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December 15, 2017

How to Avoid Traffic Accidents in The Philadelphia Area

Car Accident Lawyer in PA

Traffic accidents cause thousands of injuries each year. The possible need for long-term care, among other things, can complicate the determination of damages for injuries. Effectively dealing with these issues can require professional assistance. Obviously, however, the best solution is to avoid traffic accidents in the first place.

The Levin Firm has some advice to help you do that. If you have suffered an injury in a traffic accident in the Philadelphia area, however, consult an attorney to protect your rights and explore your compensation options. The Levin Firm can help. Take advantage of a free consultation. Contact us at (215) 825-5183 or through our online contact form.

Can I Reduce My Risk of a Traffic Accident?

Fortunately, the answer is yes. And there is a good reason for wanting to do so. According to the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration, a traffic accident kills someone every 12 minutes, injures someone every 10 seconds, and crashes every five seconds.

Driving safety experts offer different answers for how to avoid traffic accidents based on their editorial perspectives. The different viewpoints, however, appear equally valid. For example, EHS Today advises:

  • Pull into traffic slowly, paying attention to other drivers’ blind spots and objects that might obstruct the vision of other drivers, including highway road signs.
  • Look both ways at least twice before turning right at intersections.
  • Make sure no one runs a red light or pushes through during the last milliseconds of a yellow light before you proceed into an intersection.
  • Take care when passing commercial trucks, which have large blind spots on their right-hand sides and to their rears.
  • Always keep at least one hand on the steering wheel. Avoid distractions, including changing radio stations, tapes, or CDs; using cell phones; eating, or taking both hands off the wheel.
  • Watch for children, pedestrians, and animals.
  • Maintain your vehicle, including the engine and safety equipment, such as brakes and brake lights, position lights, and head lights. Keep your tires properly inflated.
  • Be vigilant when backing up. Don’t rely on mirrors—turn and look to ensure nothing is in the way.
  • Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
  • Treat other drivers with courtesy and don’t do anything that might spark road rage in them.

Edmunds offers these suggestions for avoiding accidents:

  • Stay out of the fast lane. The left lane is for passing, but more important, the center or right lanes give you have more places to go should you need to quickly change lanes or move to the shoulder. Most accidents involve vehicles traveling in the left lane.
  • Focus on the front, and not just the vehicle in front of you—look for problems farther ahead and keep an eye on what happens in front of the vehicle in front of you. This will give you time to react.
  • Pay attention to blind spots—yours, others’, everyones. Turn to check your own blind spots, and adjust your mirrors to minimize those blind spots. Pay particular attention to truckers’ blind spots.
  • Keep your hands on the wheel, preferably at or above the nine- and three o’clock positions.
  • Know your car’s limits. A minivan is not a Porsche, and acceleration, maneuverability, and other performance standards differ accordingly. Learn how your vehicle can perform in an emergency.
  • Keep your car in good shape. Observe maintenance schedules, regularly change your tires, change wiper blades, and take other steps to keep your car in proper condition.
  • Avoid driving late at night if possible. While driving late to avoid traffic sounds good, you are more fatigued at night and other drivers are more likely to drive drowsy—or worse, under the influence of alcohol.

Obviously, none of this advice can prevent all accidents, but it can reduce your risk. Safe driving requires constant attention and vigilance. Maintain that attitude and you might take the best step to avoid traffic accidents.

The government, of course, has its own perspective on accident prevention. In large part, the government focuses on how accidents hurt the economy, since many accidents occur during rush hours or work hours, and to different degrees employers bear the cost for injuries that occur whether they take place on or off the job. Even off-the-job injuries cost employers if employees can’t work due to accident injuries. Hence, the federal government has its own recommendations for reducing traffic accidents. Employers should:

  • Maintain traffic safety policies and ensure that all employees understand them, even if the job duties of those employees do not include driving. Such policies could include banning the use of drugs or alcohol during work hours or while performing company business.
  • Enforce policies requiring the use of seat belts when engaged in company business or using company vehicles, and require all occupants of company vehicles to wear seat belts.
  • Establish policies regarding fatigued driving to ensure that employees properly rest before they drive on company business.
  • Make it company policy to avoid aggressive driving even when simply commuting to and from work, but especially when driving on company business.

Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers of The Levin Firm

Drive with the goal of avoiding accidents, but if a traffic accident in the Philadelphia area injured you, getting an experienced legal team on your side can help. If you were in a traffic accident in the Philadelphia area despite your defensive driving, protect your rights and explore your compensation options. Contact us at (215) 825-5183 or through our online contact form.

December 13, 2017

What questions should you ask when hiring a lawyer?

Personal Injury Attorney in PA

Traffic accidents cause thousands of injuries each year. The possible need for long-term care, among other things, can complicate the determination of damages for injuries. Effectively dealing with these issues can require professional assistance. Read on to learn how to choose the right attorney to assist you with any claims that might arise from a traffic accident, and what questions will help you make that determination.

The attorneys of The Levin Firm can help. You can take advantage of a free consultation, and The Levin Firm wants you to know the questions you should ask before hiring an attorney to assist you with an injury claim. Contact us at (215) 825-5183 or through our online contact form.

What Questions Should I Ask When I Look for a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If a traffic accident injured you, you want to find the best lawyer you can. How do you do that? The first thing you should look for is someone with the right experience to handle your case. To that end, ask any attorney you interview the following questions:

  • How long have you practiced personal injury law?
  • Do you frequently handle cases involving traffic accidents like mine?
  • What kinds of traffic-accident injuries do you have experience handling?
  • What are your professional credentials, including bar memberships and professional awards and recognitions? Where did you go to law school?
  • About how many traffic accident injury cases do you handle every year, how many do you settle, and how many go to trial?

Those are just the first questions you should ask, not the only ones. You should also want to know whether you have a viable case and whether the negligence of another person might entitle you to compensation.

Ask How the Lawyer Will Handle Your Case

Once you are satisfied with the attorney’s competence to handle your case, ask questions that will let you know how your attorney will handle it. Ask how the attorney works with clients—will the lawyer simply tell you what to do, or tell you your options and let you decide? Neither approach is wrong, but some people prefer to have input into decisions. On the other hand, maybe you want hire an attorney to make decisions. It is an issue for your consideration.

  • Other questions about case management could include:
  • Will you manage my case, or will another attorney at your firm handle it?
  • Who will make court appearances, and who will attend negotiations?
  • Who will serve as my day-to-day point of contact?
  • What other attorneys will work on my case?
  • Will my case require expert witnesses? If so, who are they and what will they do?
  • How often will you give me progress reports, and what information can I expect those reports to include?
  • How do I reach you and how quickly will you respond?

Ask About Your Case Strengths and Weaknesses

You need to know the strength of your case, including the likely outcomes. Ask for an honest assessment, what works against you and what works in your favor. Ask about your chances of a fair settlement, or whether your case might go to trial. If your case is likely to go to trial, ask about your chances of success and whether it’s worth pursuing the case. Find out whether mediation or arbitration are options and if they’ll work for you.

Finally, ask for a timeline and an estimate for how long your case might take to conclude. Having suffered damages, including medical expenses, you need to know how to manage your finances while awaiting the conclusion of your case. When litigation is possible, accurate estimates are hard to provide, and your attorney might not offer a definite answer. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

What Will My Case Cost Me?

Finally, you need to address what legal representation will cost you. You need to know how a lawyer will charge you, whether your case will cost you money up front and, if so, how much. Questions to ask include:

Will you charge me a contingency fee or an hourly rate? (A contingency fee is a percentage of whatever compensation you recover. Obviously, you will want to know that percentage. Usually, a contingency agreement means you don’t have to pay lawyer fees if you don’t win compensation.)

If you charge me an hourly rate, how much is that rate, and will you require me to pay if I don’t win compensation?

  • Will you charge me a retainer fee?
  • Will you charge me for anything if you fail to obtain a settlement or win the case?
  • What expenses must I pay, and must I pay them even if I lose and receive no money?

