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February 22, 2017

Injuries at the Gym

Personal Injury Lawyers in PA

With the start of a new year, many of us make a resolution to take control of our health by losing weight and getting fit. This often involves going to a gym regularly to work out on your own, have sessions with a personal trainer, or attend an exercise class. While going to the gym should be a positive thing, the experience can turn sour quickly if you sustain an injury.

Some gym injuries are due to mistakes on your own part, such as using too much weight for your abilities or not properly performing an exercise. Sometimes, injuries can happen if you jump into an intense workout program too quickly. In these cases, you are likely at fault for your own injuries and you likely have few legal rights to compensation.

On the other hand, many people may be injured at the gym because of negligence1 on the part of another party, such as the gym owner, management, or staff. In these cases, you likely have the legal right to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party to recover for your medical bills and other losses. These claims can involve different types of legal theories and the following is some additional information regarding types of claims after a gym injury.

Premises Liability

Like any private business or public space, the owner of a gym has the legal duty to make sure the premises are in reasonably safe condition for people who attend. When the premises of a gym is not in proper order, people can have accidents and sustain injuries. Some examples of negligence on the part of a gym can include:

  • Wet or slippery floors
  • Objects in walkways
  • Debris on the floor
  • Worn floor or carpet
  • Cords laid across walkways
  • Dangerous pool or hot tub conditions
  • Televisions or other equipment that is not properly secured and may fall

If a hazard does exist in a gym and it cannot be repaired right away, the gym must provide adequate warning so that gym-goers can take precautions. For example, if a floor was recently cleaned and has not yet dried, there should be a “WET FLOOR” sign prominently displayed.

Defective Equipment

People can also be injured by equipment at the gym if a malfunction occurs. Gyms involve many different kinds of machines, weights, benches, and other equipment, all of which should be safe for its intended use. When a malfunction occurs, one of two parties can generally be held liable:

Manufacturer – If the equipment had a defect when it was purchased because of a flaw in design or assembly, the manufacturer can be held liable for any injuries that result under the concept of products liability.2

Gym owner – If the equipment was in good condition when it was purchased but then malfunctions because the gym did not properly inspect, maintain, or repair the equipment, the gym would be the liable party.

Instructor or Personal Trainer Errors

When you take a class or sign up for personal training, you should be able to expect that you can rely on the professional to provide a safe program for you to follow. All staff who guide gym-goers should be properly trained and should be aware of the limitations of different individuals.

If an exercise instructor or personal trainer pushes you beyond your limits and injuries result, they may be found to be negligent. If they are employees of the gym, the gym itself may also be liable for your medical costs, lost income, and other losses.

Consult with an Experienced Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney Today

No one wants to be injured at the gym, however, these types of injuries do occur. It is crucial to determine the exact type of negligence that caused your gym injury and who should be responsible for compensating you. At The Levin Firm in Philadelphia, a skilled personal injury lawyer can help you pursue a claim and receive the settlement or award you deserve for your injuries. Please call us at (215) 825-5183 for a free consultation as soon as possible.

1https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/negligence

2https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/products_liability

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February 14, 2017

Information Regarding Neck Injuries

Personal Injury Lawyers in Philadelphia

There are many different parts of the neck that can be easily injured, including bones, joints, nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Your bones or soft tissue can be damaged, sprained, strained, or torn, resulting in serious pain and limited mobility of your head, shoulders, and arms.

Too many people ignore neck pain and delay seeking the treatment they need because they believe the pain will subside and that their injury is not serious enough to see a doctor. In reality, however, neck injuries can take a toll and have many effects on your life if they are not properly treated. The following is some additional information regarding neck injuries.

Common Causes of Neck Injuries

Neck injuries can happen for a variety of reasons. In some cases, they can result from overuse or even sleeping on the wrong pillow. In other situations, neck injuries happen because of an accident caused by a negligent person or company. Some preventable accidents that can cause neck injuries include the following:

  • Auto accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Falls
  • Sports injuries

Neck Injury Symptoms and Effects

Following any type of accident, you should keep an eye out for any symptoms that may indicate that your neck has been injured. Such symptoms can include:

  • Soreness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Stiffness
  • Lack of mobility
  • Shoulder pain
  • Headaches

Even dull pain in your head, neck, or shoulders can wear you down easily. In addition to the physical pain and impairments of neck injuries, dealing with chronic and ongoing pain can also have an effect on your mental and emotional health. If left untreated, people with neck injuries may become depressed and may avoid their usual activities.

