Lamb McErlane's Personal Injury Group has a long and successful track record representing clients on a contingent fee basis in diverse matters including wrongful death and survival actions, medical and dental malpractice, automobile accidents, product liability, liquor vendor liability and premises liability in both federal and state courts.
Lamb McErlane aggressively explores every aspect of each case and stays in close communication with the client throughout the investigation, discovery and trial of the matter. Whether the case is resolved through settlement negotiations with an insurance carrier, opposing counsel or ultimately through a trial, Lamb McErlane has earned a reputation for zealously representing its clients.
Protecting You and Your Family in the Event of a Serious Accident
Much has been made over the past few years about the proliferation of “frivolous” lawsuits in the United States. A large segment of our society has become cynical of the motives of those who have been seriously injured due to the negligence of another. However, injuries suffered in a serious accident, whether in an automobile, at a work site, from a product or at a medical or nursing facility, can have a devastating financial and emotional impact upon the injured person.
It can also have a significant impact upon such individual’s family. An injury can, and often does, affect an individual’s earning capacity, his or her mood, his or her physical wellbeing and his or her personality. It can also change you and your relationship with a spouse and children.
The law provides protection to those injured in a serious car accident against financial ruin and devastation, as well as pain and suffering. The protections afforded such accident victims are guaranteed by the laws of our founding fathers. The Constitution affords all United States citizens the right to redress any wrong committed upon them by another through the appropriate legal process and a trial if necessary.
The law protects the injured person and his or her family much the same way that other laws of this nation protect citizens who have been wronged. An injured person has the right to be reimbursed for his or her medical expenses and wage loss so that he or she does not suffer a financial hardship due to the fault of another. The law also provides compensation for the injured person’s pain, suffering, inconvenience and annoyance caused by the physical harm. In the event the accident results in death, the law protects that person’s family by providing compensation to the spouse and children.
If you are injured in a serious accident, allow Lamb McErlane to guide you and protect you and your family.
Contact us so that your rights under the law are preserved and the financial well-being of you and your family are not compromised.
If you have been inquired at work click here for more information on Workers Compensation.
Personal Injury Attorney West Chester, PA
Frequently Asked Questions in Car Accident Litigation
I. Who pays for my medical bills if I am injured in a car accident?
In most cases, your medical bills will be paid by your own automobile insurance carrier up to the limits of your medical bill coverage on that policy. (If you are injured in an automobile accident during the course and scope of your employment, then your employer’s workers compensation insurance company would be responsible for your medical bills). This is true even if the other driver is at fault. If your automobile insurance company has paid the maximum amount required by your policy, then any additional bills should be sent to any private health insurance company that covers you for medical care and treatment. In some cases this private carrier will have the right to be reimbursed for any bills that it paid on your behalf out of any settlement that you may obtain from the other driver.
II. What happens if I have Limited Tort Automobile Insurance?
If you have chosen the Limited Tort option under your automobile policy then you cannot sue the other driver for non-economic damages (i.e. pain and suffering, inconvenience, emotional distress, anxiety, loss of life pleasures, etc.) unless you suffered a “serious bodily injury” in the accident. What constitutes “serious bodily injury” has been the subject of extensive litigation and court decisions in Pennsylvania. However, you are still entitled to recoup from the other driver or that driver’s insurance company any economic damages that you suffered such as out of pocket medical expenses and your wage loss.
III. What are Uninsured Motorist Benefits (UM Benefits) and Underinsured Motorist Benefits (UIM Benefits)?
When selecting automobile insurance coverage, the insurance company must offer you the opportunity to purchase UM Benefits and UIM Benefits. In fact, the insurance company must offer you the opportunity to purchase the same dollar amount of UM and UIM coverage as the liability coverage that you have purchased. (Liability coverage is the amount you purchased to protect you if you are sued by another driver). If you decline UM or UIM coverage, or if you choose UM and UIM benefits at a dollar amount of coverage less than your liability coverage, then you must sign forms specifically acknowledging that you were offered the available coverage and elected lesser coverage or no coverage.