In general, your insurance will pay for your actual expenses, both medical and property damages, even if you are at fault for an accident. The key to recovery beyond that is whether the other party was at fault. That may entitle you to more. Asking the above questions can help you determine whether that is possible, and what it will cost you.

If You Suffered an Injury in a Traffic Accident in the Philadelphia Area, Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers of The Levin Firm

If you suffered a personal injury in a traffic accident in the Philadelphia area, protect your rights and explore your compensation options. The Levin Firm can help. Contact us at (215) 825-5183 or through our online contact form.

December 7, 2017

Drowsy Driving Is a Serious Problem


PA Car Accident Lawyer

Traffic accidents involving drowsy drivers cause thousands of injuries each year. As experienced personal injury attorneys, the lawyers of The Levin Firm know how you feel after such an incident. You want help, and you want your life to return to normal.

If you were in a traffic accident in the Philadelphia area that involved a drowsy or fatigued driver, then protect your rights and explore your compensation options. The Levin Firm can help. Take advantage of a free consultation. Contact us at (215) 825-5183 or through our online contact form.

The Impacts of Driving When Drowsy or Fatigued

Driving fatigued or drowsy has serious impacts on traffic safety and, ultimately the well-being and quality of life for any drivers who encounter the hazard. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s traffic accidents statistics rely upon police and hospital reporting to estimate the number of traffic accidents related to drowsy driving. The NHTSA, however, can’t determine the exact number of accidents caused by drowsy driving, because police may not easily find conclusive crash-scene evidence of drowsy driving.

The agency estimated that in 2015, local law enforcement reported more than 72,000 accidents that involved drowsy or fatigued drivers, resulting in about 41,000 injuries and more than 800 deaths. While those numbers seem bad enough, experts in traffic safety, sleep science, and public health believes the numbers are much larger. These experts, according to the NHTSA, believe that drowsy driving contributes to seven percent of all crashes and 16.5 percent of all fatal accidents, which would mean that about 6,000 persons died in drowsy-driving related accidents in 2015.

Federal statistics show that drowsy driving contributed to 846 fatalities in 2014, representing 2.6 percent of all traffic deaths. These data points are consistent with the previous 10 years—between 2005 and 2009, drowsy driving factored in an average of 83,000 accidents each year, with about 886 fatalities each year—roughly 2.6 percent of all traffic fatalities annually—and an estimated 37,000 injuries annually. In addition, drowsy driving causes an estimated 45,000 traffic accidents each year that only result in property damage

The Leading Causes of Drowsy Driving

Why is there such an epidemic of drowsy driving? The NHTSA’s answers include:

  • Sleep loss. It seems simple, but people tend to discount this when they get behind the wheel.
  • When you’re driving and how far you’re driving. Driving between midnight and 6 a.m., driving a lot of miles or many hours each day, and driving for long periods without breaks are major causes.
  • Use of sedatives, including painkillers, some antidepressants, and some antihistamines.
  • Sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea syndrome and narcolepsy.
  • Alcoholic beverages.

Each of these factors has cumulative effects, meaning a combination of any of these greatly increases the risks of drowsy driving accidents.

Furthermore, three groups of drivers are particularly at risk of falling asleep at the wheel. They include, not surprisingly, night-shift workers and people who suffer from sleep apnea. Surprisingly, however, young people are the third group susceptible to drowsy driving—not because they party late all the time, but because of biology. The brain has a cluster of neurons that constitute a so-called sleep switch that tells our bodies when to sleep. This sleep switch works quite effective on sleep-deprived youth, causing to fall asleep involuntarily.

As for night-shift workers, a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that they are much more likely toface traffic accidents, particularly on their ways home from work. One study had night-shift workers drive on a test track at the time they normally would drive home from work. Nearly 40 percent of the test subjects showed signs of drowsy driving that nearly resulted in crashes.

