Personal Injury FAQ’s
Frequently Asked Questions About Pennsylvania Personal Injury
The following are the most frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) concerning personal injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania which we have received from clients and/or potential clients.
- I’m injured, what do I do?
- Do you offer free consultations?
- How much is my personal injury case worth?
- What should I be asking personal injury lawyers before hiring them?
- Should I talk to the insurance company?
- Should I sign any forms for the insurance company?
- Is settlement possible or do I have to sue?
- How long will my lawsuit take?
- What is the statute of limitations in personal injury cases?
- What is a tort?
- What is an intentional tort?
- What does negligence mean?
- Is there really no fee unless we win?
- What is the standard contingency fee agreement?
- How are the costs calculated in personal injury cases?
- Why should I choose Flaherty Fardo?
- What do your past clients have to say?
I’m Injured. What Do I Do?
- First and foremost, seek proper medical attention. Never make a medical decision based upon a lawsuit.
- Make sure the accident is reported to the authorities.
- If possible, take pictures and/or send a family member or friend to take pictures of the accident scene.
- Try to record any and all witnesses’ names and contact information.
- Stay focused on complying with any medical orders.
- Do not speak to or communicate with the insurance company.
- Consult an experienced personal injury lawyer for a free consultation before speaking to anyone about the accident (412.802.6666).
Do You Offer Free Consultations?
Yes. Flaherty Fardo offers free consultations on all personal injury cases. We make home and hospital visits, and there is no obligation to retain our services. Free consultations can be obtained by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 412.802.6666. If you need immediate help, you can call our cell phone at 412.855.5511. BACK TO TOP
How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
The value of your personal injury case can vary dramatically from person to person and from case to case. Only after investigating the circumstances of the accident and understanding the complete medical history should a lawyer opine on the value of a personal injury case. There are many factors involved. If liability is proven, then under the law, the plaintiff is entitled to, at the very least:
- past medical bills,
- future medical bills,
- lost wages,
- lost earning capacity, and/or
- other ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses.
Pennsylvania law also allows monetary recovery for pain and suffering, which may include:
- physical pain,
- emotional pain,
- mental anguish,
- humility, and/or
- reduction in the likelihood of marriage.
For a more detailed explanation of how to value personal injury cases, please read, “How much is my Pennsylvania personal injury case worth?” BACK TO TOP
What Should I Be Asking Personal Injury Lawyers Before Hiring Them?
- What is your contingency fee?
- Will I be responsible for any advanced case costs if we lose?
- Have you tried these types of personal injury cases before?
- Do you have the time necessary to actually work on my case now?
- When will my lawsuit be filed?
- Will my case actually go to trial? And if so, when?
- What is my case worth?
- Will you be the actual attorney handling my case?
- What will my participation in the lawsuit be?
- Will you get me more money than other attorneys and why?
To read more analysis of these questions, please see: “Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney“. BACK TO TOP
Should I Talk To The Insurance Company?
No. If you are seriously injured, you should NOT talk to an insurance company directly. You should hire an attorney to handle all of the verbal and written communication. 100% of your efforts should be focused on your medical treatment, your daily activities and your family. BACK TO TOP
Should I Sign Any Forms?
Do NOT sign any insurance forms without having them first reviewed by your lawyer. The risks outweigh the benefits. Most often, insurance companies will want you to sign release forms so that they may settle your case or they may try to obtain copies of your medical records. If you need to communicate with the insurance company, it is better to have an attorney handle all of the communications. BACK TO TOP
Is Settlement Possible Or Do I Have To Sue?
It depends. We will always explore settlement options early if we believe it is in the best interests of the client. Many times it will be necessary to file a lawsuit. Even if a lawsuit is filed, a majority of meritorious claims do settle prior to an actual trial. However, we believe the best settlements are obtained by being fully prepared for trial. BACK TO TOP
How Long Will My Lawsuit Take?
A typical lawsuit takes anywhere from 18-30 months in Pennsylvania. Of course, there are numerous factors including the complexity of the legal issues and the amount of discovery necessary. We try to expedite all Pennsylvania personal injury lawsuits to the best of our ability. BACK TO TOP
What Is The Statute Of Limitations In Personal Injury Cases?
The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania for personal injury cases is two (2) years from when the accident occurred. However, the statute can be extended if the plaintiff was not aware of the defendants’ negligence. In certain cases, the statute will be tolled until the plaintiff knew, had reason to know, or should have known of the defendants’ negligence. BACK TO TOP
What Is A Tort?
A “tort” is a wrong by definition. A civil tort can be done negligently or intentionally. Both types of torts allow wronged individuals in Pennsylvania to recover monetary damages for these wrongs. BACK TO TOP
What Is An Intentional Tort?
An intentional tort in Pennsylvania simply means that a wrong was caused intentionally (with the specific intent of causing harm or damage to another). Intentional torts sometimes can include the addition of punitive damages (which are damages aimed at punishing defendants). BACK TO TOP
What Does Negligence Mean?
Negligence is the breach of a duty of care to another. It has legal definition that is similar to being careless. In Pennsylvania, for a party to be liable for negligence, there must be a breach of a duty which directly and proximately causes harm or damage to another party. When a party is negligent in violating a Pennsylvania statute or law, it can be known as negligence per se. BACK TO TOP
Is There Really No Fee Unless We Win?
Yes. Our representation for all personal injury cases is based on a contingent fee structure. There is absolutely no fee unless we obtain recovery for you. We advance 100% of the litigation costs, including experts, filings, and depositions and are only reimbursed from the client’s share if we are successful. BACK TO TOP
What Is The Standard Contingency Agreement?
