How Car Accident Attorneys Seek Compensation for Pain and Suffering

Close-up of suffering woman
The emotional and physical pain injured victims endure after a car accident can be life-altering. At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices, our car accident lawyers in the Lehigh Valley have decades of experience calculating and obtaining compensation for injured victims in eastern Pennsylvania. We understand that although no amount of money can change what happened, recovering pain and suffering damages can help give victims some sense of justice and hold negligent parties accountable.

What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?

Pain and suffering damages are non-economic damages intended to compensate a victim for the physical and emotional distress caused by an injury. Unlike economic damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering damages address the subjective, intangible aspects of the harm suffered by an injured party. Accurate calculation of pain and suffering damages requires the knowledge of an experienced car accident lawyer, as these damages are challenging to quantify in monetary terms.

What Is Considered Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering include the actual physical discomfort that someone has experienced due to injuries sustained in an accident. This includes both short-term and chronic pain. Another type of compensation that could be considered part of pain and suffering is emotional distress, which is the psychological impact an injury has on someone. Common conditions that may result in emotional distress damages include PTSD, anxiety, depression, fear, stress, and other mental or emotional conditions.

How Do Car Accident Attorneys Pursue Pain and Suffering Damages?

To recover pain and suffering damages in a car accident lawsuit, you must show how your injuries have impacted your daily life and physical and mental health. Some evidence that personal injury attorneys often use to demonstrate pain and suffering include:

  • Medical records – A car accident lawyer will gather medical records that detail the extent and severity of a victim’s injuries. Medical records also provide evidence of all treatment the victim has received, including hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation, medications, and psychotherapy.
  • Expert testimony – A personal injury attorney also may consult with medical experts who discuss the long-term impact of a person’s injury and how it impacts their health and lifestyle.
  • Pain journals – After an accident, keeping a daily journal that documents your physical pain, discomfort, and emotional upset is vital. This journal can be a crucial piece of evidence that demonstrates the short- and long-term effects of your injuries.
  • Witness statements – Statements from those who observed your pain and suffering at the accident scene, treating medical professionals, and friends and family who’ve seen what you’ve been through during the recovery process can provide crucial evidence that backs up your car accident lawsuit or claim.
  • Loss of enjoyment – A car accident attorney also may show evidence of how your injuries and pain and suffering have diminished your quality of life and compromised your ability to engage in activities you once enjoyed. For example, if you were a marathon runner who became paralyzed in a tractor-trailer crash, your personal injury attorney can use this information to demonstrate loss of enjoyment.
  • Psychological evaluations – When emotional distress is a significant component of pain and suffering damages, your auto accident lawyer may ask you to undergo a psychological evaluation to establish the impact the crash and your injuries have had on your mental health.

How to Protect Your Rights and Interests After a Car Accident

If you’ve been hurt in a collision, it’s vital to take certain steps that can help prove pain and suffering in a car accident lawsuit or claim. Seek medical attention as soon as possible and follow all treatment recommendations from health care providers. Keep a journal that documents your physical and mental condition daily. At the scene of the crash, take photos, gather contact information from witnesses, and write down or record everything you can remember about what happened. This also provides valuable evidence your car accident attorney may use later.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney

Regardless of whether you believe your injuries are serious or minor, it’s also essential to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer. A car accident lawyer can evaluate your case and advise you of your options for recovering compensation. Although you can pursue a claim on your own, having an attorney in your corner greatly increases your chances of recovering the full amount of compensation you need and deserve. A skilled car accident lawyer knows how to accurately calculate all the damages you may be entitled to receive. They will investigate your case, gather evidence, and tie it all together to demonstrate why you are entitled to pain and suffering and any other damages that might be relevant to your circumstances.

Schedule a Consultation With a Car Accident Lawyer in the Lehigh Valley

At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices, we’re dedicated to helping make things right for injured victims and their families. Our team includes some of the best car accident attorneys in eastern Pennsylvania. To schedule a consultation today with a personal injury attorney in the Lehigh Valley, contact us or call us at 610-867-2900. We offer several locations for your convenience.