Warning Signs That You Are Driving Drowsy

One key to stopping drowsy driving is for drivers to recognize the danger signs. The American Automobile Association cites a number of indicators that you are driving drowsy, including:

  • The inability to remember the last few miles you have driven
  • The inability to concentrate
  • Difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open
  • Your head feels heavy and keeps dropping
  • Drifting across driving lanes
  • Yawning repeatedly
  • Inadvertently tailgating other vehicles
  • Missing traffic signs

Research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that drowsy driving can mimic the effects of driving under the influence of alcohol. In fact, drowsy drivers sometimes drive so poorly that they might appear drunk. The AAA foundation conducted a survey of police officers and found that:

  • 88 percent had stopped a driver they believed was drunk but was drowsy
  • 89 percent believed drowsy driving presents as much danger as drunk driving
  • 93 percent said drowsy driving is a serious problem for passenger car drivers
  • 97 percent said drowsy driving is a serious problem for truck drivers
  • 95 percent believed that drowsy drivers who cause crashes should receive driving violations

While most drowsy-driving accidents take place late at night or early in the morning, a large number also occur in the mid-afternoon. Natural sleep rhythms indicate that people are sleepiest at the mid-point of their night-time sleeps, and then again about 12 hours later. For most people, this second period of sleepiness comes between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at The Levin Firm

The Levin Firm is ready to help victims of drowsy drivers in the Philadelphia area. If a drowsy driver injured you in a traffic accident in the Philadelphia area, seek legal advice. The Levin Firm can help. Contact us at (215) 825-5183 or through our online contact form.

May 4, 2017

TBIs Can Be Caused by a Variety of Accidents

TBI Attorneys in PA

Traumatic brain injuries,1 or TBIS, are among the most serious kinds of injuries a person can sustain. They can occur when you hit your head on another object with sufficient force or even when your head snaps back and forth on your neck. The most common form of TBI is known as a concussion, and more severe brain injuries often leave victims with cognitive and physical disabilities that can last a lifetime. Additionally, even repetitive mild TBIs have been linked to serious issues like Parkinson’s disease and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Many TBIs are the result of accidents caused by the negligence of other people, which means that victims are entitled to compensation for their losses. Here are some of the more common accidents that have the potential to leave individuals with brain injuries.

Car Accidents

People are involved in car accidents on a daily basis in the Philadelphia area. Even in the best of circumstances, a car wreck can easily involve forces that cause a vehicle occupant to hit his or her head on the dashboard, windshield or other surfaces. In more serious cases, victims are thrown through windshields and end up hitting the ground or another vehicle.

Slip and Falls

Most people think of slip and falls as minor accidents that cause only minor injuries like bumps and bruises. While it is certainly true that most slip and fall victims can walk away from their accidents, if they happen in a certain way, victims can end up hitting their heads on the ground or another object as they fall.

Bicycle Accidents

Bicyclists are among the most vulnerable people on the road. In accidents, they can easily be thrown from their vehicles and end up hitting their heads on the ground, cars, or even nearby objects like buildings or trees. Furthermore, TBIs can occur even when bicycle accident victims are wearing helmets and other safety gear.

Workplace Injuries

Many TBIs occur at work. While it may seem obvious that people who work in high-risk industries, such as construction or manufacturing, are at risk for brain injuries, you should keep in mind that even people who work behind a desk can hit their heads while they are at work. Importantly, while many workplace injuries limit people to workers’ compensation2 claims, there are plenty of circumstances under which a workplace injury gives rise to a personal injury claim. Some of the more common include the following:

  • Accidents caused by third-party contractors
  • Accidents caused by defective workplace tools
  • Accidents caused by the intentional conduct of an employer

Call a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case

If you have sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident caused by the negligence of another person, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. At The Levin Firm, we are committed to providing brain injury victims with effective and solution-oriented legal representation. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at 215-285-5183 or contact us online.

April 14, 2017

Getting the Most Out Of Your Pennsylvania Personal Injury Case

Personal Injury Lawyers in PA

Pennsylvania law1 entitles people who are hurt in accidents that were caused by someone else’s negligence to compensation for the losses they sustain. Victims can recover for both their economic and non-economic losses, and some examples of the kinds of damages that are pursued in a typical personal injury2 case include medical expenses, property damage, physical and emotional pain and suffering, lost income, and loss of quality of life.

