Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyer
Getting Help from a Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyer
With approximately three million people being injured in car accidents each year in the United States, vehicle collisions can wreak havoc on someone’s life at any time.
Of all the accidents reported, more than half of them result in injuries that require medical attention.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, a personal injury attorney can work to obtain a settlement or verdict that rewards you with fair compensation for your injuries and property damage. Given the complexities of Pennsylvania’s insurance laws. Having a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer on your side can alleviate stress while maximizing your potential payout.
This page includes helpful background information about your options and will answer the most common questions we receive about working with a personal injury lawyer to recover maximum compensation after you’ve been involved in a car accident in Pittsburgh or a surrounding area. To speak with one of our car accident attorneys, contact Hal Waldman and Associates at (412) 850-3064 for a free consultation.
Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
Dealing with the after-effects of a car accident can pose a significant challenge, especially if your injuries are substantial. You might be wondering how to pay your medical bills, recover lost wages, and ensure that your vehicle gets repaired promptly.
Insurance law can get complicated, and you may end up with multiple claims where different insurance companies handle your medical bills, bodily injury settlements, lost wages, and property damages. A personal injury attorney will ensure that all of the claims are filed promptly and accurately so that you can focus on your recovery.
The role of the personal injury lawyer goes far beyond paperwork, however. Our clients turn to us in the following circumstances:
1. The other party’s insurance company is denying liability. If there is any doubt about who caused the accident and what percentage of blame can be attributed to each party, you need an attorney to argue on your behalf. To avoid paying, the other party’s insurance company may try to present evidence that shifts the blame to an innocent party.
We fight for your right to recover by investigating the crash and arguing that the other party should shoulder all or the bulk of the blame.
2. The other party’s insurance company offers a lowball settlement. Because insurance companies are in the business of making money, their goal is to collect maximum premiums and payout minimal claims. This ideology often results in settlements that are inadequate to compensate you for all of your injuries and expenses.
The team at Hal Waldman and Associates is familiar with all of the “tricks” and tactics insurance companies employ, and we will negotiate aggressively on your behalf for maximum compensation.
3. The insurance company denies a claim. In some cases, an insurance company may deny a claim altogether. They may look at the evidence and determine that your injury was a pre-existing condition not related to the accident. Alternatively, as mentioned above, the company could say that its policyholder was not responsible for the accident.
When you’re recovering from an injury, having a claim denied can feel like the end of the world. It’s our job to represent your best interests, and we will fight tooth and nail if a circumstance such as this arises.
4. Your case needs to go to court. In general, the goal of accident attorneys in a personal injury claim is to receive a generous settlement in record time with minimal hassle and red tape.
Occasionally, however, an insurance company might not be cooperative and willing to part with cash, and the process can drag on for months or years. This is especially true in cases with severe injuries, including a serious spinal cord injury, a coma, or a wrongful death. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement agreement, you will need an attorney to represent you in court when the case goes to trial.
When Is the Best Time to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
You might be thinking that you should wait until you understand your injuries or have a conflict with an insurance company before resorting to the help of a personal injury attorney, but any delay can hurt your case and reduce the amount you can recover in a claim.
For example, if there is a dispute about fault and the other driver’s insurance company is placing the blame on you, your attorney will work to gather witness testimony or evidence from video cameras to support your version of events. However, if several weeks or months have passed, the witnesses’ stories may have changed, or the companies in the vicinity may have disposed of or overwritten their video footage.
Acting quickly in consulting an attorney can give you peace of mind because we will take over the logistics of your case, which includes matching you with medical providers who will not require an upfront payment for care.
There is no legal requirement to hire a personal injury attorney, but having one in your corner can help push the outcome of a case in your favor. Further, there is no initial fee to hire the Pittsburgh accident attorneys at Hal Waldman and Associates. Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means that we do not receive payment until you win your case.
What Does a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Attorney Do?
The role of a personal injury attorney is to help establish liability in a car accident and advocate on your behalf for maximum compensation. During the course of resolving your case, a personal injury attorney will do some or all of the following:
– Conduct an investigation: Your attorney will work to identify responsible parties and resolve any dispute about liability. This could include reviewing the police report, conducting witness interviews, and reconstructing a crash.
– Identify and notify the proper insurance companies: Your attorney will keep track of who should be paying you for each category of damages, ranging from medical bills and lost wages to property damage.
– Work to obtain a settlement: Your attorney will review the insurance company’s offer and negotiate for something that is fair and fully compensates you for a full range of your injuries. There is no guaranteed outcome, but we can guarantee we will fight for you.
– File a lawsuit and represent you in court: If a settlement is unattainable, your attorney will represent you in court and argue your case in front of a judge and jury.
What Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Claim?
Financial compensation may be available for a wide variety of damages, including economic and non-economic damages (frequently referred to as pain and suffering).
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation for:
– Medical bills
– Ongoing treatments (surgery, physical therapy, and other long-term care)
– Lost wages
– Lost future earnings (lost earning capacity)
– Property repairs or the replacement value
– Pain and suffering
– Emotional distress (anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc.)
– Loss of companionship (also called loss of consortium)
– Funeral and burial costs
What to Do If You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident in Pittsburgh
Even though your attorney won’t be with you at the scene of the accident, knowing what an attorney would recommend at the site of a collision and the moments after can help preserve valuable evidence and strengthen your case.
Keep these pearls of wisdom in mind if you happen to be reading this before an accident or in its immediate aftermath. You can also bookmark this page and reference it whenever you need a refresher.
1. Make sure everyone is safe.
This initial step might seem obvious, but when everything is in chaos, autopilot might kick in and have everyone running around in a panic, or worse, pointing angry fingers. Take a deep, calming breath, survey your surroundings, and get anyone out of the path of immediate dangers, such as oncoming traffic.
2. Move your vehicle off the roadway if it is safe to do so.
Once you’ve ensured everyone is out of immediate physical danger, work to remove hazards from the roadway, including vehicles and debris. However, don’t put yourself or anyone in danger during this process. If you cannot safely move something out of the way, wait for the authorities.
3. Call 911 if someone needs medical attention.
If there is a chance that someone is injured, err on the safe side and dial 911 to ensure that help arrives as soon as possible. Tell the operator that there has been an accident and there are injuries. Usually, this results in the dispatcher sending an ambulance to the scene. The police may also be alerted by the 911 operator, but this is not always the case.
4. Contact your insurance company and our car accident attorneys
Once the dust has settled but before leaving the scene, call your insurance company to notify them of what happened. At this stage, you may also want to consult with an attorney to get your case moving forward.
5. Do not admit fault.
At the scene, avoid admitting fault or confessing to taking any actions that could have potentially contributed to the incident. Your insurance company and your attorney can communicate on your behalf. Remain polite with everyone at the scene, but do not discuss the particulars.
6. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties.
You’ll want to collect information that includes full names, addresses, contact details, and insurance policies. To prevent making any transcription errors, you may want to take photos of drivers’ licenses and insurance policy cards. It’s also a good idea to take a picture of any license plates to confirm the identities of the vehicles involved.
If there are witnesses, you can also ask them to provide their contact details. This step can be helpful if a witness has to leave before the police arrive, but they are still willing to give an account of what happened from their perspective.
7. Gather other appropriate evidence.
Take photos of anything you think might be relevant. This includes your vehicle and the other vehicles, obvious injuries, road conditions, skid marks, and street signs. If you’ve made any observations, document them in a notebook or on your smartphone. These immediate impressions may fade in the days after an accident, but they could be relevant to your personal injury claim.
8. Obtain medical treatment.
Do not wait for clearance from your insurance company or an attorney before seeking medical treatment. Your health is your most valuable asset, and it’s vital that you protect it. Further, delaying medical treatment can send a signal that your injuries were not serious, and that could hurt your claim.
Every accident is different, but post-accident best practices tend to be consistent. Further, we recognize that thinking clearly in these situations is incredibly challenging. If you are aware of what you should be doing after an accident, you don’t have to think on your feet because you’ll already be prepared with your next steps.
What if the Accident Was a Hit and Run?
If the driver leaves the scene after you pull over (or you’re a pedestrian), or a driver runs you off the road and flees, call the police immediately. Not only does this quick action increase the probability that the perpetrator is caught and apprehended, but it may be a requirement in filing an uninsured motorist claim.
An uninsured motorist claim means that your insurance company will pick up the bill for your personal injury claim even if the party who caused the accident cannot be found or held liable for the damage.
The Most Common Car Accident Injuries
The average passenger vehicle weighs more than two tons (4,156 pounds), and that doesn’t include large trucks and commercial vehicles. This means that a collision, even something that appears to be a minor fender bender, could result in catastrophic and long-lasting injuries, including:
– Bruises and lacerations
– Broken bones
– A spinal cord injury, back and neck injuries (including whiplash)
– Organ damage or internal bleeding
– Head injuries, such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries
– Catastrophic injuries including paralysis, severed limbs, and disfigurement
Contact a Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyer for Help
The lawyers at Hal Waldman & Associates offer free car accident consultations and work on a contingency basis, so you never have to worry about any upfront costs. If you or a family member has been injured in an accident, don’t wait for the insurance company to settle. Take control of the situation by scheduling a free consultation online, or call us at (412) 850-3064.