How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Determine Fault After an Accident?

Close-up of a man taking photos of a damaged car after crash
Whether you’re hurt in a car accident or a slip-and-fall incident, dealing with the aftermath can be daunting. At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law offices, our personal injury lawyers have a track record of success helping clients in the Lehigh Valley and eastern Pennsylvania recover compensation for damages such as medical expenses, wage loss, and pain and suffering. Knowing how we determine fault in these cases can help you understand the claims process and what to do to protect your rights after an accident.

Elements of Proving Liability in a Personal Injury Claim

When a motorist gets behind the wheel, they have a duty of care to operate their vehicle safely. If they fail to do this and cause an accident, they could be considered negligent. To establish liability and demonstrate that they were negligent, you must show that:

  • The negligent party owed you a duty of care
  • They breached that duty
  • Their breach of duty caused the accident
  • You suffered damages and losses due to the accident

Experienced personal injury lawyers know how to gather relevant evidence and put it all together to show who was at fault for an accident. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, which means that your own insurer pays for certain damages, no matter who was at fault for the crash. If your damages exceed your policy limits or involve catastrophic injuries, you also may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against any liable parties. 

Types of Evidence that Help Determine Fault in Personal Injury Claims 

Each case is unique, but some common types of evidence can be helpful when determining fault. Your personal injury attorney will conduct a thorough investigation and gather evidence such as:

Police Reports

A police report usually contains information about what an officer observed at an accident scene. This could include road conditions, skid marks, damage to vehicles, and statements from witnesses and parties involved in the crash. This information provides valuable documentation that can help demonstrate fault and support a personal injury claim. After a crash, you should always call 911 or local police to ensure that the event is documented and that you receive the help you need.

Photographs

Photographs of damage to vehicles, your injuries, the scene, and anything else that may be relevant are often crucial when it comes to determining fault in a car accident. If possible, you should always take photos and video if you’re involved in a collision.

Surveillance Footage

Surveillance cameras seem to be everywhere these days and can show exactly how an accident occurred. Your personal injury attorney can request copies of the video from the agency or company responsible for the cameras and get a subpoena if necessary. Surveillance footage can be helpful in premises liability claims like slip-and-fall cases as well.

Witness Statements

Eyewitness statements can offer insight into who’s at fault for an accident. That’s why it’s important to get contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the crash.

Medical Records

If you’re involved in a car accident, you should always go to the emergency room or see a doctor as soon as possible. Medical records provide valuable evidence of the severity of your injuries and may show how they could have occurred. Even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured, symptoms of life-threatening conditions such as internal bleeding don’t always appear right away, so it’s best to get checked out.

Traffic Laws

If any traffic laws were violated, a personal injury lawyer will investigate how that may have contributed to the crash when determining who is at fault for a motor vehicle accident.

Expert Testimony

Accident reconstructionists examine evidence and the scene to determine the probable speed and path of vehicles involved in a crash. Other evidence such as eyewitness accounts and medical records also can be important pieces of the puzzle to demonstrate what happened and who is liable for damages.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in the Lehigh Valley

If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident, the personal injury lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices are here for you. We’re dedicated to helping make things right for you and your family, and our team includes some of the best personal injury attorneys in eastern Pennsylvania. To schedule a consultation today with a car accident lawyer in the Lehigh Valley, contact us or call us at 610-867-2900. We offer several locations for your convenience.

2023 Accident and Personal Injury Legal Recoveries in Pennsylvania

Our experienced legal team worked hard in 2023 and our dedication to our clients as a Pennsylvania personal injury and accident attorney shows. Please read about some of our results in 2023.  Whether it be a slip and fall case, a motorcycle accident or a motor vehicle accident our Pennsylvania legal team is determined to receive the best outcome for our clients.

