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Philadelphia Injury Lawyer Blog

The Pearce Law Firm, including well-known Philadelphia injury lawyer Edith Pearce, is dedicated to the personal care of each individual case. We believe in educating our potential clients on the variety of cases being filed in the state of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The blog posts below feature accidents and events that may lead to potential law suits. Whether you need a personal injury lawyer to represent you due to car or truck accidents, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, dog bites, or head injuries, The Pearce Law Firm works on your behalf to provide you the compensation you deserve.

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How Long Do Philadelphia Personal Injury Cases Take?

February 21, 2018

During an initial conference, it’s not unusual for a client to ask how long a case might take until it’s finalized. Depending on several factors, the answer might be that it could only take a few months or as long as a few years.

The Factors
Cases with clearly understood injuries, liability and a reputable insurance company on the other side might only take a few months to resolve. Other cases are going to take longer. Here’s why.

The Nature and Extent of the Injuries
In the early stages of conservative treatment, doctors might not know the extent of an injury and how long it will take for the patient to reach maximum medical improvement. For example, a herniated spinal disc might be initially diagnosed as a back strain. A course of physical therapy will be prescribed, but two months later, the patient is still suffering the same pain and discomfort. An MRI study might then be ordered, and the back strain is now diagnosed as a herniated disc. If surgery is warranted, the recovery period might last several more months. An experienced car accident lawyer is going to need all possible information on the injury in order to accurately establish the damages on a case. While you’re treating and recovering from your injuries, we’re building your case.

Liability
In many cases, liability is 100 percent clear. In others, fault issues might get a little foggy. That can happen when both parties to a motor vehicle accident share some degree of fault. For example, in an intersection collision, one driver might purportedly be 75 percent at fault, while the other driver allegedly shares 25 percent of the responsibility for the crash. That’s known as comparative negligence, and the percentage of negligence attributable to the claimant is deducted from any gross settlement or verdict. If the parties aren’t able to agree on comparative negligence, a trial might be necessary, and a jury can apportion fault. That can cause a delay in an otherwise routine claim, but it might involve a significant amount of money.

The Opposing Insurance Company
Insurance companies conduct their own investigations into claims. If liability and damages are confirmed, they reserve a certain sum of cash, and they set it aside as an anticipated loss. Upon confirming all of the damages with the claimant’s attorney, an offer of settlement might be made. That’s when a discussion must be held between the attorney and the client on whether to try to move further forward or settle the claim. Most personal injury lawyers will either recommend an offer of settlement or not recommend it. If the client wishes to settle, the attorney’s recommendation is irrelevant. The case must settle, and final paperwork and receipt of a settlement check should take less than a month.

Litigation
If the case doesn’t settle during the claim stage, an actual personal injury lawsuit can be filed against the person who caused the accident and injuries. If a mutually satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, cases usually go to trial about 18 months of the date of filing of the lawsuit.

Contact a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer

We can’t predict the future, but as experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyers, we’re able to estimate the time frame on most cases. Remember that much depends on the nature and extent of the injuries, any allegations of comparative negligence and the insurance company involved. In some cases, we’re willing to try to work with an insurer toward what we believe would be a fair settlement. With other insurance companies, we know that we’ll be wasting our time and file a lawsuit right away. In whatever ways that the injuries, liability and damages figure into the equation, you’ll do far better in the end with our experienced and effective Philadelphia car accident lawyers. You won’t have any leverage if you try to represent yourself.

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What is a Contingency Fee in a Philadelphia Personal Injury Case?

February 19, 2018

Nearly all attorneys who practice personal injury law in Pennsylvania represent their clients on a contingency fee basis. Billing legal services to an accident victim on an hourly basis with payment expected within 30 days would operate to lock most accident victims out of the halls of justice. They just couldn’t afford a qualified attorney to represent them in an accident that wasn’t even their fault. Rather than billing such a case on an hourly basis, the attorney agrees to be paid only if he or she obtains a settlement or verdict for the client. The attorney’s fee is expressed as a specific percentage of any settlement or trial verdict. If the end result is for the defendant, and no settlement is entered, or no monetary award is rendered, the attorney simply doesn’t get paid any legal fees at all.

