Just as the insurance company has agents, adjusters, and appraisers representing its interests, you too should have a professional team who is on your side. In addition, our staff of attorneys, case managers, and legal secretaries will take the burden off of your shoulders so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Ultimately, we will fight to see that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
IS THERE A FEE TO CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY ABOUT MY CASE?
No. At Crystle, Allen & Braught, we provide a free consultation. This can be done either by telephone or in person depending on the circumstances. We will review your case without any charge to you and advise you if we feel that we can represent you and pursue a case on your behalf. If we decide that there is a case and you wish to pursue it, we will then move forward on a contingency fee basis.
WHAT LEGAL FEES ARE THERE TO REPRESENT ME FOR MY PERSONAL INJURY CASE? In personal injury matters we represent people on a contingency fee arrangement. A contingency fee means "no recovery - no fee." In other words, if we do not make a recovery for you there will be no fee charged. The amount of the contingency fee may vary depending on what matter we are representing you for. We will always discuss the fee with you before representation begins. Also, you will sign a Fee Agreement which will outline our arrangement. Remember, we do not get paid unless we make a recovery for you.
CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT MY CASE IS WORTH?
Your case is ultimately worth what we can negotiate with the insurance company or the amount of the cash award granted by a judge and/or a jury. We will review your case in detail to arrive at a figure that we believe the insurance company will pay for your injuries. This is usually dependent upon the type of injury that you have, the type of treatment that you receive, whether or not you make a full recovery and what your past and future expenses are. All of these factors are important in valuing a case. Generally, we cannot tell you how much your case is worth until you have finished all of your treatment and you know what your future will hold for you. Remember, at Crystle, Allen & Braught we want to resolve your case for the most money because we do not get paid unless you get paid.
SHOULD I SPEAK WITH ANYONE FROM THE INSURANCE COMPANY OR SIGN ANY DOCUMENTS GIVEN TO ME BY THE INSURANCE COMPANY?
No. You should only give statements to an insurance adjuster or sign Releases for an insurance company after you have spoken with a qualified personal injury trial lawyer. Unfortunately, if you say the wrong thing or give the wrong information to an insurance company it can, and likely will, be used against you in the future.
CAN I SUE MY EMPLOYER FOR PAIN & SUFFERING WHEN I SUFFER A WORK RELATED INJURY?
No. When an employee is injured on the job, the injured worker is limited to Workers' Compensation benefits. Workers' Compensation benefits provide for the payment of medical bills for the treatment of the work injury and a weekly disability benefit for those time periods that an injured worker is unable to work. Under some circumstances, you may be able to sue another party. If you are already receiving Worker's Compensation benefits and the insurance company is trying to stop or modify your benefits or if you have been denied benefits to which you feel you are entitled, contact one of our attorneys who are experienced in handling workers' compensation cases.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FULL-TORT AND LIMITED-TORT CAR INSURANCE?
Those who select full tort coverage on their automobile insurance policy retain the right to bring a claim for pain and suffering if they are injured in a motor vehicle crash. Those who select limited tort generally give up the right to bring such a claim. What many consumers don't realize is how their personal tort selection affects, not only their rights, but the rights of their family. The tort option you select follows you and every member of your household, both as a driver or as a passenger in your own car or another. Your tort option is with you even when you are walking down the street, but, more importantly, it is with your children everywhere they go. Before you renew your automobile insurance, please examine it carefully. If you have limited tort, we strongly urge you to contact your insurance agent and request a change to full tort, for your sake and that of your family.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE TO PAY FOR MEDICAL TREATEMENT AND LOST WAGES ASSOCIATED WITH MY INJURIES FROM A CAR ACCIDENT?
Medical expenses and wage loss benefits due to an auto accident injury are considered by your insurance as "no fault," and each insured looks to his/her own automobile policy for benefits, regardless of the cause of the accident or whether the insured was personally responsible for his injuries. You should also check with you regular health insurance regarding benefits for payment of medical treatment. Additionally, for lost wages you should check to see if you are eligible for short or long-term disability payments.
WHAT IF THE DRIVER OF THE OTHER VEHICLE DID NOT HAVE ADEQUATE INSURANCE TO COVER MY LOSSES?
In cases such as this, the best automobile accident attorneys know how to identify other sources of insurance coverage, including underinsured and uninsured policies, employer’s policies, umbrella policies, and, in some cases, even homeowner’s insurance.
WHO WILL PAY FOR THE DAMAGE TO MY CAR?
Again, you should first check your automobile insurance policy. If you have purchased collision coverage on your policy, you may submit your property damage claim to your own insurer, regardless of how the accident happened or who was at fault. Your insurer will pay for your property damage, less any deductible. In the alternative, you may submit your property damage claim to the insurer for the other driver involved in your accident. This insurer will pay your claim, in full, only upon a determination that its insured was responsible for the accident.
HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO FILE LAWSUIT FOR DAMAGES FROM A CAR ACCIDENT?
Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations applicable to all personal injury claims. Generally, you have two years from the date of your accident within which to settle your claim or file a lawsuit.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM HURT AT WORK?
You should immediately report your injury to your supervisor in charge and/or human relations or resource department. You should then seek medical treatment and follow your treating physician’s recommendations for care and work-related restrictions. You must provide a copy of your work restrictions to your employer.
WHAT RIGHTS DO I HAVE UNDER THE PENNSYLVANIA WORKER’S COMPENSATION ACT?
Under the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act, workers injured on the job or having an occupational disease are entitled to weekly compensation benefits, if disabled, reasonable, necessary, and causally related medical expenses and/or death benefits and burial expenses in the event of death.
WHAT IF MY WORK ACCIDENT AND INJURY ARE MY FAULT?
Under the Workers' Compensation Act, you may still have a right to recover if the accident is your fault. To understand your rights more fully, contact Crystle, Allen & Braught.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I SHOULD SETTLE MY WORKERS' COMPENSATION CASE?
Settlement is the means to secure your benefits in a lump sum. The means by which a settlement occurs is called a compromise and release agreement. The means to accomplish a compromise and release agreement was established in 1996 when Governor Ridge passed an amendment to the then existing Workers Compensation Act, known as Act 57. Act 57 allowed injured workers and employers along with their insurance carrier to settle cases pursuant to a compromise and release agreement. Injured workers are able to settle future and past wage loss claims as well as past and future medical claims. The settlement amount depends on the facts of your individual case, including your average weekly wage and workers compensation benefit amount as well as your level of disability. An experienced attorney will be able to provide guidance on settlement, and it is wise to talk to an attorney in advance of entering into any settlement.