  • $1,250,000 settlement after the start of trial testimony in a Berks County slip and fall case
  • $900,000.00 recovery for the victim of a Lehigh County motorcycle accident
  • Six figure recovery for the driver of a rideshare vehicle resulting from a minor rear end impact which caused less than $1,000 of property damage to the involved vehicle
  • Recovery of over $50,000.00 in a Monroe County contested fault dog bite case
  • Six figure recovery in Berks County case arising out of a trip and fall over defective carpet in apartment complex causing injuries only necessitating conservative non-surgical medical treatment
  • Quarter million dollar settlement after the start of trial in a Lehigh County contested liability motor vehicle accident case involving shoulder and back injuries
  • $165,000.00 settlement of slip and fall on liquid on floor of mall resulting in injuries which aggravated a woman’s pre-existing degenerative neck issues
  • Maximum policy limit recoveries of both the at fault parties’ insurance policy limits and the client’s underinsured policy limits on their own household insurance policies in a Lehigh County motorcycle accident wrongful death case

For more than 30 years, Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices has been providing top-notch legal representation in legal matters surrounding personal injury, wrongful death claims and motor vehicle accidents.  Whether you are an injured victim in a personal injury case or need assistance with a motor vehicle accident our experienced attorneys fight for your rights and protect your interests.  Contact us to Learn More.

Can I Get Compensated for Future Medical Expenses After a Car Accident in Pennsylvania?

Auto accident scene with two firefighters assisting and a close-up of an ambulance in front
If you were hurt in an auto accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation for both past and future medical expenses and other damages. At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, our Lehigh Valley auto accident lawyers understand how to calculate future medical expenses and other damages such as lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. We help you understand how future medical expenses work, determine whether they apply in your case, and assist you with the car accident lawsuit process every step of the way.

What are Future Medical Expenses?

Future medical expenses are the anticipated costs associated with medical care and treatment an injured party may require in the future. These expenses often arise from suffering a catastrophic injury in an accident. Common future medical expenses include:

  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Medication
  • Nursing care
  • Medical equipment
  • Prosthetics and adaptive clothing
  • Home modifications
  • Mental health treatment
  • Transportation to and from medical appointments
  • Other necessary long-term medical care

Calculating Future Medical Expenses

Correctly estimating future medical expenses requires the knowledge and experience of a seasoned auto accident attorney. The extent of your injuries and how much future treatment will cost are both considered – for example, someone who’s paralyzed in a tractor-trailer accident would likely need costly long-term medical care and home modifications, while someone who fractured their wrist in a slip and fall incident would not.

To calculate future medical expenses, an auto accident lawyer may employ the services of medical experts and financial professionals to calculate future medical expenses. No two cases are alike, and there is no set formula for determining future medical expenses. An experienced auto accident lawyer with a track record of success in recovering future medical expenses and other damages will ensure all potential costs are taken into account and pursue the maximum amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive.

Proving Future Medical Costs

Although most car accident cases are resolved out of court, an injured victim still needs to demonstrate why they’re entitled to future medical expenses in negotiations with an at-fault party’s insurance company. If a reasonable settlement can’t be reached, you may have to file a car accident lawsuit and prove these damages at trial.

Some effective methods of demonstrating future medical costs include:

Expert testimony – Your auto accident lawyer may hire healthcare professionals who specialize in the areas of medicine related to your injuries. They testify about the complications, causes, and consequences of your condition to show how it may affect your life and how much future treatment may cost.

Testimony from your doctor(s) – Your physician may also be asked to testify about your condition. They discuss your condition, its impact on your health, your potential timeline for maximum medical improvement (if applicable), and what kind of continuing medical care you’ll need in the future.

Recovering Other Damages

If you’re unable to work or can only do certain jobs because of your injury, an auto accident attorney may recommend pursuing future lost wages and loss of earning capacity. Future wage loss is measured by the actual earnings you will lose, while loss of earning capacity is measured by the potential earnings you’ll lose. Some other damages you may be entitled to receive include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Embarrassment and humiliation
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Property damage
  • Punitive damages (in cases where someone’s behavior was egregious or intentional)

Your personal injury attorney can explain each type to you and how it may relate to your specific circumstances.

Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer in Allentown, PA

If you or a loved one has been hurt in an auto accident, the personal injury lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad are here for you. Our team includes some of the best auto accident attorneys in Pennsylvania. To schedule a your consultation with an auto accident lawyer in the Lehigh Valley, contact us online or call us at 610-867-2900. We offer several convenient locations for your convenience.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in Pennsylvania?

