Read Our Frequently Asked Questions to Get the Answers You Need Today

Do I have to accept the insurance company’s first offer? How do I know if I need an attorney? My baby suffered a birth injury. Should I talk to the hospital’s lawyers?  We answer questions like these and many more in our collection of Frequently Asked Questions. Feel free to browse our topics and contact us if you do not find the answers you are looking for.
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  • What can I do if negligent security contributed to my injury?

    survelliance_cameraWhen a person is injured by someone committing a physical or sexual assault, robbery or theft, or other violent act or crime, the perpetrator may not be the only person who can be held accountable.

    If the injury occurred at a rental property or in a public place, a victim may have grounds to bring a negligent security claim against the property's owner or tenant.

    Rental properties may be homes, townhomes, apartments, or retirement communities. Public places include supermarkets or other retail stores, hotels or motels, performance venues, hospitals, office buildings,
    or parking lots or garages.

    A type of premises liability law, a negligent security lawsuit allows victims to seek a civil remedy for injuries sustained in a crime or violent act that occurred on someone else's property. Examples of negligent security include:

    • Absent, malfunctioning, or insufficient warning signs, lighting, alarms or locks, security cameras, or other safety equipment
    • Absent or poorly-trained guards and surveillance personnel
    • Insufficient security protocols

    To prove a negligent security claim, plaintiffs and their attorneys must show that:

    • The plaintiff was on the property lawfully and thus, the property owner or tenant had a duty to exercise reasonable care to keep visitors safe
    • The property owner or tenant failed to consider the likelihood of third-party crime or to adequately warn customers or visitors of potential harm
    • The plaintiff sustained injuries or other losses due to a third party's criminal act that was reasonably foreseeable to the defendant
    • The plaintiff's injuries and losses occurred as a direct result of the defendant's breached duty

    In a comparative negligence state like Pennsylvania, victims can often collect damages, even if they were partially responsible for their own injuries, as long as they weren't more responsible for the injuries than the defendant.

    Also, there's a good reason for bringing a claim against the owner of the property where the injury occurred, rather than suing the perpetrator directly. Whereas the perpetrator may not have the funds to cover the plaintiff's damages, the property owner likely carries insurance for situations like these.

    Consult an Experienced Premises Liability Lawyer

    Negligent security cases can be confusing and complex for people unfamiliar with the ins and outs of premises liability law. At the Accident and Injury Law Group, our skilled premises liability attorneys can review your case, help you explore your options, and fight for the financial recovery you deserve.

    Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

     

  • What should I do immediately following a car accident?

    after_car_accidentBeing involved in a motor vehicle accident can be a jarring experience. Knowing what to do—and what not to do—in the moments immediately following a car or truck crash can help accident victims protect their right to collect compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

    Safety First

    Check everyone in the involved vehicles for injuries. Call an ambulance for serious circumstances; don't attempt to move the injured. If possible, relocate the vehicles to the side of the road or set up emergency flares or triangles to avoid the potential for secondary collisions.

    Report the Accident to Law Enforcement

    If an ambulance was called, the police will already be enroute. Otherwise, calling to report the accident to law enforcement is the next step. While a police report isn't admissible in court, it can provide valuable information for an accident victim's personal injury attorney.

    Gather Evidence

    If accident victims aren't seriously injured, they can gather evidence while waiting for police to arrive. Evidence that helps build a strong case includes:

    • Photos or videos of the crash scene, as well as any property damage or injuries
    • Exchanging contact, license, and insurance information with the other involved drivers
    • Getting names and contact information from witnesses

    Seek Medical Attention

    It's important to get medical attention as soon as possible after an accident, even if no serious injuries are readily apparent. A doctor can rule out, treat, and document existing injuries, as well as diagnose more subtle symptoms that could potentially lead to late-appearing injuries. If medical bills start to pile up, do not stress about keeping up with them as there are methods you can use to temporarily relieve that financial pressure. 

    Notify Insurance Provider

    Many insurance agreements require insurees to report accidents to their insurance provider as soon as possible or risk a potential denial of their claim. While accident victims must notify their insurance carrier, they aren't required to—and shouldn't—discuss their injuries or the cause of the crash, or provide a recorded statement, without consulting an attorney.

    Call an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

    A knowledgeable personal injury attorney with experience handling motor vehicle accident cases can help clients ensure their rights are protected after a serious crash.

