How To Find Top-Notch Legal Representation After A Crash
Suffering injuries in a car accident in Pittsburgh can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. Between dealing with your injuries, navigating insurance claims, losing income from missed work, and facing uncertainty about your legal options, it’s a lot to handle on your own. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side. But not just any lawyer will do – you need legal representation from a top attorney so that you receive the full amount of compensation you are due.
Keep reading to learn what to look for in the best car accident lawyer Pittsburgh and how to choose the right one for your needs.
Getting the right lawyer after a car accident in Pittsburgh can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. An adept lawyer knows how to develop a compelling case, determine full damages, Talk to the insurance companies, and, if necessary, take your case to trial. With the stakes so high, you want to get this decision right. Here are the most important factors to consider. Picking the top Pittsburgh automobile accident attorney involves
Experience Handling Pittsburgh Car Accident Cases
The single most important factor in choosing an attorney with extensive experience, specifically with car accident lawyer Pittsburgh. An experienced lawyer will understand the local courts, judges, insurance companies, laws, and how much accident cases typically settle for in your area. They will leverage their past casework to maximize your compensation. Look for a Pittsburgh accident attorney with at least 5-10 years of experience handling local injury claims.
Resources To Build a Strong Case
Your lawyer needs sufficient resources to thoroughly investigate your accident, prove who’s at fault, demonstrate your damages, and negotiate or litigate your claim. Look for a sizable law firm with financial resources, connections to accident experts, and staff to properly work up your case. Avoid solo practitioners who lack the bandwidth to give your case the attention it deserves.
Stellar Reputation and Verdict/Settlement Results
The lawyer’s reputation and results on behalf of past clients speak volumes. Look up online reviews and client testimonials and choose a legal representative with a track record of top-dollar payouts for their clients. An accomplished car accident attorney can point to 7 and 8-figure jury verdicts and settlements. This demonstrates their ability to maximize compensation.
Contingency Fee Payment Model
The best car accident lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing upfront, and they only collect a fee if they win your case. The standard fee is 33% of the final settlement amount. This gives the lawyer incentive to get the largest payout possible to increase their fee. Make sure to get all payment terms in writing upfront.
Responsiveness and Communication
Choosing a lawyer, you can easily communicate with is key. Look for responsiveness in initial consultations and clarity in explaining legal options. Make sure they will be available to address your questions and provide case updates. Communication problems with a lawyer can frustrate and impair your case.
Willingness to Go to Trial
While most accident cases settle out of court, having a lawyer ready and willing to take your case to trial is crucial. The threat of going to trial gives your lawyer leverage when negotiating with insurance companies. An experienced trial lawyer will aggressively pursue maximum compensation for you.
Now that you know what to look for, here are 5 of the best car accident lawyers and law firms in Pittsburgh:
- Edgar Snyder & Associates
With offices throughout Pittsburgh and over 45 years of experience, Edgar Snyder & Associates provides top-notch legal representation for injury victims. They have recovered over $1 billion for clients, with a proven record of success. Their veteran trial lawyers have the resources and expertise to get you the compensation you deserve.
- D’Amico Law Offices
D’Amico Law Offices is a highly respected Pittsburgh injury firm equipped to handle the most complex car accident cases. Their accident lawyers have been named to Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers lists year after year. With a 90% success rate, they can fight aggressively on your behalf.
- The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP
Known for superb client service and legal work, The Rothenberg Law Firm will compassionately advocate for injury victims. They have obtained millions in settlements for clients. Their lawyers have been rated five stars online for their personalized attention and legal skills.
- Berger and Green
For over 45 years, Berger and Green have helped injury victims recover over $100 million in verdicts and settlements. Their deeply experienced lawyers have a proven record fighting major insurance companies and corporations. They won’t back down until you get justice.
- Golomb & Honik, P.C.
A prominent Philadelphia personal injury firm with an office in Downtown Pittsburgh, Golomb & Honik has an exceptional track record in auto accident cases. Prior to becoming a car accident attorney, Kenwyn Dougherty worked as an insurance defense lawyer. Giving him inside knowledge of their tactics.
When choosing among the top car accident lawyers in Pittsburgh, it pays to do your research and ask questions. Narrow down the options to 3 potential firms, then consult with each before deciding. Compare their experience, case results, client reviews, and your rapport with the attorney. Never rush this important decision, or just choose the first lawyer you speak with. Vet multiple firms to find the best attorney match.