Furthermore, neck pain can keep many people from performing their job duties. They may have to take time off from work until their neck feels better. In some cases, neck pain can persist for so long that they may lose their jobs or may have to find a new type of job that they can perform. In either situation, neck injuries can result in lost wages, benefits, and professional opportunities.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Because of the potentially serious effects of neck injuries, getting a proper diagnosis as soon as possible is critical. If needed, you should go to the emergency department or you can make an appointment with your physician, who may then refer you to a specialist. Some of the steps in a neck injury diagnosis can include:

  • Reviewing the type of pain that is occurring (radiating, sharp, dull ache, etc.)
  • Location of the pain
  • Asking about numbness, tingling, or similar sensations
  • Mobility restrictions
  • Checking reflexes and neurological abilities
  • Imaging tests such as X-rays and cervical MRIs.1

Once a neck injury is diagnosed, the recommended course of treatment will depend on the specific diagnosis. Some recommendations can include taking painkillers, physical therapy, chiropractic care, physical rest, muscle relaxers, cortisone shots, and in some rare circumstances, surgery. Because treating neck pain often takes time, the costs can add up significantly and can cause serious financial issues, especially if you cannot work in the meantime.

If another person caused your accident and neck injury, you can file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against them, depending on the circumstances. First, you must identify who was at fault and the exact type of negligent act that they committed to cause the accident. You must also prove how much you lost due to your neck injury including costs of medical treatment, lost income, future treatment costs and future lost earning power, pain and suffering, mental suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. It is important to realize that you only have a limited period of time to file a claim due to the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania,2 so you should not delay consulting with an experienced attorney about your rights.

Contact a Philadelphia Neck Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation

While a neck injury may not sound especially serious, people who have suffered this type of injury know just how significantly it can affect your life. Neck injuries can have an effect on your physical health, emotional well-being, professional life, and more and victims deserve to be fully compensated for their losses by any party who caused their injuries. At The Levin Firm, our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys can help you prove the severity of your neck injury and seek the compensation you deserve. Please call our office at (215) 825-5183 today.

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January 12, 2017

Information about Premises Liability Claims

Premise Liability Lawyers in PA

Claims that arise from injuries that you sustain in accidents can be categorized under the general umbrella of “personal injury.” However, there are more specific types of claims depending on now that injury occurred. For example, cases against doctors who cause injuries are called “medical malpractice” claims and cases against companies that sold dangerous products are called “products liability” claims. One common type of personal injury case is called “premises liability” and it involves a claim against a property owner whose negligence caused your injury.

Types of Accidents that can Lead to Premises Liability Claims

Many different accidents can happen on another party’s property, whether that property is commercial or residential. Some examples of accidents at the heart of premises liability claims include the following:

  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Falls down stairs
  • Falls from landings, balconies, or other heights
  • Getting hit by falling objects
  • Swimming pool or spa accidents
  • Construction site accidents
  • Toxic exposure
  • Electrocution
  • Blasting or explosion accidents
  • Assaults or robberies

Such accidents can happen in many different locations, including grocery stores, schools, retail stores, apartment or condo complexes, bars and restaurants, hotels and resorts, workplaces, and much more.

Any of these accidents can result in serious and often life-changing injuries for victims. Injuries can range from broken bones to brain or spinal cord injuries1 to severe burns, among many others. Victims are often left wondering who they can hold responsible for their extensive medical bills, pain and suffering, and other injury-related losses.

Negligence in Premises Liability Cases

When a party is negligent and causes injury, they can be held liable for the losses of the injured victim. This is no different in premises liability cases as negligent property owners can be ordered to compensate victims for their losses stemming from the accident. In order to be deemed negligent, property owners must have breached their legal duty to maintain their premises and keep it in reasonably safe condition for customers, visitors, and other guests.

Some examples of negligence that can lead to premises liability can include:

  • Having worn or slippery flooring or carpets
  • Allowing wet spills to stay on floors
  • Not cleaning up debris from walkways
  • Having dangerous stairways or broken railings
  • Having unfinished or faulty electrical systems or wires
  • Not having adequate security measures to protect guests
  • Having unstable shelving
  • Allowing any other defects or hazards to persist on the property

Note that a property owner may not defend against a premises liability lawsuit by simply claiming ignorance of the hazard or dangerous condition. Part of a property owner’s duty is to regularly inspect the property so that any potential risks can be identified and addressed. This includes performing routine maintenance and performing repairs on defects. If a property owner simply ignores the premises, it will not relieve them of liability if an injury occurs.