A close-up of a man in a dark suit holding a paper that says personal injury lawyer
The physical, emotional, and financial impact of being hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault can leave you wondering what to do next and how you’ll pay for legal representation. The cost of hiring a personal injury lawyer in Pennsylvania can vary widely depending on various factors, including their level of experience and the complexity of the case. At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, our personal injury attorneys help clients throughout the Lehigh Valley understand the cost of hiring a lawyer and explain how fee structures work.

Most Personal Injury Lawyers Offer Free Consultations

Typically, an initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer is free. In this meeting, they will listen to the details of your case and advise you on whether you have a viable claim. They may also give you a rough estimate of what your case may be worth. Your initial consultation is a great time to ask any questions you may have and find out about an attorney’s experience and record of success when it comes to recovering compensation in personal injury claims. During this consultation, it’s important to ask about their fee structure and any additional costs that may be associated with your case.

What is a Contingency Fee?

Most personal injury attorneys take cases on contingency. This means that they only receive attorneys’ fees if they successfully recover compensation for you. Generally, contingency fees run anywhere from about 33% to 40% of the final insurance settlement or court award. This fee is not due until the case is completed. Your personal injury lawyer should discuss fees with you at your initial consultation and have you sign a contract that lays out costs before working on your case.

Additional Costs for Services

In addition to the contingency fee, there are other costs and expenses that arise in personal injury cases. Court costs, filing fees, medical record retrieval fees, expert witnesses, and investigative expenses are often part of litigating a personal injury claim. These expenses are usually paid by your personal injury attorney and deducted from your final settlement award, so you won’t have to pay any up-front costs. However, it’s important to keep in mind that even if you don’t win your case, you will likely still be responsible for paying these additional expenses. It’s vital to ask your personal injury attorney how additional costs will be handled and clarify when they should be paid before signing a representation agreement.

Legal Representation for Complex Cases Usually Costs More

If your case is a fairly cut and dry situation like a rear-end collision accident that caused a whiplash injury, your attorney’s contingency fee will probably be on the lower side. However, a tractor-trailer crash involving a multiple motorists and catastrophic injuries is much more complex, so your personal injury lawyer’s fee may be in a higher percentage range.

In addition, compensation amounts in these cases are usually much higher, so insurance companies tend to fight harder to pay as little as possible. It’s also important to understand that litigation is time-consuming and expensive, so if a personal injury lawsuit goes to court, your legal costs are going to be higher.

Find a Personal Injury Lawyer You Can Trust

A personal injury lawyer should be transparent about their fees and willing to answer any questions you have about the cost of legal representation. If they won’t give you straight answers about how their fee structure works, find a different personal injury attorney. If you’re confused about anything in a contingency agreement, ask for clarification. It’s much better to know what you’re getting into up front than to be blindsided with unexpected costs at the end of your case.

Our team at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad has built a solid reputation in the eastern Pennsylvania legal community over the past 30 years. You can trust us to be open and honest about how much your case is worth and how much our legal services cost. We’re dedicated to fighting for personal injury clients in the Lehigh Valley and helping you recover the full amount of compensation you need and deserve.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Allentown, PA

At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices, we care about our clients and their families. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident, we can help. To schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Pennsylvania, contact us online or call us at 610-867-2900. We offer several convenient locations in the Lehigh Valley.

The Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Pennsylvania

A damaged pedestrians ahead sign lying on the sidewalk

Pedestrian accidents occur due to various factors and the results can be devastating. In 2021 alone, 7,388 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S., the highest number since 1981, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices, our pedestrian accident attorneys in the Lehigh Valley believe that understanding the causes of these crashes can prevent them and help pedestrians avoid injury.

Distracted Driving

Drivers distracted by activities such as texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, or applying makeup are more likely to overlook pedestrians and cause accidents. If you or a loved one was injured by someone you believe was distracted, a Lehigh Valley pedestrian accident lawyer can investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash and determine who was at fault. Evidence such as cell phone records, vehicle data, and eyewitness accounts can help a pedestrian accident lawyer build a solid case for compensation.