Victims understandably want to obtain the largest settlement or award possible after an accident. Generally speaking, maximizing compensation after an injury-causing accident involves keeping detailed records about the way in which your injuries have affected you and making sure that your losses are documented and verified by third parties. Here are some of the specific things that you can do to ensure that you receive the full value of your claim.

Keep Notes

After an accident, you should keep detailed notes about the way in which your injuries affect you. Some examples of the kinds of issues of which you should make note include the following:

  • Pain
  • An inability to perform certain tasks
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Feelings of anxiety or depression
  • Activities or events that you forgo because of your injuries

See a Physician

You should always see a doctor after you are hurt in an accident, even if you do not believe that your injuries are particularly severe. This will serve two purposes; first, it will ensure that your injuries are accurately identified and that you start treatment as soon as possible. Second, it will result in the creation of a medical record that can be used as evidence when establishing damages.

Attend All Appointments and Do the Recommended Treatments

Many accident victims are prescribed physical therapy or other ongoing treatment for pain management. It is essential for you to attend all of these appointments, regardless of whether you think they are helping or necessary. Failure to do so may make it possible for the insurance company or at-fault party to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim they are.

Do Not Post on Social Media

If you are an active social media user, it may be a good idea to refrain from posting while your case is pending. Most of us who use social media like to present an idealized version of our lives, and pictures or posts showing you active and happy may make it seem like you are not as hurt as you claim to be. On the other hand, it is not advisable to start deleting old posts as it may give the impression that you are trying to destroy evidence.

Call a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation

If you have been hurt in an accident caused by the negligence of others, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys, call the Levin Firm today at 215-825-5183 or send us an email through our online contact form.

March 17, 2017

How to Maximize a Personal Injury Award or Settlement

Personal Injury Lawyer in PA

Motor vehicle accidents can happen anywhere, and Philadelphia, with its many busy roadways and highways, is no exception. Car wrecks can be very traumatizing experiences, and legal concerns are probably the last thing on your mind following involvement in a serious car crash.

Insurance companies, like most big businesses, are interested in lining their own pockets. Their goal in a car accident case is to settle the case as quickly (and as cheaply) as possible. Our experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorneys can help you by negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf and assisting you with obtaining a favorable settlement offer.

If the insurance company refuses to settle your case fairly, we are not afraid to litigate your case and take it to trial. What follows are some simple steps you can take to maximize the value of your case, including the amount of your settlement, arbitration award, or jury verdict.

Visit a Hospital Emergency Room or Urgent Care Facility Immediately After the Accident

Injured victims of Philadelphia car accidents should immediately seek same-day treatment at a local hospital emergency room or urgent care facility. This is true even when no symptoms are immediately apparent. Same-day treatment is necessary for the following reasons:

  • Symptoms oftentimes do not manifest themselves until well after the accident (e.g., days or weeks), and it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Failing to seek same-day emergency medical treatment sends a message to insurance adjusters that the accident victim was not all that seriously injured and/or was not making medical treatment a top priority following the collision.

It is also important that car accident victims be complete and accurate when describing their pain and symptoms (without overstating their cases) – and that they follow through with all of the emergency room physician’s treatment recommendations. This may include doing one or more of the following:

  • Following up with a primary care physician or specialist for subsequent treatment
  • Beginning a physical therapy regimen at a separate facility
  • Seeking follow-up care and treatment at another facility

Seek Medical Treatment for Injuries and Concentrate on Getting Better

Following a same-day hospital emergency room or urgent care visit, it is important to start treatment with a health care provider immediately for injuries sustained in the accident. Large gaps in treatment, long delays in treatment, and missed appointments (or late arrivals) are red flags for insurance adjusters. Rightly or wrongly, gaps in medical treatment or physical therapy send a signal to the insurance company that a car accident victim is not as seriously injured as he or she claims.

Document How Your Injuries Have Affected You

While proving losses like lost income and medical expenses is fairly straightforward, it is often more difficult to establish the non-economic damages accident victims sustain. Consequently, it is important for victims to keep detailed notes about the way in which their injuries have affected them. Make note of pain that you experience, activities that you forgo because of your injuries, any problems you have sleeping, and feelings of depression1 or anxiety that you have.