Instead, in this situation, the injured victims must demonstrate that the property owner should have known about the hazard if they had taken reasonable care. For example, imagine that a jar fell in a grocery store and spilled liquid all over the floor. You subsequently slipped on the liquid and fell, suffering a serious back injury. You would have to show that a reasonable store owner or manager would have discovered the spill in the time before you fell and would have cleaned it up or warned visitors of the possible fall hazard.

Statute of Limitations in PA

Pennsylvania law2 does not give you an indefinite period of time to file a claim against a property owner for premises liability. Instead, you only have two years from the date of the injury to file your lawsuit. In this time, you must gather evidence of the property owner’s negligence and of your losses, as well as prepare your complaint to file with the court. Because time is limited, you should discuss your case with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

Consult with a Philadelphia Premises Liability Attorney Regarding Your Case

Premises liability cases can be significantly different than a case involving other types of accidents. You need to have an attorney handling your case who specifically understands how to prove negligence in a premises liability claim and who can help you hold business and property owners fully liable for the injuries you suffered and losses you incurred. At The Levin Firm in Philadelphia, we have the resources needed to take on claims against businesses large and small and we are committed to fighting for your rights. Please call our premises liability lawyer at 215-825-5183 today to learn more about our services for free.

1http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/sci/sci.htm

2http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/42/00.055..HTM

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December 29, 2016

Cold Weather Personal Injury Concerns

Personal Injury Attorneys in PA

Philadelphia can have extremely severe winters. Subfreezing temperatures, snow, ice, and dangerous wind chills are not uncommon, and these conditions can often last for days or even weeks on end. While the cold and wintry weather may initially seem like an annoyance that can be easily managed by simply bundling up in quality outerwear, in reality, cold weather can put us all at risk of serious injury. Some of the more common accidents that can occur in cold weather are discussed below.

Car Accidents

Conditions like snow and ice can make driving extraordinarily difficult, even for four-wheel drive vehicles. In many cases, winter storms can result in significantly decreased visibility and slippery roads that can easily result in accidents. Even cold weather by itself can result in the formation of “black ice,” which is a thin sheet of ice on the road that is often invisible to motorists.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents are a common occurrence during cold weather, as accumulating snow and ice can make surfaces like sidewalks, walkways, stairwells, and entryways treacherous for pedestrians. While slip and falls are often thought of as minor accidents that do not usually result in serious injury, they are responsible for almost 9 million emergency department visits each year. Some of the more common injuries sustained in cold weather slip and fall accidents include the following:

Broken bones

Hip fractures

Soft tissue injuries

Traumatic brain injuries

Spinal cord injuries

Nerve injuries

Lacerations

Strains

  Sprains

Muscle tears

 

Space Heater Accidents

When the weather gets colder, many people in the Philadelphia area turn to space heaters to keep their homes or offices warm. A space heater can be an efficient way to keep your energy costs low by only heating areas that you need to be heated and also can help manage the temperature in homes with drafty windows or doors. Unfortunately, these devices are also very dangerous and capable of causing serious injuries. For one thing, space heaters themselves can become extremely hot. If you accidentally touch a space heater after it has been operating for some time, it can easily cause serious burns. Secondly, space heaters are a serious fire hazard. They can overheat and start spark fires that could potentially burn an entire house down.

Holiday Decoration Accidents

Winter and colder weather also bring the holiday season. During this time, many people like to decorate their homes in strings of lights or other illuminated objects to create a holiday display. These items can be either inside or outside of the home and usually rely on electricity to operate. Like anything else electrical, if they are misused or defective in some way that can cause serious injury or spark fires. In addition, people who decorate their homes during the holidays often need to get on the roof or extend a ladder to the second story (or beyond) in order to achieve the desired result. As a result, holiday decorating could also expose you to a serious risk of injury in a fall accident.

Determining Whether You Have a Claim

Not every accidental injury entitles victims to pursue compensation. For example, if you are driving in snowy weather and lose control of your car because you were driving too fast, it is unlikely that you will be able to recover for your losses. If on the other hand, you can establish that your accident was the result of a faulty anti-lock braking system, you probably will be able to obtain a settlement or an award. Because of the complicated nature personal injury claims, it is critical for victims to have their case reviewed by an experienced attorney. Our lawyers will review your claim for free and determine whether you have a claim. In addition, if you do have a claim to pursue, you are under no obligation to retain us after your initial consultation.