Speeding

When a driver is speeding, they have less time to react to unexpected situations and obstructions in the road. For example, a motorist traveling at an excessive speed toward an intersection may not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting someone in the crosswalk.

Left Turns

Unfortunately, pedestrians are often hit by cars that are turning left, even at intersections with traffic lights and crosswalks. Drivers making left-hand turns may be focused on looking for oncoming cars to determine whether it’s okay for them to turn and hit pedestrians who may be crossing the road where they are turning. Footage from traffic cameras at intersections can provide evidence of how a crash occurred and help your pedestrian accident attorney prove who was at fault.

Blind Spots

If a pedestrian is walking in a driver’s blind spot, it can be easy for them to be hit, especially when a driver or a large vehicle like a tractor-trailer is turning right or changing lanes. Because pedestrians have no protection surrounding them, these types of accidents can lead to catastrophic injury or death.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

Alcohol and drugs significantly impair a motorist’s reaction time and judgment. If you’ve been hurt or have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, a pedestrian accident attorney can evaluate your case and advise you of your options for recovering compensation.

Driver Fatigue

Drowsy driving can have effects similar to alcohol, including slower reaction times and impaired judgment. Getting behind the wheel when you’re tired puts pedestrians and other motorists at unnecessary risk.

Poor Visibility

Most pedestrian accidents happen at night or in low-light conditions. Rain, snow, and other weather conditions can also make it hard for drivers and pedestrians to see each other. Always stay alert and walk against the flow of traffic at night so you can see any vehicles that may be coming toward you.

Inexperienced Drivers

New drivers may not be as aware of pedestrians and their surroundings in general. This can make them less likely to watch for and properly react to pedestrians in the road.

Failing to Follow Traffic Laws

Illegal U-turns, running red lights or stop signs, and failing to pay attention to speed limits in school zones can result in serious accidents. Children are more likely to be killed in pedestrian accidents than adults, so always slow down in school zones and keep an eye out for kids when driving in residential areas. If your child has been hurt in a crash, a pedestrian accident lawyer with experience handling cases involving injuries to children can evaluate your case and determine whether you have a viable claim.

Pedestrian Negligence

Looking down at your phone while walking, jaywalking, or darting into the street can put you at serious risk of being hit as a pedestrian. It’s best to pay attention to traffic and pedestrian signals, use crosswalks, and stay aware of your surroundings if you’re wearing headphones. If you need to use your phone, stop in a safe place to do so.

Defective or Poorly Designed Traffic Signals and Intersections

Poorly marked crosswalks, inadequate signage, and malfunctioning traffic signals can all contribute to pedestrian accidents. If someone is hurt or killed in this type of situation, the municipality or agency responsible for maintaining the roads and traffic signals could be found liable in a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit. There are strict processes and deadlines involved when bringing a claim against government entities, so it’s essential to consult with a pedestrian accident lawyer before taking any action.

Contact a Lehigh Valley Pedestrian Accident Attorney

At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices, our pedestrian accident lawyers have a track record of success in recovering compensation for those who have been hurt due to no fault of their own.  Our team serves personal injury clients throughout the Lehigh Valley. To schedule your consultation with a pedestrian accident attorney in PA, contact us online or call us at 610-867-2900. We’re proud to serve clients at several convenient locations in eastern Pennsylvania.

The Most Dangerous Hours for Motorcycle Accidents

Close-up of a wrecked motorcycle and helmed with a car in the background
Whether you enjoy riding a motorcycle for leisure or use it for commuting to work, it’s important to be safe on the road. In 2022 alone, there were 213 fatal motorcycle accidents and 2,918 crashes that resulted in injuries on Pennsylvania roadways, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices, our motorcycle accident lawyers in the Lehigh Valley know that accidents can happen any time of day, but certain hours are more dangerous for motorcyclists.

