medical records. They also collaborate with experts to build a strong case for you. 

  • Handling communications: A personal injury lawyer can professionally handle communications with insurance companies, medical providers, and legal entities, representing your best interests and alleviating your stress. 

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in York, Pennsylvania

With over a decade of experience in personal injury law, Attorney Korey Leslie has established strong relationships within the legal community and is committed to defending the rights of his clients. If you're in York, Pennsylvania, Lancaster, Harrisburg, or Camp Hill, consider reaching out to Korey Leslie, Attorney-At-Law, LLC, for dedicated legal representation. Call today to discuss your case.