    If you were involved in a car accident caused by another person or entity's negligence, the car accident attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to arrange an appointment for a free initial case consultation.

     

  • Can I be fired for filing a claim against my employer?

    After sustaining an on-the-job injury, construction workers often worry that filing a workers' compensation claim will cost them their job. Fortunately, thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's 1998 decision in Shick v. Shirey, it's against the law for an employer to discriminate or fire a worker in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim and pursuing the benefits they're owed.  

    pink_slipHowever, while it's illegal to fire an employee specifically for exercising their lawful rights to workers' compensation, it's still completely legal for employers to fire an employee with an open workers' compensation claim for some other reason.

    In fact, as an at-will employment state, Pennsylvania makes it relatively easy for employers to fire workers for any—or no—reason at all.

    As a result, unscrupulous employers may take advantage of this loophole when seeking to terminate the employment of an injured worker.

    This is often the case when an injured construction worker returns to the job on light or modified duty.

    Rather than firing the worker for pursuing compensation for a workplace injury, an employer may instead look for reasons or excuses to let him or her go, such as minor attendance issues, disagreeing with a supervisor, or missing a deadline.

    Proving someone was fired in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim can be challenging. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney with experience handling construction accident cases can help employees protect their rights after a workplace injury.

    Consult an Experienced Construction Accident Attorney

    If you're a construction worker who was injured on the job, Pennsylvania law protects you from employer retaliation related to the pursuit of workers' compensation benefits. However, your company managers may use other tactics to terminate your employment.

    Don't leave yourself unprotected. Contact the Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment to discuss the details of your construction accident case. We're here to help you protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.

     

  • What if another construction company or entity caused my injury?

    work_comp_formAfter being hurt on the job, construction employees may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits, such as medical expenses coverage and a portion of the wages they lost during their recovery.

    While workers' compensation addresses economic losses associated with a workplace injury, it doesn't compensate individuals injured for non-economic damages—such as pain and suffering—that could be sought in a personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, in Pennsylvania, workers' compensation is the sole legal remedy for injured workers.

    However, while Pennsylvania law bars employees from suing their employer for negligence after sustaining a work-related injury, filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party may be an option if the injury was caused by someone from a different company.

    Known as third-party claims, these types of lawsuits are relatively common after a construction accident, partially because of how standard it is for numerous companies, contractors, and subcontractors to work side-by-side on a single project.

    Examples of third party claims include:

    • Motor vehicle accidents. Workers hurt in a job-related car or truck accident can often file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver while also collecting workers' compensation benefits.
    • Defective equipment or machinery. If a machinery defect or malfunction results in injury, the manufacturer may be held liable.
    • Non-employer supervisory negligence. Non-employer supervisors, such as engineers or architects, may be held liable if flaws in their work cause injury.
    • Errors made by other contractors or subcontractors. When a contractor or subcontractor's on-the-job negligence injures a worker from another company, the injured individual may have grounds to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.

    Consult an Experienced Construction Accident Attorney

    If you're a construction worker who suffered a job-related injury caused by another company or entity's negligence, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim against a third party. This allows you to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.

    Don't settle for less than what you deserve. Contact the Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule a free initial case consultation. Our skilled attorneys are eager to help you explore your options for compensation.

     

  • When can a pedestrian be blamed for a collision with a car?

    While drivers have a duty of care to watch out for pedestrians and to avoid hitting them if at all possible, there are times when the driver will attempt to pass blame on to the pedestrian for a crash. If he presents a strong case, the driver of the car may not be held liable, or may share blame with the pedestrian. We take a look at situations where the pedestrian may be found to be at fault for his or her injuries.

    Pedestrians Do Have Responsibility

    Many people believe that pedestrians always have the right of way because they are more likely to be injured in a run-in with a car. However, this is not true. Drivers cannot be expected to watch for pedestrians in areas where they are not expected to be. In particular, if a pedestrian is in violation of traffic law when he is hit, he is likely to be held at least partially responsible for the crash. Some examples of this include the following:

    • Crossing in the middle of the street, outside of a crosswalk—also known as jaywalking
    • Walking along a highway, bridge, or causeway where pedestrians are prohibited
    • Crossing in a crosswalk, but against the signal
    • Walking while distracted or intoxicated

    However, even when a pedestrian is breaking a traffic law, a driver is still expected to take reasonable action to avoid hitting him. Depending on the exact circumstances of the situation, the pedestrian could be held partially or fully responsible for the accident.