Call a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case

If you are injured in an accident this winter, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can. In many instances, accidents related to cold weather conditions entitle victims to compensation. Examples of the kinds of damages that you may be able to recover include medical expenses, lost income, loss of quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering, among others. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney, call The Levin Firm today at 215-825-5183 or send us an email through our online contact form.

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October 13, 2016

Swimming Pool Accidents in Hotels

Personal Injury Lawyers in Philadelphia

Traveling with kids can be fun but also challenging. Kids often need to be entertained on a constant basis and so you want to plan your trip with that in mind. For this reason, many parents try to specifically book reservations at hotels that have swimming pools and hot tubs. While many stays at hotels happen without incident, some families experience serious and even tragic accidents at hotel pools.

In many situations, hotels can be held liable for the losses your family suffered if your child was involved in a swimming pool accident on the premises. Whether the pool accident involved near-drowning, drowning, or other types of injuries, it is critical that you discuss what happened with a highly experienced premises liability attorney who understands how to help victims of swimming pool accidents recover for their losses.

  • Injuries Resulting from Hotel Pool Accidents
  • Many types of injuries can occur in or around swimming pools, many of which can be severe or fatal. Some examples of pool injuries can include the following:
  • Brain damage from oxygen deprivation (anoxia1 or hypoxia2)
  • Traumatic brain injury from head trauma
  • Broken bones
  • Burns and electrocution injuries
  • Evisceration
  • Death

As you can see, many of the injuries caused by pool accidents are highly serious and can have an extreme effect on your family. As a result, you should always seek information regarding whether you can hold a hotel responsible for the swimming pool accident and injuries.

How Hotels Can Be Negligent

In some cases, a swimming pool accident is just that – an accident that no one could have prevented. However, in many instances, a pool accident happens because the hotel was negligent in some manner. The following are only some ways in which a hotel can be negligent regarding a swimming pool or hot tub:

Defective gate and/or latch – Laws require that pool at hotels have fences or other enclosure with specific doors or gates that lock or latch. This is largely to keep unattended children from wandering into the pool area and falling into the pool. If a hotel has a door with a broken lock or a gate with a broken latch, it can be responsible for accidents that result.

Inadequate warnings – Most hotel pools do not have lifeguards on duty. However, there must be adequate warnings of such posted in the pool area. In addition, hotels must post any other applicable warnings (such as “no diving”) or rules, as well as have obvious depth markers around the pool so parents know to keep their kids in shallow waters if needed.

Diving board accidents – If a hotel pool has a diving board, it must be properly inspected and maintained. If a diving board is broken in any way, anyone using the diving board can fall off and hit their head or hurt another part of their body.

Slip and fall accidents – Hotels should ensure that the area surrounding the pool is not slippery and does not have tools or debris in walkways. If there are dangerous surfaces around the pool, guests can slip and fall causing traumatic injuries or may even fall into the pool, causing near-drowning or drowning accidents.

Drain accidents – Pool and hot tub drains can be very dangerous if they are not in compliance with relevant laws, such as the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act,3 people can become suctioned to the drain, which can result in evisceration and drowning.

Other conditions inside the pool – Pools can have many other dangerous conditions including murky water, rough surfaces, incorrect chemicals, or other factors that can lead to drowning accidents or can make it difficult for parents to realize their child may be in trouble.

Electrocutions – Hotel pools are often equipped with lights and other electrical components that can help increase safety – that is unless they are wired incorrectly or improperly maintained. In such cases, anyone in the pool may be electrocuted and may suffer injuries or drown as a result.

Call an Experienced Philadelphia Hotel Injuries Attorney for More Information Today

If you or your child was injured in a hotel pool, an experienced Philadelphia hotel accident lawyer can evaluate the situation and help identify any negligence and responsibility on the part of the hotel. Please do not hesitate to call The Levin Firm to discuss a possible case for free at 215-825-5183 today.

