An accident can be a life-changing experience. When you or a loved one is injured due to the carelessness of another, it can seem like your entire world has been turned upside down. During this time of great uncertainty, you are faced with many questions about what the future will bring. Will I make a full recovery? When will I be able to return to work? And in the meantime, how will I be able to pay my medical bills? Will my insurance company cover some of the costs?
Although personal injury cases can be stressful for you and your family, you can rest assured that The Law Firm of Fenters Ward is on it. When you or someone you care about are injured because of someone else’s recklessness, you are entitled to full and fair compensation under the law.
At The Law Firm of Fenters Ward, our successful personal injury attorneys will stand by you from the time you are injured and through medical treatment. We will work tirelessly to get you the meaningful compensation your family deserves.
When Can I Recover?
Personal injury is a legal term that refers to an injury to the body, mind, or emotions. A personal injury lawsuit arises when you suffer harm from an accident or injury where someone else is legally responsible for the harm that you suffered.
Some common examples of personal injury lawsuits that Fenters Ward can help you with include:
- Automobile/Motorcycle Accidents
- Heavy Highway/Tractor Trailer Accidents
- ATV Accidents
- Products Liability
- Medical Malpractice
- Premises Liability
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Industrial Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Loss of Consortium
What is the Typical Process for a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Though every personal injury case is different, there is a general process that cases go through before they are resolved.
Personal injury cases typically begin with a consultation with an attorney. During this initial consultation, your attorney will ask you questions to try and determine:
- Whether the negligence of another party was involved
- If there is a defendant from whom to seek compensation
- The extent and severity of your injuries
- Your medical costs
- Your legal options
Once you have gone through this step, the next step is typically an investigation into your personal injury claim.
This step is usually handled by the attorney that you have retained. Your counsel will look into factors such as:
- The accident scene
- Photographs taken of the injuries sustained and the accident scene itself
- Witness testimony
- Medical records and bills and
- Your employment history and earning potential
This may involve collaboration with accident reconstruction experts and medical experts, among others depending on the specific circumstances of your case.
Prior to the commencement of the lawsuit itself, your attorney will send what is known as a demand package to the party at fault. A demand package will typically include a letter that outlines the facts of your case.
The letter will also go over the liability of the other party and damages owed as a result of this. Damages may include:
- Costs of medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Future medical care.
These damages are calculated in the demand letter itself. The letter is sent to the other party for the other party to review.
From here, the other party will review the demand package and either reject it, make a counteroffer, or accept it. The next step in your personal injury case depend on which avenue the opposing party chooses to take.
After reviewing the demand package, the other party may choose to settle the case out of court. When this occurs, counsel for the opposing party will reach out to your counsel to set up a time to meet.
This meeting will typically be between the people personally involved in the dispute, their insurers, and the attorneys representing both sides. Unless both parties agree to the terms outlined in the demand package, the settlement will usually take the form of a negotiation.
Once both sides have come to an agreement, a written agreement will be drawn up. This written agreement will contain the terms discussed as well as an understanding that by agreeing to the terms therein, both parties will forgo any further action, such as a lawsuit.
When the other party rejects the terms of the demand letter outright, you have the option to file a civil complaint against the other party, alleging that they acted carelessly or irresponsibly in connection with the injury or accident that caused harm.
Doing so will commence a lawsuit against the other party. It will then be up to the court to determine the amount of liability incurred, and the compensation for the damages resulting from the accident or injury.
Personal Injury Lawsuits: Common Mistakes to Avoid
Insurance defense firms know how to take advantage of an accident victim’s unguarded statements. The first thing that we tell our clients during the initial consultation is this: keep it private – that’s our policy. That means no photos, no online posts, no text messages, etc. No good can come form discussing your claim with anyone directly – that is what legal counsel is for.
Also, you must do everything you can to ensure that evidence is preserved. Every second counts after you are injured. As time passes, there is a risk that important evidence may be lost or destroyed, which may result in a total loss of your claim. Our office will ensure that evidence in the hands of potential defendants is preserved. Don’t wait to call.
What to Expect When You Call Us
We cannot stress enough the importance of seeking immediate legal advice. So many injured people are victimized a second time by sharing incorrect and inaccurate statements on social media websites, through text messages, or by speaking with insurance representatives.
All initial consultations are done personally. Our East Liberty office is convenient and comfortable for those in the Pittsburgh area. But we are more than willing to meet at your home or any other location. If you have a valid claim, we will typically offer a Contingent Fee Agreement: an agreement between an attorney and his or her client whereby the attorney agrees to represent the client for a percentage of the amount recovered. This fee agreement is the industry standard in personal injury actions. We forward all costs of litigation: filing fees, supplies, expert witness fees, etc. We are not reimbursed and we do not receive a fee for our services unless you receive compensation.
For us, there is no greater satisfaction than delivering compensation to our clients, although delivering that final check is a bittersweet occasion. Money can never replace a loved one or bring back years lost in recovery, but it can ease life’s burdens going forward. It can help get appropriate medical care for Mom and Dad. It can help set up a college fund for children or pay off a mortgage. It puts food on the table when you can no longer work. We believe that helping others is a lawyer’s highest calling. Give us a call – we can help – the consultation is free.
For more information, contact us by filling out our contact form, or by calling 877-259-WARD. We look forward to helping you get the compensation that you deserve.