    Comparative Negligence in Pennsylvania

    If you're hit by a car and seriously injured in Pittsburgh, you may find yourself fighting for compensation if the driver of the car claims that you were partially to blame for the accident. Pennsylvania follows the law of comparative negligence, which means that your compensation from the other party’s insurance will be reduced by the amount you are found to be at fault.

    For example, if the driver claims you crossed against the light, but the driver was found to be exceeding the speed limit, a jury may decide that the driver was 75 percent at fault and you were 25 percent at fault, so your recovery would be reduced by 25 percent. It is important to understand that the lawyer or insurance adjuster for the driver will almost always try to pin a portion of the blame on the pedestrian to reduce their monetary responsibility. You may have to argue your side and provide evidence to prove it.

    Why You Need an Attorney

    Unless you are offered a maximum settlement right away by the driver’s insurance company, you would be smart to consult with an attorney following a pedestrian accident. We will take a look at the circumstances, gather necessary evidence, and fight for the recovery you deserve. Do not hesitate to call the pedestrian accident attorneys at Accident & Injury Law Group when you are hit by a car in Pittsburgh.

     

  • What does premises liability mean in my personal injury case?

    Premises liability is a legal theory of liability that holds businesses and property owners responsible when someone is injured on their properties. Like other personal injury cases, it's based on negligence on the part of the property or business owner by allowing an unsafe or hazardous condition to exist.

    If you were injured due to a property or business owner’s negligence, you may be able to hold the owner responsible for compensation.

    Types of Premises Liability Claims

    To have a claim for compensation under premises liability law, it's not enough that you had an accident on another person's property. You must show that a dangerous or unsafe condition existed; and that the owner knew or should have known about the condition, but failed to correct the problem or place warning signs about the danger.

    Premises liability claims can arise out of a variety of negligent actions of business and property owners. Some types of cases include:

    • Slip and fall accidents—the most common claim
    • Inadequate maintenance
    • Negligent security claims
    • Elevator and escalator accidents
    • Swimming pool accidents
    • Amusement park and other recreational facility accidents
    • Exposure to toxic substances
    • Fires
    • Dog bites

    Compensation You Could Be Entitled to in a Premises Liability Case

    After an incident, you could suffer long-term health issues, such as traumatic brain, back, and spinal injuries, fractures, and internal organ damage. These injuries can require months of medical treatments.

    During this time, you may not be able to work. If your injury is serious enough, you may become permanently disabled. If you prove that a property or business owner’s negligence caused your injuries, you're entitled to be fully compensated for your losses.

    Your compensation may cover the following damages:

    • Medical expe​nses. You're entitled to be reimbursed for the cost of your past and future medical treatments, including hospitalization, surgery, doctor visits, physical and vocational therapy, prescription drugs, counseling, and more.
    • Lost wages. This includes the wages you lost and will lose while recovering from your injuries. It also factors in vacation and sick time, bonuses, commissions, and other benefits of your position. If you must make a job change or are no longer able to work, you could receive future earning capacity damages.
    • Pain and suffering. You're also entitled to be compensated for the pain, suffering, and emotional trauma you suffered due to your accident and your injuries. An experienced premises liability attorney can help value this portion of your claim, which could be substantial.
    • Wrongful death. If a loved one died as a result of a premises liability accident, you may be entitled to compensation for his or her lost support, advice, companionship, and more.
    • Punitive damages. In rare cases where the business or property owner’s actions were grossly negligent, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the owner.

    Were you or a loved one injured in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident? Fill out our online form today to schedule a free consultation to learn how our experienced premises liability attorneys can help fight to hold the negligent parties accountable for compensating for your injuries.

  • My infant suffered an injury during delivery. How do I know if I have a birth injury case?

    A birth injury is caused during labor or shortly after delivery. If your infant suffered a birth injury, he or she could have to deal with the life-long consequences of suffering with a brain injury, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy or other medical conditions. These devastating medical conditions can affect his mobility, ability to reason, concentration, memory, vision, hearing, and more.

    What makes birth injury cases so tragic is that a newborn would have most likely been healthy if a doctor, nurse, or other medical provider had not committed medical malpractice.