Contingency fees allow access to our legal system for anybody in the United States who has been injured due to the carelessness and negligence of somebody else. The fee arrangement opens the courthouse doors for purposes of seeking compensation for their damages. It levels the playing field in such a manner that the little guy is given the opportunity to be on equal footing with a large corporation or insurance company.

Contact a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in an accident that was the fault of somebody else, contact our Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers, and we’ll be pleased to talk with you about taking your case on a contingency fee basis. In any contingency fee arrangement, always make sure that your retainer agreement is reduced to writing. That’s for your own protection and peace of mind.

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How Do Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers Get Paid?

February 15, 2018

At least 99 percent of the personal injury lawyers in Philadelphia are paid on some type of a contingency fee basis. If you retain one of these professionals to represent you for the damages that you suffered in an accident, you should enter into a written retainer agreement indicating that your lawyer will be paid a percentage of any proceeds that he or she obtains on your behalf through a settlement or verdict. Should your legal representative not prevail on your claim or case, no legal fees are due.

Notice of Attorney’s Lien

The attorney or law firm secures payment by claiming a lien over any proceeds derived from settlement or suit. The insurer of the person who caused the accident is notified of that lien in writing. If proper notice of an attorney’s lien is received by an insurance company, the lawyer’s or law firm’s name must be included on any check in payment of a settlement or verdict. The client’s name will also appear on the check along with the names of any other lien claimants.

Depositing the Check

Once all of the payees on the final check have signed off on it or have given the lawyer authority to sign it on their behalf, it’s deposited into the attorney or law firm’s client trust account. When funds have transferred from the insurance company’s bank to the attorney or law firm’s bank, disbursement is made, and everybody is paid.

Contact a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer

Our practice is to provide the client with a written retainer and contingency fee agreement that details the percentage of the contingency fee along with how the costs of bringing the claim or lawsuit will be paid. That agreement is for the client’s protection and peace of mind. Never enter into any type of a contingency fee arrangement without a written retainer agreement. If you are seeking a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, contact us today.

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Does Philadelphia Have E-Lanes for Distracted Pedestrians?

November 19, 2017

Philadelphia does not have “E-Lanes” for distracted pedestrians. The Philadelphia Mayor’s Office played an April Fool’s Day joke on everyone to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted walking because so many pedestrians are looking at their phones while walking and getting injured.

From 2005 – 2012 there was a 400% increase in ER visits from pedestrians injured while distracted. Unfortunately, this problem has only gotten worse. As of 2017, look anywhere in Philly and you will see locals reading emails and texting while walking and tourists are hailing Uber drivers, using Google Maps for directions and posting pictures to Instagram and Snapchat.

The most infamous example of distracted walking in Philadelphia is the viral video of a man who walked off of a subway platform and fell onto the tracks below while looking at his phone.

The problem is not limited to Philly. In Honolulu police are now issuing tickets to distracted pedestrians. Fines start at $15 and increase more for repeat offenders.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the April Fool’s Day Joke here.

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Negligent Security at Philadelphia Hotels

September 15, 2017

If you have been assaulted or injured due to negligent security at a Philadelphia hotel, you will want to speak to a Philadelphia hotel injury lawyer with experience in premises liability.

Negligent security

Whether you’re staying in Center City or visiting from out of town to see all of the great tourist attractions, chances are you will be staying at one of the hotels in Philadelphia. When guests stay at a hotel, they have a reasonable expectation to remain safe while at that hotel.

To keep customers safe from third parties, property owners and hotel owners should provide a reasonable level of security and duty of care. Crimes occur when there is desire and opportunity. Eliminating the opportunity helps prevent a variety of assaults and physical violence. Some types of security measures which prevent these criminal acts include warning signs, adequate lighting, security officers, locks, adequate staff and surveillance.

A hotel could be held liable for negligent security if they failed to warn customers of potential harm or neglected to consider the existence of such crime. For example, a hotel in a high crime area or with a history of criminal acts should have adequate security, such as security officers, to prevent foreseeable harm.

Do I need an attorney?

After any type of injury which takes place on a hotel’s property, report the incident to hotel management right away. Please note that a written or recorded statement is not required and if you provide this they may use it against you in the future. After that obtain medical assistance and contact our offices right away for a free and confidential consultation and case evaluation with one of our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers.