Top Questions to Ask When Choosing a Car Accident Lawyer in Pittsburgh
- How long have you practiced personal injury law, specifically in the Pittsburgh area?
- What is your success rate for car accident cases? What types of judgments and agreements have you gotten?
- Will you personally take on my case, or will you delegate it to additional lawyers or paralegals? How available will you be for questions?
- How will you build my case and work to prove the other driver’s liability?
- Will you hire expert witnesses if needed – accident reconstructionists, doctors, etc?
- How soon can you begin investigating my accident to preserve evidence?
- Have you handled cases against the at-fault driver’s insurance provider before? What’s your experience dealing with them?
- Are you willing to take my case to trial if the insurance company doesn’t offer full and fair compensation?
By asking targeted questions, you can better understand the lawyer’s qualifications and strategy for your case. Make sure you feel comfortable with their responses and level of commitment to fighting for you.
Gather Key Evidence After Your Car Accident
Following an accident, you must take important steps. Be sure to follow these steps:
- Get contact information for the other driver(s) involved, including their name, insurance details, driver’s license number, phone number, and address.
- Take photos of property damage, skid marks, injuries, and the accident scene. Get photos of the vehicles involved from multiple angles.
- Get witness statements and contact information from anyone who saw the crash occur.
- Speak with your insurance company on tape. But avoid speaking to the other driver’s insurance company without legal counsel present.
- Preserve all accident-related documents and evidence, including medical records, accident reports, correspondence with insurance companies, and repair estimates/bills.
- Seek necessary medical treatment right away, even for minor injuries which may worsen over time. Keep notes of diagnoses, prescribed treatment, and expenses.
- Don’t mention the incident on social media. Or admitting any fault. Something shared online could affect your injury claim down the line.
By promptly gathering evidence and documentation, you’ll have what you need to prove your case and get full compensation for your injuries, vehicle damage, lost income, and other damages.
Common Car Accident Injuries in Pittsburgh
Car accidents can cause severe, disabling injuries with costly medical bills and long recovery periods. Some of the common car crash injuries seen in Pittsburgh include:
- Whiplash: Whiplash is the most common crash injury, causing neck, back, and shoulder pain from the body jolting violently back and forth. Symptoms may appear days later.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): TBIs happen when the head hits interior car surfaces, causing concussions, bleeding, and loss of consciousness. Effects can be long-term, including headaches, dizziness, memory loss, and concentration problems.
- Broken Bones: Fractures most often occur in the arm, hand, leg, foot, ribs, collarbone, and hip bone during high-impact collisions. Surgery and lengthy rehabilitation may be required.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Sprains, strains, and tears to muscles, tendons, and ligaments cause swelling and bruising and sometimes require surgery. Pain and disability may persist.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Accidents can fracture vertebrae or severely damage spinal discs leading to limited mobility and paralysis.
- Internal Bleeding/Organ Damage: Blunt force trauma can rupture organs and damage blood vessels. This requires major surgery and can be fatal if not promptly treated.
Make sure you get full and appropriate medical treatment for any injury to protect your health and document your damages. Your attorney and medical experts will help establish and verify causation between your injuries and the car accident.
Your Legal Options After a Pittsburgh Car Accident
After a motor vehicle collision, you have legal rights and options under Pennsylvania law. A skilled car accident lawyers can help you understand and pursue the following:
- Injury Claim Against the At-Fault Driver – You have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the reckless driver. Who caused the crash to recover damages like medical expenses, lost income, property damage, disability, and pain/suffering costs? Their insurance provider will pay the claim up to policy limits.
- Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Claim – If the at-fault driver lacked sufficient insurance (or any insurance), your own policy’s UM/UIM coverage could compensate for damages.
- Claim for Product Liability – If a defective auto part caused or worsened the accident, the manufacturer can be held liable. Experts can pinpoint design and manufacturing defects.
- Dram Shop Liability Claim – Bars, restaurants, and other establishments that over-served alcohol to the at-fault driver can be sued for compensation.
- No-Fault Insurance Benefits – Your own auto policy provides a maximum amount of no-fault coverage for medical expenses and lost income, regardless of fault.
An accomplished injury lawyer understands how to strategically apply these options to get you maximum compensation in your unique situation. Don’t leave money on the table by going it alone.
Why Hiring a Lawyer Improves Your Car Accident Claim
You may wonder if hiring an attorney is really necessary or if you can handle your car accident claim yourself. Here are the top reasons it pays to hire a lawyer:
- They perform an in-depth investigation and build a strong case proving legal damages. Most individuals lack the knowledge, resources, and wherewithal to do so on their own.