    How to Determine If You Have a Birth Injury Claim

    It can be difficult to build a case for birth injury negligence, because not all injuries are caused by medical malpractice. You need the assistance of an experienced birth injury attorney who can review your infant’s medical records, hire the necessary experts, and evaluate the circumstances regarding your baby’s birth to determine whether you have a claim.

    However, you can get an idea about whether you have a valid case by understanding what needs to be proven in order to pursue a claim against a doctor, nurse, health care provider, or hospital for malpractice. You would need to show the following:

    • Doctor-patient relationship. You must show that there was a doctor-patient relationship between the mother, baby, and doctor. If your doctor was treating you during the labor and delivery of your baby, you should be able to establish this.
    • Breach of duty of care. A key element of your claim is a physician, nurse, or another member of the birthing team breached the applicable standard of care that a reasonable professional would have followed in a situation similar to yours. In order to establish this, your attorney would most likely need to retain an expert witness.
    • Damages. You must establish that your baby suffered injuries, and they were caused by a medical professional's malpractice.

    Common Mistakes That May Lead to a Birth Injury Claim

    There are many medical mistakes that can result in an infant suffering a birth injury. Ways that a medical professional may have committed malpractice include:

    • ​Failing to recognize fetal distress and take actions to stabilize the condition
    • Incorrectly using forceps during delivery
    • Applying excessive force
    • Failing to recognize and respond to your fetus experiencing a lack of oxygen
    • Failing to follow up with you and your baby after delivery
    • Administering dangerous drugs or the wrong dosage of a medication
    • Failing to perform a cesarean section when necessary

    Contact Us Today

    Like other medical malpractice claims, birth injury cases are complex and difficult to prove. The negligent doctor or other health care provider could fight harder and longer to deny your claim because of its potentially larger value, increased malpractice insurance costs, and the risk of losing professional licensure. You need to retain experienced birth injury attorneys as soon as possible if you want your baby to receive what he or she deserves.

    Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options and to have your questions answered.

     

  • Do I need an attorney if a driver hit me while I was riding my bike?

    While it's tempting to try to save money and settle the claim on your own, hiring an attorney has more to do with the severity of your injuries and the resulting need for  compensation. If you were injured in a bike accident caused by a negligent driver, you could have suffered serious injuries even if the vehicle was traveling at a slow speed. Some of these injuries may not present in full form until days or even weeks later. 

    If this happens, your health and financial stability could be compromised. 

    How to Decide When You Need an Attorney in Your Bicycle Accident Case 

    In limited circumstances, you may be able to handle settlement of the claim on your own. If the accident caused only damage to your bike or you suffered a cut or stitches, and the insurance company agrees to pay for your costs, you can probably complete your settlement without an attorney.

    However, in other cases, you would be at a serious disadvantage if you don't retain an experienced bicycle accident attorney. Here's why you may need professional help:

    • Your injuries were serious enough that EMT arrived on the scene and transported you by ambulance to the hospital.
    • You were off work because of your injuries for one week or more.
    • You have injuries that are limiting your activities or ability to work.
    • Your injuries are serious enough to require follow-up medical treatment or surgery.
    • You were knocked unconscious and are exhibiting symptoms of a concussion or traumatic brain injury.
    • Someone died in the accident.
    • The insurance company denied your claim, or is offering less than what you believe is rightful compensation.

    Benefits of Hiring a Bike Accident Attorney

    Even if you were clearly the victim in a bicycle accident, you must prove the driver’s negligence and your right to compensation. It takes someone with legal experience to handle this process effectively. Benefits of retaining an attorney include:

    • Free consultation. Many bicycle accident attorneys offer a free, no-obligation consultation that allows you to get an understanding of your legal options and how the firm can help you.
    • Claim evaluation. An attorney can investigate your bike accident to prove the driver’s negligence and obtain documentation regarding your injuries. Once he has this  information, he can evaluate the value of your claim based on his experience successfully handling other cases like yours and the strengths and weaknesses of your claim.
    • Settlement negotiation. The insurance adjuster for the negligent driver won't be looking out for your interests and may try to deny or reduce your claim, even if its insured’s fault is obvious. An experienced attorney will be able to negotiate a settlement for what you deserve, or file a lawsuit if the insurance company will not be reasonable.
    • Few require up-front payment. Most attorneys take these cases on a contingency basis, which means you pay for the majority of services through a percentage of your settlement only if he or she is able to settle the claim or win the case at trial.