Most Motorcycle Accidents Happen in the Evening

In 2021, a total of 5,932 motorcyclists were killed and an estimated 82,686 were injured in crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Most fatal motorcycle accidents occur between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekends. On weekdays, fatal accidents most commonly occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The fewest motorcycle fatalities happen during the period of 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. on weekdays.

In addition, motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes at night were three times more likely to be alcohol-impaired than those killed during the day. Unfortunately, motorcycle accident lawyers in Pennsylvania are all too familiar with how these fatal crashes can devastate families.

Factors That Contribute to Motorcycle Crashes at Certain Times

Reduced Visibility

One of the reasons so many motorcycle crashes occur at dusk or at night is because of low visibility.  As the sun sets, it can cause a glare, and once it is completely dark, motorcyclists are simply more difficult to see. That’s why it’s always a good idea to wear reflective gear and put reflective strips on your motorcycle.

Heavy Traffic

Although fatal motorcycle accidents are more common on weekends, rush hour during the week can be a dangerous time for motorcyclists as well. Most people drive home from work between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., which results in more traffic, especially on highways. Increased traffic means an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents.

Not only that, when traffic is heavy motorists sometimes become more distracted, frustrated, or aggressive, leading them to engage in dangerous or reckless behaviors on the road. If you commute to and from work on a motorcycle, avoid peak traffic hours if you can.

Impaired Driving and Riding

Driving a car or riding a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs increases the likelihood of being involved in a crash. Drunk driver accidents are one of the reasons motorcycle fatalities are prevalent on weekend evenings. It’s important to remember that when you drive drunk or high, you’re not only putting yourself at risk but endangering others on the road. It’s best to err on the side of caution and refrain from drinking or using drugs if you’re hitting the road.

If You’ve Been Hurt, a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Pennsylvania Can Help

Regardless of when a crash happens, injuries from motorcycle accidents can turn your life upside down. If you’ve been hurt or have lost a loved one in a fatal motorcycle accident, a personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case, determine whether you have a viable claim, and advise you of your options for recovering compensation.

Schedule a Consultation with a Lehigh Valley Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices, our personal injury lawyers have a track record of success in recovering the full and fair amount of compensation our clients deserve. For more than 40 years, we’ve served personal injury victims in the Lehigh Valley and throughout eastern Pennsylvania. To schedule your consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney, contact us online or call us at 610-867-2900. We make it easy to find the quality legal representation you need at several convenient locations.

As a Car Accident Lawyer: What Kind of Compensation Can I Get in Pennsylvania?

A close up of a woman with a brace shaking hands with a female lawyer in a blue jacket.
Being injured or losing a loved one in a motor vehicle crash can have life-altering repercussions. At Thomas, Conrad, & Conrad Law Offices, our car accident lawyers in the Lehigh Valley help clients understand car accident compensation and which types of damages may apply in their cases. The car accident lawsuit process can be complex. Knowing how it works can give you peace of mind and help you make informed decisions.

Pennsylvania Car Crash Statistics

According to PennDOT, in 2022, approximately 13 motor vehicle accidents occurred every hour. About 184 people were injured and three people were killed in fatal crashes every day. Dangerous driving behaviors like speeding and drunk or distracted driving continue to be significant factors in many collisions. Car accident lawyers witness the devastating fallout from these crashes and understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll they take on families.

Types of Car Accident Damages in Pennsylvania

There are two general types of damages that may be recovered in car accident lawsuits: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are quantifiable financial losses such as:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Medical devices, long-term nursing care, and home modifications
  • Property damage

Although calculating economic damages may seem straightforward, if someone suffers a catastrophic injury or is disabled and unable to work, determining future losses can be tricky. That’s why it’s essential to seek the advice of an experienced Lehigh Valley personal injury attorney if you’ve been injured in a crash.

Non-Economic Damages

Determining non-economic damages is even more difficult, as putting a dollar amount on how car accident injuries have affected a victim’s quality of life can be complex.

Some common non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship and consortium
  • Disfigurement

Car accident attorneys often calculate non-economic damages by using the multiplier method. This manner of calculating damages involves multiplying economic damages by 1.5 – 5, depending on the severity of an injured victim’s losses. Punitive damages are only awarded if an at-fault party’s actions were particularly reckless or egregious. These types of damages are not intended to compensate the plaintiff but to punish the defendant and deter them and others from committing similar acts.