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Never Too Old to Fall Off Your Bike

July 8, 2013

Some may joke that, at 74 years old, Justice Stephen Breyer may need to put the training wheels back on his bike. News sources report the Supreme Court Justice has been cycling most of his life and suffered three serious accidents in the last 20 years. In 1993, Justice Breyer was hospitalized with broken ribs and a punctured lung when a car hit him while he was riding his bicycle in Harvard Square. In 2011, the justice broke his collarbone after an accident while riding near his home. He recently recovered in a Georgetown hospital after undergoing surgery for a broken shoulder sustained when he fell off his bicycle this April.

Whether motor vehicles are involved or not, falling or colliding into objects while riding a bike can be very dangerous and all too common. Justice Breyer was wearing his helmet and is an experienced rider, but he still received major injuries. With this type of bicycle accident, lawyer advice and services can be an important and a vital resource for families that are hurting following a bike collision. This is especially true when another party is involved or the crash involved a moving car or truck.

Bicycle accident legal representation is available to protect individual rights and offer comprehensive legal services, and The Pearce Law Firm lawyers offer experience and dedication for these cases. This type of legal counsel can help cyclists navigate the complex and confusing court system. Resources are available to ensure all cyclists receive the compensation they deserve from insurance companies and other parties involved in the accident. If you or a loved one is recovering from the traumatic effects of a bicycle accident, legal representation can help you gather evidence, determine fault, and even recover losses.

Justice Breyer’s shoulder is expected to heal, and he’ll probably get back on his bike as soon as possible. But those who are injured in an accident that was not their fault, such as being hit by a car, may not be so lucky. An attorney can help recover the compensation due. To learn more about The Pearce Law Firm and how they can help you with a bicycle accident case, visit us at: http://thepearcelawfirm.com/

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New Jersey Governor Candidate injured in Car Collision

May 24, 2013

In February New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Barbara Buono, suffered minor injuries when her car was involved in an accident. She was leaving an event and being driven home by an assistant when her driver attempted to turn and collided with an oncoming car. The 59-year-old senator suffered a minor injury to her forehead.

Buono’s injury sheds light on the fact that car accidents and injuries occur in all walks of life. While Senator Buono likely had a team tasked with ensuring her safety, accidents are sometimes unavoidable. This is why you need a car accident lawyer who understands negligence, product liability, and more when dealing with personal injury cases.

Consider this: Automobile accidents continue to be the leading cause of injury and death in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2008 alone, more than 34,000 deaths occurred. Many more were injured. A qualified personal injury lawyer can help you through these troubling times.

In some cases the accident may be caused by negligence. Sometimes that negligence falls on those responsible with maintaining safe and drivable roads. Other times the injury or death may be the result of a vehicle defect, which opens the door to product liability lawsuits. In the worst cases there may even be the option for wrongful death lawsuits.

If injuries occurred, you may need an experienced car accident lawyer to recoup medical expenses, loss of past and future income, mental trauma, pain and suffering, and more. Edith Pearce and her team offer just that. We will examine the situation, look at the facts, consult expert witnesses, and review paperwork, all on your behalf. The bottom line is that Edith Pearce and her team at Te Pearce Law Firm provide you with dedicated representation. We will fight for the financial compensation you deserve. The goal is to relieve you of the legal burdens so you can focus on healing.

Don’t wait. Call a Pearce Law Firm, p.c. lawyer today for more information or to schedule an appointment. The sooner you call, the faster we can get working on your case. Schedule your consultation today.

Posted in: Car Accidents, Uncategorized

A Skilled Attorney Can Help Recoup Losses Following A Bicycling Accident

April 12, 2013

Bicycling accidents happen more often than you think. It’s moments like these when people need a bicycle accident lawyer. Philadelphia, for instance, is full of children who ride their bikes which increases the potential for numerous accidents. Last month, a 10-year-old local boy from Broomall was found sprawled out unconscious on the side of the road. He was riding his bike when a Buick hit him and sped off, fleeing the scene. The accident was 100 yards from a roadside memorial for a woman killed in a separate accident.

In June 2012, the U.S. Department of Transportation released a study indicating 52,000 bicyclists were injured in 2010. Another 618 were killed.