1https://www.healthgrades.com/conditions/anoxia

2https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001435.htm

3http://www.poolsafely.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pssa.pdf

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July 28, 2016

Pokemon Go Accident Highlights the Dangers Associated with Apps and Driving

Dangers of Pokemon Go

If you watched the news or been online in the past few week, you have like heard of a new game that is being played by millions of people around the world known as Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go is a new and wildly popular app that was designed to be used with people’s smartphones and utilizes augmented reality, a technology that augments the real world with computer-generated enhancements. The app broke the Apple App Store’s record for the number of downloads during the first week it was available and has some 9.5 million active daily users according to some estimates.1

How the App Works

If you have not tried Pokemon Go, this all may sound very confusing. For the uninitiated, here is a brief explanation of the way in which the app operates. Users control an avatar in the game by moving around the real world. The app uses the locational tracking functionality of smartphones to place the avatar on a map that is analogous to the player’s real world location. The player goes through the real world looking for Pokemon, which are fictional creatures that they can capture and train. When they are in range of a Pokemon, their phone uses the camera function to superimpose an image of the Pokemon character on an image of the real world, which they can then capture by throwing Pokeballs at it. Furthermore, players can visit “Pokestops” and “Gyms” in order to collect game-related items and battle with other players.

Playing Pokemon Go Requires a Significant Amount of Attention

Because taking your avatar through the Pokemon Go world requires you to move through the real world, many players look down at their phones as they are walking from place to place in order to make sure they are heading in the direction of the Pokemon they are trying to catch. If you have noticed people in the area looking at their phones more than normal and then stopping to flick their screen repeatedly, it is very likely that you are watching someone playing the game.

Whenever a person is looking at his or her phone, it is taking their attention away from their surroundings. Recognizing this fact, the game’s maker has placed a conspicuous warning on the game’s startup screen reminding players to be careful and to always be aware of their surrounds, but not all players are heeding this advice.

The First Pokemon-Go Related Car Accident Occurred in Less than a Week

Pokemon Go was released on July 6th of this year. According to a report published on CNET, not a week later, a man in Auburn, New York crashed into a tree while playing the game, marking perhaps the first accident caused by a driver distracted by Pokemon Go. While no one was injured in that accident, so long as drivers are using the app, there is a risk of a serious injury-causing accident occurring due to distracted driving.

Distracted Driving Often Entitles Victims to Compensation

Fortunately for people who are injured by distracted drivers, the fact that a driver was distracted and caused an accident is usually sufficient to recover compensation. While Pokemon Go and other smartphone-based activities can certainly result in significant distractions, distractions can also occur in much less high-tech ways. Some of the more common examples of driver distractions that can lead to accidents include the following:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Grooming
  • Applying makeup
  • Reading
  • Talking on the phone
  • Looking at scenery
  • Searching for objects in the car
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Using a GPS device

People who were distracted when an accident occurred may be reluctant to admit that fact to law enforcement or the other parties involved in the accident. For this reason, it is critical for victims to retain an attorney in order to make sure that their legal rights are protected.

Call a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation

If you have been injured by a driver who was using their smartphone or otherwise distracted, you should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as you can. At the Levin Law Firm, we are committed to helping people who have been injured by the negligence of another person to recover for their losses. Best of all, we offer free consultations and will charge you nothing in legal fees unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. To schedule your free case evaluation with a skilled Philadelphia car accident lawyer, call our office today at 215-825-5183 or send us an email through our online contact form.

1 http://www.recode.net/2016/7/13/12181614/pokemon-go-number-active-users

2 http://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/that-didnt-take-long-first-car-crash-attributed-to-pokemon-go-in-new-york/

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June 24, 2016

Whiplash can be Surprisingly Serious

Whiplash can be Surprisingly Serious

If you were to accept the way that television and movies portray whiplash injuries,1 you would believe that they were simply a way for accident victims to scam insurance companies. It has become a common trope for the “injured” victim to claim serious injuries, chronic pain, and an inability to work, only to be later discovered by an investigator taking off his or her neck brace to go dancing or have a workout at the gym.

This portrayal is unfortunate because whiplash injuries can often be extremely serious and have a significant impact on victims’ ability to engage in everyday tasks and their overall quality of life. In addition, the idea that whiplash injuries are somehow “fake” has become pervasive, and many insurance companies view claims involving whiplash with suspicion, often making it difficult for injured victims to get the compensation they deserve. Fortunately, the assistance of an experienced lawyer can often help victims get the help they need as quickly as possible.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs as the result of a forceful and sudden movement of the head back and forth on the neck, as often occurs when a person suddenly accelerates or deceleration. It can often result in serious medical problems, including stiffness, headaches, neck pain, a sensation of pins and needles in the limbs, radiating pain to the neck and shoulders, and back pain.

It is important to note that “whiplash” is not an official medical diagnosis, and may be described by physicians as a neck sprain, hyperextension, hyperflexion, soft-tissue injury, or other names.