How Does Auto Insurance Affect Car Accident Compensation in PA?

Generally, Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state, which means your own insurer pays for accident-related expenses regardless of who was at fault. However, if damages exceed your policy limits or you have a full tort policy, you may be able to file a car accident claim against any liable parties.

If you carry limited tort insurance, you cannot sue an at-fault driver for pain and suffering unless your car accident lawyer can prove you were seriously injured. Full-tort liability insurance allows you to seek pain and suffer from an at-fault driver in any accident in which you were injured.

In addition, Pennsylvania follows a comparative negligence rule. This means that any insurance settlement or award you receive may be reduced if you are partially responsible for a car accident. Understanding comparative negligence and how insurance can affect car accident compensation is challenging. A seasoned car accident lawyer can advise you of your options and ensure you pursue the full amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive.

How a PA Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Dealing with insurance companies can be daunting, especially when you’re hurt and focused on your recovery. Your car accident attorney handles all communications and negotiations with insurers so you can concentrate on healing.

In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit or wrongful death claim is two years. It’s important to act fast, as memories fade and valuable evidence can be lost. Your car accident lawyer ensures that all important deadlines are met and can help keep the claims process moving. They also protect your rights and fight to help you recover the maximum compensation you need to protect your health and financial security.

Contact a Lehigh Valley Car Accident Attorney

Our car accident lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for personal injury victims throughout the Lehigh Valley.  To schedule your consultation with a car accident lawyer in Pennsylvania, contact us online or call us at 610-867-2900. We make it easy to get the legal representation you need at several convenient locations in the Lehigh Valley.

What Should I Do if I’ve Been Involved in a Bicycle Accident in Pennsylvania?

Close-up of a green bicycle and black helmet on the road with a truck in the background after an accident
Whether you ride your bike for pleasure or as your main mode of transportation, a crash can happen at any time. Due to the lack of protection surrounding them, bicyclists can suffer serious injury in a collision. If you’re involved in a bike accident, it’s important to know what to do to protect your rights and interests. Our Lehigh Valley bicycle accident lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices offer some advice on steps to take if you’re involved in a crash.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

As more people across the country get into biking, the incidence of bicycle accidents is rising, especially in urban areas. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report on Traffic Safety Facts, 85% of all bicycle crashes occurred in urban areas in 2021.

In Pennsylvania, bicycle crashes accounted for 0.7% of the total reported crashes and 1.3% of all traffic fatalities in 2022. While these percentages seem small, 15 bicyclists were killed and 801 were injured, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s 2022 Crash Facts and Statistics report. In 2022, most bicyclists in Pennsylvania were injured at intersections, but more than half of all bicycle accident fatalities occurred in non-intersection areas.

Regardless of where a crash happens, bicycle accident attorneys understand that the physical, emotional, and financial aftermath can be devastating, and advise bicyclists to take the following steps to protect their rights after a crash.

Get to Safety

After a bicycle accident, you may feel dazed and disoriented. If you’re in a dangerous position and you are able, move to a safe area to avoid further injury. If you can’t move, make sure you are visible to other vehicles.

Call 911

Call 911 to report the crash to the police. When describing the events leading up to a bicycle or motor vehicle accident, stick to the facts and don’t admit fault. If possible, get a copy of the police report before leaving the scene. Calling 911 can also help to ensure you get the immediate medical attention you need.

Gather Information

Ask for the contact information of any other involved parties. This includes their name, address, phone number, driver’s license, and insurance information. Collect contact information from any witnesses who may have seen what happened.

Document the Scene

Take photos of the accident scene, including your bicycle, other vehicles, and road conditions. It’s also a good idea to take photos of your injuries. If possible, jot down everything you remember or use your voice recorder on your phone to document how the accident happened and any other relevant information, such as weather conditions.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t think your injuries are serious, go to the emergency room or urgent care, or see your doctor as soon as possible. Life-threatening injuries such as internal bleeding may not be immediately apparent. Symptoms of other injuries such as whiplash or traumatic brain injury may not appear for days or even weeks. Your medical records also provide valuable documentation of your injuries, which is crucial if you intend to file a personal injury claim.