Seek Legal Representation

An experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer will be able to do the following:

  • Recommend further treatment options
  • Obtain all medical records and bills from hospitals, treating physicians, and physical therapy facilities
  • Obtain information from insurance companies about their available policy limits
  • Submit a settlement demand to the insurance company
  • Negotiate with insurance adjusters to obtain a fair settlement of the case
  • File a lawsuit and litigate the case in the court system, if necessary
  • Take the case to trial or explore alternative dispute resolution options

It is important to keep in mind that establishing the value of a car accident case is a complicated matter and often requires determining how your injuries will affect in the months and years that follow. The assistance of an attorney will ensure that all of your injuries are adequately compensated and that you receive the settlement or award that you deserve.

Contact a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case

Personal injuries sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence2 can be very serious and can affect every aspect of a person’s life – including their health, their finances, and their quality of life.

An experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer will have the necessary legal knowledge and expertise to negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf and help you to obtain a fair resolution to your case.

To schedule a free consultation with one of the experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at The Levin Firm, call us today at 215-825-518 or contact us online.

1 https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml

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

March 6, 2017

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

Personal Injury Lawyer in PA

The days and weeks immediately following a serious injury-causing accident can be stressful and confusing. Many victims are dealing with mounting medical expenses, uncertainty about when they will be able to return to work, and significant physical and emotional pain and suffering.

Under these circumstances, the thought of taking steps to recover compensation from the person or business that caused you injuries may seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there is help available, and injured victims can retain an attorney from the Levin Firm without having to pay anything up front. In fact, we do not collect legal fees from our personal injury1 clients at all if we do not recover compensation on their behalf.

Here are some of the ways that retaining one of the PI lawyers of the Levin Firm can help you after you are hurt in an accident.

A Personal Injury Lawyer will Evaluate Your Claim

Not every injury-causing accident result in a legal claim. If you caused your own accident or it was unavoidable, chances are you will not be able to recover compensation from anyone else. For example, if you are hurt in a car or truck accident that occurred because you lost control of your vehicle during a snow storm, you probably will not be able to file a claim against another person.

When you first meet with an attorney, he or she will thoroughly analyze the way in which your accident occurred and let you know whether you have a claim to pursue.

An Attorney Will Investigate Your Case

In some cases, it may be necessary to conduct an investigation to uncover evidence that another person or party was negligent2 and caused your accident. Some of the kinds of evidence that may be relevant to a personal injury case include the following:

  • Video surveillance footage
  • Vehicle maintenance reports
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Medical records
  • Cell phone records
  • Expert opinion
  • Pictures of the scene of the accident

Your lawyer will evaluate your case and determine whether your case warrants additional investigation. If so, he or she will collect evidence in support of your case and may use certain legal mechanisms to compel the production of evidence.

The Representation of a Lawyer will Protect Your Rights

As an accident victim, it is important to understand that you can say or do things that may hurt your ability to recover compensation for your injuries. In fact, insurance companies that are representing at –fault parties have been known to engage in tactics that are designed to get victims to admit partial or even full liability for an accident without even realizing it. When you have retained an attorney, however, your lawyer will communicate with the insurance company for you, ensuring that you receive the full and fair value of your claim.

Your Lawyer Will Attempt to Negotiate a Settlement

Most personal injury cases do not go to trial. When liability is conceded, what generally happens is the at-fault party’s insurance and the victim comes to a settlement agreement in which the insurer pays for the victim’s losses in return for the victim giving up his or her right to bring a claim.

While this process may sound simple, in reality, it is quite complicated. In order to come to a reasonable settlement amount, victims need to be aware of how much their case is worth. While it is simple to look at a medical bill and claim and demand compensation for the amount of the bill, what about calculating future medical expenses? Likewise, placing a value on a person’s physical and emotional pain and suffering requires an understanding of how noneconomic damages are calculated. Because of these and other issues, it is critical for victims who are involved in settlement negotiations to retain a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney.