    If you or a family member was injured in a bike accident, let us help fight to obtain the compensation you're entitled to from the negligent driver’s insurance company. Call our office today to schedule a free case consultation.

  • Do I need an attorney for my motorcycle crash claim?

    After your motorcycle crash, you were probably contacted by the other driver’s insurance company and offered a quick settlement. You may be wondering if you should accept the cash or talk to someone about it first, but you’ve never been in an accident and would not even know who to talk to. If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to consult a motorcycle accident attorney.

    Why You Need an Attorney

    For car accidents, we may tell you that there are some situations where you could probably handle the claim without the help of a lawyer. If there is little damage, you are not injured, and the other driver admits fault, you probably do not need legal representation. However, if you were riding a motorcycle at the time of the crash, you are almost always better off working with an attorney. Motorcycle accident cases often involve the following complicating factors, and an experienced attorney can offer invaluable help:

    • Severe injuries. Because a motorcyclist is only protected by what he wears on his body, his injuries can be catastrophic when he is run off the road or hit by a car. A biker can suffer traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, or limb amputations. Having an attorney speak for him allows the motorcyclist to focus on his prognosis and recovery.
    • High medical costs. Catastrophic injuries come with astronomical medical bills. The cost of emergency treatment, medical testing, consultations with specialists, and multiple surgeries can exceed a million dollars. Factor in ongoing therapies and possible life-long care, and you will need an advocate arguing for maximum damages.
    • Bias towards bikers. Drivers, insurance adjusters, law enforcement officers, and even judges can carry a bias towards motorcyclists that can affect the outcome of an injury claim. A motorcycle accident attorney is experienced in countering this bias and arguing for the settlement you deserve.
    • Pennsylvania helmet law. In Pennsylvania, you have the right not to wear a helmet if you are over the age of 21 and have taken a motorcycle safety course. If you exercise this right and are injured by a negligent driver, the lawyer for the at-fault driver may argue that you chose to endanger your own life. You will need an attorney defending your right and placing blame where it belongs—with the negligent driver.

    Call Our Pittsburgh Law Office for a Free Consultation

    If you are seriously injured in a motorcycle crash, we can take a look at the facts of your case for free and let you know if we can help you. If you are unable to reach out, have a family member or friend call us. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of bikers.

  • Do I need a lawyer for my construction site injury claim?

    Because your recovery costs will be covered by workers’ comp, it may seem like there is no need for an attorney when you are injured on a construction site. However, a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney may uncover additional sources of compensation. Therefore, we recommend that you do consider hiring an attorney when you are injured in a construction site accident.

    What Workers’ Compensation Covers

    Like every other employer in Pennsylvania, construction companies and contractors must carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover the medical costs of employees injured in the workplace. This coverage extends to all workers, including seasonal and part-time employees. As long as the injury occurred while performing work duties, workers’ comp will kick in. The cause of the accident does not matter—your coverage should be almost automatic. Workers’ comp insurance will cover the following expenses:

    • Payment for lost wages. If you are unable to work because of your injury, workers’ comp will provide wage-loss benefits.
    • Specific loss benefits. If you have lost the use of a sense or body part because of the injury, you may be entitled to a specific loss benefit.
    • Medical care. All surgical and medical services related to the workplace injury or illness will be covered by the medical care benefit.

    If you report your accident promptly and follow all required steps, you should not have a problem getting your workers’ comp benefits. However, these benefits may not be enough to cover all of your losses.

    A Personal Injury Attorney Will Identify Other Liable Parties

    Construction sites are busy places and there are often multiple companies working at the same time. When you are injured on a site, your direct employer will provide workers’ comp benefits regardless of fault, but another employer on the site may be the one responsible for your injury. For example, if you are doing finish work for your employer, but using the electrical subcontractor’s scaffolding which gives way and causes you to fall, you may be able to pursue compensation from that company, as well as workers’ comp benefits from your own employer. You would seek damages from a non-employer through a lawsuit, which will likely be settled through that company’s liability insurance. This could provide a significant financial award that would contribute a great deal towards your recovery.

    Call Us for a Free Consultation

    Liability on a construction site can be complicated. Even if you are receiving workers’ comp for your injury, schedule a free consultation with us to review your case. If we think there might be another source of compensation, we will let you know.