- They know how to negotiate skillfully with insurance providers to compensate you fully for your damages and suffering.
- They understand the intricacies of determining liability and comparative negligence in accident cases.
- They work with medical experts to verify and quantify the extent of your injuries and treatment needs.
- They determine the full scope of financial losses – both current and future – resulting from the accident.
- They vigorously fight back against common insurance company tactics meant to deny or minimize valid claims.
- Their reputation and litigation record give them more leverage in negotiations and the courtroom.
- They take the burden off your shoulders so you can focus on recovery – not wrangling with insurance adjusters.
- They have your back if the at-fault driver and their insurance company refuse to pay what you deserve.
- There are no upfront costs, and you pay nothing unless they win money for you.
Without seasoned legal help, you will likely come out with far less compensation than if you obtained expert counsel. Don’t leave thousands of dollars on the table. Call a top car accident lawyer in Pittsburgh for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Beware of Common Car Insurance Company Tactics
Insurance carriers have one goal in mind: minimize what they pay out for your claim. They have bagfuls of tricks and tactics they use to accomplish this, which only experienced personal injury lawyers can combat. Watch out for:
- Delaying communication and responses – a stalling tactic to get you to accept an unfair offer.
- Recording statements, then twisting your words against you. Refuse to provide any recorded statement without your lawyer present.
- Requests for excessive documentation. Provide only what is reasonable.
- Quick, lowball settlement offers before they have all the information on your damages. Do not take initial offers.
- Claims that your injuries pre-dated the accident. Your attorney will produce evidence to the contrary.
- Accusations that you contributed to the accident in some way. A lawyer knows how to disprove false accusations.
- Suggestions to seek treatment with their preferred doctors who work for insurance companies. Decline and see your own independent physicians.
- Requests to submit to an IME (independent medical exam). Talk to your lawyer before agreeing since the doctor could produce a report downplaying your injuries.
- Making you feel guilty for taking legal action or suggesting you are committing fraud. Stand firm with your experienced attorney at your side.
Your lawyer’s in-depth knowledge of common insurance company tactics in Pittsburgh can help you be prepared and stay strong throughout negotiations.
If a motor vehicle accident left you hurt, caused by another driver’s negligence, do not delay in seeking experienced legal representation. A top-rated car accident lawyer can make the difference between getting fairly compensated or coming away with far less than you deserve. Keep these tips in mind:
- Consult with several lawyers before choosing one. Compare credentials, case results, and client reviews.
- Choose a legal representative who has handled numerous auto accident claims in Pittsburgh courts.
- Gather evidence promptly before it disappears to build a winning case.
- Beware of insurance company tactics and never provide a recorded statement without your lawyer present.
- Understand your legal options – an attorney can pursue multiple avenues for maximum compensation.
- Do not accept quick, lowball settlement offers from insurance companies before fully investigating your injuries and vehicle damage.
- Work with a lawyer who is ready and capable of taking your case to trial for the best outcome if a fair settlement is not reached.
The right car accident lawyer can alleviate stress and hardship following a crash by fighting relentlessly to get you justice. With top-notch legal help, you can focus on healing and getting back to your life rather than worrying about lost income, piles of medical bills, and negotiating legal claims on your own. Consult with an accomplished Pittsburgh accident attorney today for a free case evaluation.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How much does an accident lawyer cost?
Top accident lawyers work on contingency, meaning there are no upfront fees, and you only pay if they win your case. The standard fee is 33% of the final settlement amount. Initial consultations are free.
- How can a lawyer prove the other driver was at fault?
Lawyers use police reports, eyewitness statements, skid mark analysis, cell phone records, accident reconstruction, and other evidence to conclusively prove fault and liability.
- What damages can I claim after a car accident?
You could submit a claim for medical costs. Property damage, lost wages, impairment, deformity, pain, and suffering costs. A lawyer will calculate and document all your damages.
- How much is my car accident case worth?
The value depends on injury severity, at-fault driver negligence, insurance coverage, lost wages, treatment costs, and other factors. Experienced lawyers can accurately value a car accident claim.
- How quickly do car accident cases settle?
Most cases settle within 1-2 years, but some take longer. Factors include negotiations, needed treatment, and whether a lawsuit is filed. Experienced attorneys work efficiently to settle faster.