What Kinds of Accidents can Cause Whiplash?

Whiplash is commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents, particularly rear-end accidents. In a typical whiplash case, the occupants in the front vehicle are unprepared for an impact, so when it occurs the neck muscles are relaxed. As a result, their bodies are suddenly thrust forward while their heads stay in place, causing the head to snap backward and forward violently. Other kinds of accidents can cause whiplash as well, however, including the following:

  • Motor vehicle accidents that do not involve a rear-end impact
  • Bicycle accidents2
  • Slip and fall injuries
  • Snowboarding and skiing accidents
  • Roller coaster and other amusement park rides
  • Intentional assaults
  • Sports accidents
  • Boating accidents

Proving Whiplash

As mentioned above, many insurance companies are suspicious of claims involving whiplash, making it essential for victims to adequately document and address the injuries they have sustained. Compounding this problem is the fact is that while whiplash is a very real injury, it is not possible to directly observe whiplash, which means that others must rely on the victim’s own description of their pain to determine its severity.

Because of these issues, it is often difficult for people who have sustained a whiplash injury to establish the existence of their injury and its severity. Fortunately, there are certain steps that victims can take to protect their legal rights and ensure that they are able to recover. These include the following:

See a Physician as Soon as Possible after Your Accident – Many people make the mistake of thinking that their injuries are not that serious and will heal on their own after being involved in an accident. In addition, many whiplash injuries do not become symptomatic for a significant period of time after an accident occurs. As a result, victims may wait for a few days or even weeks to see a doctor after an accident has occurred. When you see a physician immediately, you can make sure that there is a medical record connecting your injuries to your accident and also that your injuries are properly identified and treated.

Take Notes on How Your Injury has Affected You – As discussed earlier, unlike a laceration or bruise, whiplash is not an injury that you can typically see. For this reason, establishing the severity of a whiplash injury can be difficult. One thing victims can do to help establish the severity of their injury is take notes on how it has affected them. For example, take notes of any pain you experience, activities you choose to forgo due to your injury, headaches you have, sleep disturbances you experience, or any other ways in which the injury has affected you.

Call a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you have sustained a neck or spine injury in an accident caused by the negligence of another person, you should call an experienced lawyer immediately. Attorney Gabriel Levin is a skilled Philadelphia personal injury attorney who is committed to getting the largest settlement or award for each client he represents. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call The Levin Firm today at 215-825-5183 or send us an email through our online contact form.

1 http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/whiplash/basics/definition/con-20033090

2 http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/bicycle/

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March 1, 2016

I was hit by a car while walking- what damages am I entitled to?

PA hit by a car

In pedestrian car accident cases, the type of damages the pedestrian is entitled to will usually fall into one of four categories:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of normal life

    Now, let’s consider each of these categories in turn.

1.Medical Expenses

This category of damages is probably the most simple. In the event that a negligent driver hits a pedestrian, the driver should pay for any of the pedestrian’s medical expenses that may arise.

2.Lost Wages

The driver must compensate a pedestrian for any days the pedestrian may have missed from work as a result of the injuries sustained. Again, these damages might be higher or lower depending on who the pedestrian is.

3.Pain and Suffering

Damages for pain and suffering are generally pretty speculative, and, as a result, have no clear answer regarding the dollar amount that can be assigned to them. Courts, however, attempt to define damages for pain and suffering by awarding them as a part of the personal injury lawsuit.

4.Loss of Normal Life

These damages are also pretty speculative, and can best be explained by the following example: consider that a 32-year-old parent is hit by a car while crossing the street and as a result, is paralyzed from the waist down. Imagine that this parent was very active and participated in many outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and coached soccer. Now, the parent is no longer able to engage in these activities with his or her children as a result of the car accident. The question then becomes whether the driver should have to compensate the parent for the change in lifestyle? If so, how much compensation is appropriate?

Such damages are referred to as “loss of normal life” or “loss of enjoyment” and can vary depending on who the pedestrian is and their quality of life before the accident. The exact amount would be up to a jury to decide.

What next?

If you are injured as the result of a pedestrian car accident, and the driver is at fault for the accident, the driver will likely be responsible for the accident. At that point, you can pursue a third party claim, where the injured pedestrian can initiate an injury claim with the driver’s car insurance carrier. This is usually the first step towards receiving compensation for your injuries and lost wages, and can include things such as medical bills, lost income, and general damages such as pain and suffering.

What will I get?