Almost all personal injury lawyers, if there is merit to a case, will offer representation on a contingency fee agreement. The amount of the contingency fee agreement will typically range between 30%, to somewhere as high as 50%. The standard within the western Pennsylvania legal community is 40% of any and all monies recovered. BACK TO TOP
How Are Costs Calculated In Personal Injury Cases?
We have all heard that there is no fee unless there is recovery in a personal injury case. What most people do not know is that the costs of the case are deducted from the clients’ money. This is the reason why some personal injury lawyers actually receive more money than their clients in settlements and verdicts.
EXAMPLE: Case settles for $100,000.00 Lawyer Charges 40%: (or $40,000.00) Client’s portion is 60%: (or $60,000.00). However, what you do not know is the costs. You never hear lawyers explain in advertising how the costs are then deducted. For example, if the lawyers spent $11,000.00 on costs, then the client would only receive $49,000.00 (their share $60,000.00 minus the costs $11,000.00 = $49,000.00), and the lawyer would receive $51,000.00 (atty fee $40,000.00 + costs $11,000.00 = $51,000.00).
The lawyer received more than the client? Though it is absolutely necessary for personal injury lawyers to spend money on case costs, lawyers have a lot of discretion in how exactly this money is spent. Clients are rarely ever told their options about the costs of experts or otherwise. Lawyers can very easily spend excessively to pursue a case, knowing that the money will ultimately be paid back by the client. For example, is your lawyer flying first class or coach? What hotel is your lawyer staying at?
You are paying your lawyer to maximize your recovery, not to spend your money on first class plane tickets. I always recommend that clients stay involved with the costs as the case progresses. Ask your lawyer to always send you a copy of every check spent on costs. This will save you money, because lawyers will be more cognizant of the spending. BACK TO TOP
Why Should I Choose Flaherty Fardo? I
In serious personal injury cases, it is important that clients feel comfortable with the personal injury lawyers chosen. There needs to be teamwork between the lawyers and the client. We understand that a financial award can never fully compensate an individual for a significant injury or for the loss of a loved one when a serious personal injury or accident occurs. However, monetary compensation can help to make the burden of injury or loss, at the very least, economically bearable.
Our goal is to maximize monetary recovery. Serious personal injuries and accidents are never planned and can wreak financial disaster in a family’s life. Our work cannot lessen the emotional and/or physical trauma that loved ones suffer. However, we attempt to mitigate the financial hardships and bring justice for the negligence and/or malpractice of others. BACK TO TOP
What Do Your Past Clients Say?
“Noah Fardo is a 5-star lawyer. I underwent a medical procedure that unfortunately went wrong. Reluctantly, I took a chance and found Noah through the Yellow Pages. When Noah took my case, my experience in working with him exceeded far beyond my expectations. He respected and reciprocated with me on my personal viewpoints of the case, yet dealt with me realistically on possible outcomes. He kept in touch with me through every step of the process, alleviating much of the anxiety associated with a lawsuit. He responded to my ongoing questions, comments and concerns almost immediately. I felt like we were a team and when the case finally came to execution, he left no stone un-turned. Most importantly, he fought for me equipped with total knowledge, vigor and professionalism.” Mary L., Pittsburgh, PA
“3 years ago, I sustained an injury which I believed I needed an attorney. After countless phone conversations with many law firms that said, no, I did not have a case based on our phone conversation, I finally was able to get at least a personal interview with the law firm Flaherty and Fardo to determine if indeed I had a case. I met with Noah Fardo and he was very professional. After our meeting it was determined that his law firm would help me. The entire staff, from legal secretaries and lawyers, were very professional, compassionate and thorough. The law firm of Flaherty and Fardo made me feel like I was their only client. They kept me informed weekly with the progress of my case. They were able to win my case and I was awarded a monetary value beyond my expectations. I highly recommend them if you want it done right. Even to date they call me to see how I am doing. Flaherty and Fardo were truly a godsend to me and my family.” D.L., Pittsburgh, PA
“I’d never been involved in a lawsuit concerning a death before. But, when my uncle died unexpectedly in his apartment after the local utility company shut off his heat, I decided to ask several lawyers if they felt that the company was negligent. Attorney Noah Fardo was the only one who looked deeply into the details of the case and then decided a wrong had indeed occurred. Hands down, I’m glad that he was so thorough in his investigations. Attorney Fardo walked me through the entire case, basically, hand-in-hand. He’d call to update me through every stage of litigation, and when he had any news at all to report. I was never in the dark… or lost and confused about anything. I appreciated, so much, the personal touch he had with my case. I have to say, if there was an attorney who was ever so determined, and unrelenting, it’s Noah Fardo. Now my case has been successfully won and the estate received a large settlement. I can leave the trauma in the past. Thank you, Noah!!” Peter R.F., Pittsburgh, PA
“Hi Noah and Shawn, Thank you. I had no idea what to expect filing my first lawsuit. I really didn’t even want to file it. You guys did a phenomenal job and me and my family can’t thank you enough. I hope I never need you again, but if I, or anyone I know does, I absolutely will recommend you.” Thanks again guys, we really appreciate it!” Robert F., Pittsburgh, PA
Flaherty Fardo offers free consultations on all Pennsylvania injury and accident cases. Consults can be done on-line or by calling our offices at 412.802.6666. If you need immediate help, please text us at 412.855.5511.