Children aren’t the only ones prone to incidents. Adults ride too. In October, well-known author and consultant Stephen Convey died from complications of a bike injury. He was known for writing the best seller “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

If you’ve suffered through an accident, there may be ways to recoup your losses.  Pennsylvania and Philadelphia has laws to compensate you for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of income wages if you were injured while bicycling by the negligence of someone else. You may also be able to recoup money for medical bills. If a family member passed away, there are also avenues to take the offender to civil court and recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.

There are a variety of instances where you may need a bicycle accident lawyer. Philadelphia attorney Edith Pearce can help. Her skills have earned her many unique distinctions. She was named by Newsweek as one of the 20 leaders in Law, deemed a Super Lawyer by Philadelphia Magazine, and is a Member of Mensa, a society for those with the highest IQs. Call now for more information. It may result in the compensation you deserve.

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Injured Cyclists Need Specialized Representation

January 15, 2013

On September 23, a Lancaster County college sophomore, Paul Zeigler was killed while riding his bicycle near the campus of McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas.  Paul, 20 was a member of the school’s tennis team and worked in the school’s sports information office.

According to local police who just released additional information on the accident, Zeigler was struck around 1 p.m. when a truck veered across the centerline and struck him.  The 17-year old driver was distracted by something on the front seat. Edith Pearce noted that in 2009, 630 people were killed and over 51,000 injured in crashes with motor vehicles in the U.S. according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Pennsylvania residents need to know that bicycle riders do not always get the respect and right of way they are entitled to under the law.  Cars and trucks tend to overlook or just ignore cyclist’s rights on the roadway.  Unfortunately when a car or truck collides with a bicycle, the cyclist tends to suffer more severe injuries than in a regular car accident.

Family and friends of the young Paul Zeigler are devastated by the death of this extraordinary young man, and even though alcohol and drugs are not considered contributing factors to the crash, the driver is still at fault.

A bicycle accident lawyer can help victims or victim’s families with expert representation to successfully litigate these cases.  These cases require specialized knowledge because of the extent of investigation and costs often associated with the serious injuries that are often the result of these accidents.

Damages that can be awarded to victims in a bicycle accident include medical expenses (doctor, hospitals and treatments), loss of current and future wages, and compensation for future disabilities ranging from scars to loss of mobility or limbs.  An experienced bicycle accident lawyer can help victims and families ensure that they have the resources to care for their families moving forward.  It’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible while information is still clear and witnesses are available.

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Bicycle Accident Results in Acquittal

January 2, 2013

A Pennsylvania court recently acquitted a man of vehicular homicide after his vehicle struck a sixteen-year-old boy on his bicycle, resulting in the boy’s death.  There are always two sides to every story, and prosecutors argued that the man intended to harm the boy as he rode on his bicycle because he and his friends had just vandalized the man’s car.  Although the man was acquitted in criminal court, this does not prevent the boy’s family from pursuing a civil suit. When an accident becomes a criminal case, this can often complicate the legal matter.  In fact, sometimes insurance policies may exclude “intentional” or “criminal acts.”   Moreover, to be convicted, the prosecutor had to prove the man intended to harm the boy or cause the accident beyond a reasonable doubt.  In a civil lawsuit, only a preponderance of the evidence standard is required to show that the man was at least reckless or negligent.  An experienced bicycle accident attorney in Philadelphia would know how to prove the case after a criminal trial, and what insurance may cover such an accident.

Bicyclists are lawfully obligated to obey all of the rules of the road just as a motorist is.  However, cyclists can be unpredictable, especially if they are avoiding obstacles in the roadway or simply young and inexperienced.  If a motorist is not alert, an accident can happen in a matter of seconds.  All of a sudden, automobile insurance companies and doctors are involved. An experienced legal professional who speaks for your best interests can be a great source of comfort in otherwise stressful times.

Losing a loved one to a biking accident can carry a heavy emotional toll.  It can also result in large hospital bills and reduced family income if the victim provided financially for his or her family.  Faced with grief and financial uncertainty, recovering from a bicycle accident can be a difficult path.  A Philadelphia lawyer with expertise in bicycle accidents can help recovering victims and families receive financial compensation in the form of civil penalties, also known as damages.  Sometimes the government cannot make its criminal case against a driver whose actions resulted in the death of a bicyclist.  In such a case, families have other options in Philadelphia and should seek the advice of an attorney with knowledge of bicycle accident law.

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