UM benefits provide protection to you if you are involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured driver. If that uninsured driver was at fault, then you can recover compensation from your own insurance company (up to the available limits) for the harm that you suffered. If the driver was at fault, but the liability coverage that the driver possessed was insufficient to fully compensate you, then you would be entitled to UIM benefits (if elected) under your own policy. You would collect from the other driver’s insurance company and then from your own company for the harm that you suffered.
UM and UIM benefits provide extraordinary protection to you and your family. There are quite a significant amount of people who are not insured despite the law requiring everyone to be insured. Further, an even greater number of people are insured for liability coverage at the minimum required by law ($15,000). This amount is generally inadequate to compensate you if you are involved in a significant accident. Thus, you should strongly consider purchasing UM and UIM benefits under your own policy to protect against uninsured and underinsured drivers who may cause an accident with you.
IV. What should I do if I am contacted by the other driver’s insurance company?
Often, soon after an accident, the insurance company for the driver at fault will contact you in an effort to quickly settle your claims against the other driver. You should not speak to the insurance company and you should refer the caller to your attorney. If you do not have an attorney then you should contact one immediately. When you have been involved in an accident, you have important rights that need to be protected and an attorney should protect those rights for you.
We at Lamb McErlane have years of experience representing individuals injured in an automobile accident. If you have been injured in an accident due to the fault of another, please call John Stanzione at 610-430-8000 or by email.
Frequently Asked Questions – Workers Compensation
What Are Workers Compensation Benefits?
Under Pennsylvania law, an employee injured at work is entitled to be compensated for any wage loss that results from such injury. Such compensation is paid by the employer or the employer’s workers compensation insurance company. These wage loss benefits are generally known as “indemnity” or “disability” benefits.
In addition to disability or indemnity benefits, the injured worker is entitled to have all of his reasonable and necessary medical expenses paid by the employer or the employer’s workers compensation insurance carrier. This is generally referred to as “medical benefits”. During the first 90 days after the injury, the employer can require that the employee be treated with the employer’s designated “panel” physician. Failure to treat with the panel physician could prevent the employee from receiving payment of his medical expenses. After 90 days, the employee can choose to continue with the panel physician or treat with a doctor of his own choosing.
What if I Cause my Own Injury at Work?
In Pennsylvania the workers compensation system is essentially a “no-fault” system. Except in limited circumstances, an employee is entitled to indemnity/disability (wage loss) benefits and medical benefits even if the injury is due to the employee’s own fault.
An injured employee does not have to show that the employer caused his or her injury or that the injury was the “fault” of the employer. If you are injured at work you should request that your employer contact its workers compensation carrier so that appropriate benefits can be paid to you.
What if My Employer Fails to Pay Workers Compensation Benefits to Me?
If your employer fails to pay workers compensation benefits to you then you should contact the law firm of Lamb McErlane for legal representation. The lawyers at Lamb McErlane will file an appropriate legal petition with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers Compensation so that your rights are protected. You should act immediately as Pennsylvania requires that notice of your injury be provided in a timely manner to the employer. If timely notice of the injury is provided to the employer, you have three years from the date of injury to file a petition against the employer. However, waiting that long to file a petition could prevent you from receiving benefits to which you are immediately entitled.
How Much Does Workers Compensation Pay for My Lost Wages?
Under Pennsylvania law, you are entitled to two-thirds (2/3) of any wage loss that you suffer due to the work injury up to a maximum amount established per year by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Your disability benefits are payable weekly and most insurance companies will issue disability checks every two weeks to the injured worker.
Can I Settle My Own Workers Compensation Case?
Yes. However, it is highly recommended that you have legal representation if you decide to settle your own workers compensation case. A settlement will require you to forever release any and all wage loss claims that you may have against the employer or forever release all right to ongoing medical care for the work injury. In some cases you will be asked to forever release both the wage loss and medical claims.
The release of all such benefits is an important decision which should not be made without the counsel of the lawyers at Lamb McErlane. You should contact us if you decide to settle your own workers compensation benefits.