Most of the time, insurance claims result in an injury settlement following a series of negotiations. This is why it is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer advocating for you. For instance, in some cases, if settlement talks are not leading to a fair agreement, you may need to file a lawsuit and take the matter to civil court.

If you are a pedestrian who was injured in a car accident, and have any questions about your legal rights, you may want to discuss your options with a car accident lawyer.

Representing pedestrian car accident victims requires a team of aggressive investigators and lawyers all devoting their maximum effort to their clients. At The Levin Firm, our Pennsylvania and New Jersey personal injury attorneys investigate every claim so that we may aggressively and zealously represent our clients and obtain the best possible results.

If you have suffered injury in a Philadelphia auto accident, your main concern should always be on your physical and mental recovery and you should not have to constantly worry about your legal case. For this reason, we make certain to regularly communicate with clients and will keep you up to date on any new developments in your case. We provide careful attention to each individual auto accident case and will always zealously advocate on your behalf. If you have suffered injury, please do not hesitate to call 877-825-8542 to schedule a free consultation with the experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers at The Levin Firm today.

Sources

1. http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/auto-accident/legal-options-hit-by-car-while-walking.html

2. http://www.levininjuryfirm.com/practice-areas/automobile-accidents/pedestrian-car-accidents/

3. http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/auto-accident/damages-pedestrian-car-accident-case.htmlexpect.html

4. http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/auto-accident/tips-protect-legal-claim-after-car-accident.html

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December 29, 2015

Common Injuries Involved in Personal Injury Cases

Philadelphia personal injury attorney

The damages available in a personal injury case largely depend on the type and severity of the injury sustained by the victim. The following are some examples of injuries that may commonly be at issue in a personal injury claim.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – TBI [1] is one of the most common injuries in legal cases as it can result from motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, falls, sports injuries, and more. TBI can have a significant effect on a victim’s cognitive functioning, physical abilities, emotional control, and can even render them unconscious for an extended period of time.

Neck injuries – Neck injuries can involve sprains or strains to the tendons, ligaments, and muscles of the neck. This group of injuries is often referred to as “whiplash” because it often occurs when the head snaps forward and then snaps sharply backward like a cracking whip. This is common in motor vehicle accidents, especially in rear-end collisions. Whiplash can require extensive physical therapy, can be very painful, and can limit the ability to work or engage in regular activities.

Back injuries – Injuries can happen to the many different muscles and other soft tissue in the back, as well as to the discs of the spinal cord. Since the back is so important in movement and many activities, sprains, strains, herniated discs, bulging discs, slipped discs, or pinched nerves can often immobilize a victim, resulting in the inability to work until the victim has recovered. Back injuries may also require surgery if they do not resolve through physical therapy.

Spinal cord injury (SCI) – The spinal cord is essential in sending messages from the brain to the parts of the body to instruct them to move and function. Damage to the vertebrae, nerves, and other parts of the spinal cord can seriously disrupt movement, sensory abilities, and more in a victim. Some SCI victims end up either temporarily or permanently paralyzed in all body parts below the point of the injury on the spine. Paralysis is a serious disability that can require a victim to use a wheelchair and can limit their ability to work or even live independently.

Amputations – In some cases, an accident may result in a victim having a finger, toe, hand, foot, arm, or leg crushed, shattered, or even completely severed from their body. Crushed or shattered bones that cannot be repaired may require removal of the limb or extremity. Amputation of any body part—even a finger or toe—can significantly impact a victim’s life in many different ways and treatment and recovery may be extremely costly. This is especially the case if an amputee requires a prosthesis.

Burns – Burns of all varieties and severity can result from motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents, electrocutions, home appliance malfunctions, and many more types of accidents. Burns can range from relatively superficial first-degree burns to serious and debilitating third or fourth-degree burns. The most serious burns can damage all layers of skin and even the muscle and tissue below the skin. According to the American Burn Association (ABA),[2] about 40,000 burn victims require extended stays in burn centers or hospitals due to the extensive and painful treatment that serious burns may require.

Fractures – About 6 million fractured or broken bones happen each year, as reported by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS).[3] While a large number of broken bones require rest and immobilization to heal, other compound fractures may require serious surgical procedures that lead to  an extensive recovery period. Some surgical patients may even need to stay in an assisted living facility if their homes are not compatible with wheelchairs and the other equipment they may need if they cannot walk.