Preserve Evidence

Keep all documents related to the accident, including medical bills, repair estimates, and correspondence with insurance companies. If possible, preserve any evidence such as damaged clothing, your bicycle, or any other items that might be relevant to your case.

Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been hurt, contact a bicycle accident attorney in Pennsylvania as soon as you can. Do not give a statement, sign anything, or accept a settlement from an insurance company without speaking to a bicycle accident lawyer first. Personal injury attorneys offer free consultations, so it won’t cost you anything to have your case evaluated.

A bike accident lawyer can assess the situation and determine whether you have a valid claim, help you understand your options for recovering compensation, and advocate for your interests if you decide to proceed with a claim. Hiring an experienced bike accident attorney can help to ensure you obtain the full amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Schedule a Consultation with a Lehigh Valley Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices has provided exceptional legal representation to personal injury clients in eastern Pennsylvania for more than 40 years. Our track record of success in helping injured victims recover maximum compensation speaks for itself. To schedule your consultation with a bicycle accident attorney in the Lehigh Valley, contact us online or call us at 610-867-2900. We’re proud to serve clients at several convenient locations.

Will an Accident Lawyer Charge a Fee to Evaluate My Case?

lawyer sitting at a desk explaining a case to a woman with a gavel and scales in the foreground
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car crash, slip and fall, or another incident caused by someone else, having an experienced accident lawyer can help increase your chances of recovering maximum compensation for your damages. However, injured victims often wonder how they’ll pay for legal fees during their recovery. Here, the accident lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices explain how initial consultations, attorneys’ fees, and other expenses are handled at our personal injury law firm in the Lehigh Valley.

The Cost of Consultations

Most personal injury lawyers offer free initial case evaluations. During your free consultation, an accident lawyer will listen to your story and discuss the details of your case with you. They will assess whether you have a potential personal injury claim and advise you on the most effective way to move forward. This initial consultation can help you learn more about the legal process and whether a particular auto accident attorney is a good fit for you.

Although it’s rare, some personal injury attorneys do charge a fee for an initial consultation, so It’s a good idea to ask about any potential costs to avoid surprises when you schedule an appointment. It can be challenging to know how to find a good car accident attorney, but asking around for recommendations and doing research can help. For example, if you’re a motorcyclist who’s been injured in a crash, you’ll want to look for an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who understands the nuances of these types of cases. Talking to someone with a track record of success like the car accident lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices is a good place to start.

What Does it Mean to Take Cases on Contingency?

Auto accident lawyers in Pennsylvania usually take cases on contingency, which makes it easier for people with limited financial resources to pursue legal action.

Taking a case on contingency means that a personal injury lawyer agrees to represent a client without requiring any up-front fees or charging hourly rates for legal services. Attorneys’ fees are collected only if the client obtains a settlement or award. These fees typically are a percentage of the amount recovered or awarded to the client in a successful case. This percentage varies, depending on the complexity of the case and other factors. Typically, the percentage for attorneys’ fees is agreed upon from the start.

It’s important to keep in mind that there may be other costs associated with a personal injury or motor vehicle collision claim. This may include the cost of obtaining medical records and paying for the services of court reporters for depositions, expert witnesses, and court costs. Cases that go to court typically cost more due to filing fees, creating copies of legal documents, records requests, and other expenses. The amount of additional fees you may owe depends on the specifics of your case.

The terms of a contingency fee agreement can vary widely, so it’s vital to carefully review and understand the contract before signing it. The best accident lawyers will be happy to answer any questions you may have, clarify their fee structure, and get to work on your case should you decide to pursue it.

Contact an Accident Lawyer in Pennsylvania

To learn more about how the accident attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices can help with your injury claim, contact us or call us at 610-867-2900 to schedule your consultation with a car accident lawyer today. We’re proud to serve personal injury clients in the Lehigh Valley at several locations in eastern Pennsylvania.