An Attorney Will Represent You In Court

While most cases settle, some do not, requiring victims to go to court in order to get the compensation they deserve. If this occurs in your case, your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in any proceedings that may occur.

Call the Levin Firm to Speak with a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you have been hurt in an accident, you should make sure that your rights are fully protected by retaining an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. To discuss your case with a Philadelphia PI lawyer, call the Levin Firm today at 215-825-5183 or contact us online.

1 http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_issues_for_consumers/injury.html

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

February 27, 2017

What Are Some Common Personal Injuries?

Personal Injury Lawyers in PA

At the heart of every personal injury claim is – as you can probably guess – an injury suffered by the person filing the claim. There are many types of accidents that can result in personal injuries and the type of injury a victim sustains often depends on the accident that occurred. Some accidents that can lead to a personal injury claim include the following:

The losses that may be recovered in a particular personal injury case will depend on the injury sustained, the effects of that injury on the victim’s life, and the treatment required for the injury. The following are some examples of personal injuries that are commonly at issue in a lawsuit.

Head and Brain Injuries

Many accidents can result in trauma to the head and many parts of the head can be injured. One of the more common injuries to this part of the body is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI can occur with even a slight jolt or bump on the head. This type of injury can be mild, which is often in the form of a concussion. Even concussions require medical attention, however, as complications can arise and proper treatment is needed to lower the risk of further injury and effects. In other situations, TBIs can be moderate or severe1 and can cause a long-lasting coma and/or permanent impairments for victims.

Additionally, the skull itself can be fractured if an impact is great enough. In serious cases, part of the skull may fracture off and may enter the brain, causing serious damage. Other parts of the head and face that may be fractured or damaged include the nose, cheekbones, jaw, eyes, and teeth. All of these injuries can require costly treatment and extensive recovery time.

Back and Spine Injuries

The back has many parts that may be injured, including muscles, bones, joints, and the spinal cord, which is integral in facilitating basic movement and functioning. Many types of back injuries can cause excruciating pain and can substantially limit movement. Some back injury victims may hardly be able to walk and cannot lift anything – even lighter items. Back injuries often require extensive physical therapy or even surgery for a victim to recover.

If the spinal cord is damaged, the impairments for a victim may be severe and even permanent. Some spinal cord injuries2 can result in paralysis of the body below the injured point, including loss of sensory abilities. This means that many spinal cord injury victims may temporarily or permanently lose their ability to walk or may lose control over important bodily functions.

Broken Bones and Soft Tissue Injuries

Even if an injury does not result in permanent disability, it can still cause serious pain and disruption to a victim’s life. Both broken bones and soft tissue injuries can do just that. First, damage to any bone, muscle, tendon, or ligament can be immediately painful and the pain can persist for an extended period of time. In addition, any type of fracture, sprain, or strain can inhibit movement and abilities, often keeping a person from work and many everyday activities.

Some of these injuries can be even more serious, however, including compound fractures3 and ligaments or tendons that are completely torn. These injuries often require surgery and sometimes multiple procedures. Victims often must undergo extensive physical therapy to even be able to bear weight on an affected leg or two use an affected arm. Fractures to the pelvis can be particularly difficult to recover from and often require extended hospitalization.

Simply because a personal injury is not considered to be catastrophic does not mean that a victim will not incur huge losses. The above are, of course, only a few of the many personal injuries that our clients have had and from which we have helped them recover financially.

Contact a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Rights Today

Every personal injury case will have its own legal issues depending on the type of accident that happened and the type of injuries that you suffered. At The Levin Firm in Philadelphia, we regularly represent clients with a wide variety of injuries – ranging from sprains or strains to disabling spinal cord injuries.

You always want to ensure you are represented by an attorney who fully understands the effects of your injuries and who has the resources to pursue maximum compensation in your case. Please do not hesitate to call Philadelphia personal injury attorney Gabriel Levin at 215-825-5183 for a free consultation today.

1https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/severe.html

2https://medlineplus.gov/spinalcordinjuries.html

3http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00582

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

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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