Internal organ damage – Accidents can often lead to many different kinds of internal organ damage including the following:

  • Rupture of the abdominal aorta
  • Punctured organs due to broken ribs
  • Blunt trauma to the kidneys
  • Ruptured spleen
  • Punctured lung
  • Internal bleeding

Any of the above requires emergency medical care and, if not treated, can be life-threatening.

Contact a Philadelphia personal injury attorney today

Whether you have been in a car accident, a fall, or any other type of accident, you should always discuss your rights to recovery for your injuries with a qualified Philadelphia personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Please call The Levin Firm at 215-825-5183 for a free consultation today.

[1] http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tbi/tbi.htm

[2] http://www.ameriburn.org/resources_factsheet.php

[3] http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00279

 

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October 7, 2015

Halloween Activities can put Children at Risk of Involvement in a Pedestrian Accident

halloween

Each October 31st, many adults and children celebrate Halloween in a variety of ways. Trick-or-treating is the traditional Halloween activity for younger children, which often involves around from house to house at night in some type of macabre or humorous costume. Adult Halloween parties, on the other, hand, often involve the consumption of alcoholic beverages and late-night gatherings.

It should come as no surprise, then, that pedestrian accidents tend to spike around Halloween each year. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [1] (NHTSA), Halloween is one of the most dangerous nights of the year. Children are particularly at risk for pedestrian accidents, for a number of reasons, including the following:

• Costumes with masks or hoods can interfere with a child’s ability to see oncoming traffic
• Dark colored costumes can make children difficult for drivers to spot
• Particularly small children may not be visible when standing between cars waiting to cross the street
• There are often more impaired drivers on the road

Fortunately for individuals who are injured in Philadelphia pedestrian accidents, state law [2] allows people who are hurt by the carelessness or recklessness of others to recover for their injuries and other losses. For this reason, pedestrian accident victims should always contact an attorney to ensure that their legal rights are protected and they receive the full value of their claim.

What should pedestrians do if they are involved in accidents?

Any time a pedestrian is involved in an accident, there are several steps that are extremely important to take. Some of these are discussed below. Individuals seeking specific information regarding their case should talk to an attorney familiar with personal injury law in their state.

Contact emergency personnel

Anyone who is involved in a pedestrian accident should call 911 immediately in order to alert emergency personnel to the fact that an accident occurred. Doing so will ensure that any injuries requiring emergency medical attention are treated and that law enforcement fully investigates the circumstances surrounding an accident. The involvement of law enforcement will also result in the generation of a police report that may become important should liability become contested. Furthermore, police will assess the situation and determine if there is any reason to believe that the driver involved in your case was impaired or otherwise unable to safely operate a vehicle.

Collect information

Individuals or loved ones of accident victims should document information regarding the accident. Examples of the facts of which to make not include the name of the driver or drivers involved, the license plate numbers of the vehicles, any markings on the vehicles that identify them as commercial vehicles, the weather conditions at the time of the accident, and contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the accident. Additionally, taking pictures of the scene of the accident or any hazardous conditions that may have contributed to the accident can be helpful in establishing liability.

Seek medical attention

It is important for anyone involved in a pedestrian accident to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Seeing a physician will ensure that any injuries that have been sustained are correctly identified and properly treated. Furthermore, doing so will result in the generation of an official medical record that describes the extent and nature of your injuries as well as their cause. This record can be extremely important in establishing both causation and damages, should the other party contest liability.

Retain an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer

Victims of pedestrian accident should retain an attorney as soon as possible. In many cases, insurance adjusters may ask questions phrased in a way as to get victims to inadvertently admit legal liability. An attorney can protect your rights and ensure that you receive the full and fair value of your claim as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Contact a Philadelphia pedestrian accident attorney today to discuss your case
If you or your child have been injured in a pedestrian accident you should contact an attorney immediately. In many cases, pedestrian accident victims are entitled to significant compensation for the injuries they have sustained, including their medical expenses, loss of future earning potential, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and their loss of enjoyment of life. In pedestrian accidents involving children, the settlement or award received can ensure that their medical needs are met for years to come, so it is crucial for parents of injured children to retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
Philadelphia personal injury attorney Gabe Levin is dedicated to protecting the legal rights of people injured in pedestrian accidents. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Levin, call our office today at 215-825-5183 or send us an email through our online contact form.
[1] http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/SAFETY+ADVISORY:+NHTSA+Offers+Halloween+Safety+Tips
[2] http://www.pa.gov/Information/Pages/Laws-And-Legal-Information.aspx

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