Personal Injury Lawyer

Since I became a lawyer in October of 1978 my primary concentration has been in the area of personal injury. Most of this work has involved automobile accidents, along with medical malpractice, slip and fall cases, injuries from defective products and dog bite cases. We still handle the personal injury cases the way we always have. The fee is one third of what we recover for you. We advance the costs for you. We keep your case moving. If it is a smaller case, we will put the insurance company on notice, investigate, order the medical records and bills, and present the insurance company with a demand as soon as possible. We give the company thirty days to respond. If we can't settle the case within a reasonable time frame, then we file an arbitration complaint and try the case in front of three lawyers. Larger cases involving more serious injuries are handled differently. I have learned that the key to success in these cases is to do a proper investigation immediately and hire a good expert. These cases tend to take longer to resolve because of the money involved. Normally, I need to file a lawsuit and push the case to trial. That is when preparation pays off. For example, in 2013 I had ten cases listed on various trial lists. Because of our preparation, we were able to resolve all ten of them before trial. In one of these cases, the defendant did not make an offer until after I had picked a jury. At that point, they offered me the entire amount of money available under their policy! The insurance company attorney told me that they believed at that point that they could not overcome the evidence that we had compiled in preparing for trial.

I don't want to discuss all the areas of personal injury in which we practice at this website because that would be too lengthy. However, I want to at least discuss one area: what to do if you are in an automobile accident.


One of the most important things you can do in regard to an automobile accident injury is to make sure that you have the appropriate insurance coverage before the accident happens. In Pennsylvania, we have been given a lot of choices concerning what types of coverage we should buy and how much coverage we buy in each category. Making the wrong choices can lead to paying insurance premiums that are unnecessarily high, yet still not getting adequate protection where you need it. Let me make a few suggestions to you.

Pennsylvania has a "no fault" system of auto insurance. This means that your own automobile insurance company pays for your medical bills if you are in an accident, whether or not you were the negligent party. You can purchase as little as $5,000.00 in medical coverage and as much as $1.1 million in coverage. This may be an area where most people can save a few dollars. If you have medical insurance to cover any possible medical bills beyond what is on your auto insurance policy, you are probably safe with either $5,000.00 or $10,000.00 in coverage, since the coverage often repeats what you might already have. However, if you don't have medical insurance, you should purchase more medical coverage here.

The other "no-fault" area of your policy is your lost wage coverage. Obviously, if you are retired, disabled or unemployed you don't need to purchase this coverage. On the other hand, if you or another member of your household is employed, you should purchase lost wage coverage to cover at least twelve months of wages. Most families would have a very difficult time making ends meet if the wage-earner went without income for a year. If you don't purchase lost wage coverage, this can certainly happen to you, especially if the accident is your fault. Even if the accident is someone else's fault, there will be some period of waiting for the case against the negligent party to be resolved or tried before a jury, and without lost wage coverage this can be a very difficult period.

One very important item to check on your insurance policy is to make sure that you have chosen the full tort option, and not the limited tort option. Specifically, you are entitled to save ten percent (10%) of your premium per year if you choose the limited tort option. However, when you choose the lower premium you and all of the members of your household give up your right to seek financial compensation for most injuries caused by careless drivers. This is certainly not worth the money.

For example, if your total yearly automobile insurance premium is $1,000.00, you are saving about $100.00 per year. However, if you are in an accident that is not your fault you can only recover if you have a serious injury. Obviously, this eliminates all smaller claims. More importantly, it makes many of the larger claims more difficult to settle. Specifically, if the insurance company for the other driver can find any reason to argue that the injury was not serious, they will use that argument to at least delay the settlement, often holding up any settlement until the time of trial. There is one final item that deserves mention here. Even if you chose the limited tort option, there are a number of loopholes in this law which allow you to recover for your pain and suffering anyway. The three major exceptions to the rule include cases where the negligent party was intoxicated, where the negligent party was driving an automobile registered in another state, and situations where you were an occupant of a non-private passenger motor vehicle such as a bus or a truck.) While you may be lucky in falling into one of these categories if you are in an accident, it really isn't a good idea to rely on luck when you are injured in an accident.

There is one other area of your automobile insurance policy that I want to discuss with you. Under the law, you are given the option to purchase uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. You should purchase both of these, and make sure that they are stacked and equal to your liability limits. These two coverages represent exactly what we should buy insurance for; big losses that are not our fault.

For example, if you bump your fender in a supermarket parking lot and cause $200.00 in damage to your car, it is unlikely that you will even turn in the loss to your company. On the other hand, if you suffer a serious injury because of someone else's negligence and that person either has no insurance, or not enough insurance to cover the loss, then you have a very bad situation. Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage are designed to protect you from this bad situation. Specifically, if you are seriously injured by someone with either inadequate insurance or no insurance at all, your own insurance company makes up the difference with uninsured? or underinsured motorist coverage. That's the kind of situation we need insurance for.


If you are involved in an accident, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, report the accident to the police. If the other driver tells you they will ?settle this without the insurance companies getting involved, don't believe him. These types of informal agreements never work. Second, report the accident to your insurance company. They need to know about the accident in order to pay your medical bills and conduct an appropriate investigation on your behalf. Third, take pictures of the damage to your automobile and the scene of the accident. Very shortly after the accident, your automobile will either be repaired or destroyed, and at that point, it will no longer be possible to take a picture. Similarly, the scene of the accident showing evidence such as skid marks, etc. will change quickly, and it is sometimes important to preserve that type of evidence. Finally, call us.

There are a number of very costly mistakes you can make if you don't have an attorney. Specifically, you might make a statement that could be misconstrued and would place the blame for the accident on you, even though it wasn't your fault. Second, there are time limits to watch out for. Most people know that the usual statute of limitations on an automobile accident is two (2) years. However, in certain instances, there are things you need to do within six (6) months in order to properly preserve your rights. Finally, in some cases, you can destroy important legal rights by making the wrong move. For example, if the careless person has a limited amount of insurance, and their company offers to you all of the insurance that person has, you may make a mistake by accepting that amount as settlement. Specifically, in many cases, the amount of insurance the careless person has may be small, but you might have a large amount of underinsurance. If you settle your case against the careless person without your company's permission, you waive the right to recover your underinsurance, and therefore, you may be penny wise but pound foolish.

These are just some of the technical aspects that you need to watch out for on your case. There are numerous other advantages to having our firm on your side early. For example, the law requires that the negligent party's insurance company supply you with a rental car comparable to your damaged car until either your car is fixed or they pay for your totaled vehicle. We can help you with the forms you need to fill out with your own company to make sure that your medical bills are paid promptly. But most importantly, we can make sure that no one will take advantage of you. We have been handling these cases for many years. We know the insurance companies, their adjusters, and their attorneys. More importantly, they know us. They know that we will pursue these cases aggressively and efficiently. They know that we will do what it takes to make sure that our clients will obtain just compensation for their injuries.