The True Cost of a Car Accident

Do you know the costs you could be facing if you’re in a car accident? The costs for even minor accidents can clean out savings accounts. And accidents that lead to serious injuries can be astronomically expensive.

But there might be a way out! Do you know your legal rights if you’re injured in a car accident? If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to a personal injury claim for compensation. Keep reading to understand how much the average accident costs and how to get the compensation you’re owed.

What Affects the Cost of a Car Accident?
According to SuperMoney, many factors will determine the cost of a car accident:

● The severity of the crash
● The damages sustained to the vehicle
● The physical injuries suffered by passengers and others
● The number of passengers injured
● The value of the vehicle
● The value of any other property affected by the crash
● Where the accident took place
● Other variable factors

What Are the Average Costs of Car Accidents?
Car accidents are the leading cause of personal injury cases in the United States, according to AllLaw. 6 million car accidents happen every year in the United States. 3 million people are injured every year in car accidents, 2 million people sustain permanent injuries every year because of car accidents, and 90 people die every day from car accidents, according to Driver Knowledge. What if it happens to you?

Even minor injuries can lead to expensive therapies and recovery processes. But what’s important to remember is that even if there are no injuries – accident victims could still be facing the cost of expensive consultations, check-ups, and second opinions just to confirm that they aren’t injured, as the numbers below show. Even when no injuries are apparent, these visits to medical professionals are essential – as many serious injuries do not manifest immediately. And let’s not forget the cost for PTSD therapy for victims who were in traumatic accidents.

The National Safety Council notes that the calculable costs of motor-vehicle crashes are wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, vehicle damage, and employers’ uninsured costs. According to the National Safety Council, the average economic costs for car accidents per person are as follows:

● Car accidents resulting in death: $1,615,000
● Car accidents resulting in physical disabilities: $93,800
● Car accidents resulting in evident injuries: $27,100
● Car accidents resulting in possible injuries: $22,300
● Car accidents resulting in no injuries: $11,900
● Car accidents resulting in property damage only: $4,400 (per vehicle)

These are average costs. Remember that your car accident could be much more expensive depending on the circumstances.

The costs of car accidents go beyond just economic expenses. There are comprehensive expenses related to the value of lost quality of life as a result of the accident. When you or a loved one is disabled or traumatized because of an accident – you sacrifice far more than the costs of medical bills. If you lose a loved one in a fatal accident, the sacrifice is even higher. Attorneys can argue these “pain and suffering” costs as part of your claim. According to the National Safety Council, the average comprehensive costs per person involved in the car accident are as follows:

● Car accidents resulting in death: $10,562,000
● Car accidents resulting in physical disabilities: $1,155,000
● Car accidents resulting in evident injuries: $318,000
● Car accidents resulting in possible injuries: $147,000
● Car accidents resulting in no injuries: $48,700

Beyond Medical Bills: Other Costs to Consider
In the aftermath of car accident injuries, many people only consider medical bills. But while medical expenses can be a big part of car accident costs, you also need to consider wages lost due to missing work because of your injury – and more!

Did Someone Else Cause Your Injury?
Insurance agencies will try to get you to settle for a claim far below what you’re entitled to. Don’t settle before talking to a qualified personal injury attorney. And don’t underestimate the comprehensive expenses you can rightfully be compensated for.

Where’s the Justice?
If you’re the victim of a car accident in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, it’s time to act. A personal injury attorney can help you understand what your injuries and damages are worth, and how to navigate the sometimes confusing and overwhelming process of claiming compensation from both insurance companies and the negligent party. Get started today! See what your claim is worth and get legal assistance in your fight for justice!

Set up a free case evaluation by calling (412) 918-1241 or sending us a message online.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law
The Mitchell Building
304 Ross Street, Suite 510
Pittsburgh, PA, 15219
Phone: (412) 918-1241

Hiding Prior Injuries Can Jeopardize Your Accident Compensation

It’s a simple but serious mistake that often happens in Pittsburgh personal injury cases: the accident victim neglects to disclose any prior injuries that happened before the accident in question. This can result in a more difficult case, loss of credibility, and a possible decrease in the amount of compensation you’ll be able to claim for your injuries.

Even if your prior injuries are completely healed, if it’s discovered that you had prior injuries and you didn’t disclose them, you could be in serious trouble. Keep reading to understand how to avoid this mistake, and how to successfully claim the full compensation you deserve!

Why Does Hiding a Prior Injury Make You Less Credible?
Remember that no matter how serious your injuries, or what kind of accident you were involved in, insurance companies will always try to give as low a payout as possible. They will try to use any information they find as a reason that you should receive less money. Failing to disclose prior injuries or accidents could be interpreted by the opposing party as an attempt to hold them accountable for a previous injury not caused by the accident in question. Hiding information – whether you do it intentionally or not – is often seen as an indicator that there was something you wished to keep hidden. If not properly disclosed, medical records can definitely be used against you, says AllLaw.

Why Being Honest Helps in the Long Run
When you’re in any kind of accident, a medical evaluation should always be your priority, reminds USAttorneys. When you have this evaluation, you can inform your doctor about any previous injuries and ask if the current accident injuries are in any way aggravated by those previous injuries. An experienced medical professional can help you understand any correlation or non-correlation between injuries and make detailed notes about your condition. If your previous injury has nothing to do with the pain you may be feeling with your most recent injury, your medical team will note this in your medical records, doing no harm to your current case. These notes can later be presented in your personal injury case. If your prior injuries do not connect to your current injuries, you’ll have a respected medical professional’s opinion backing this up.

But what if your doctor says that the current injuries were made worse due to prior injuries? Then the doctor can still explain how the newest injuries have negative consequences on their own, consequences that you wouldn’t be suffering from without the additional recent accident. Just because prior accidents aggravate your current injuries doesn’t mean you won’t be able to still claim full recovery with the help of an attorney.

When and How to Disclose Prior Injury Information
Remember that while you need to be honest about prior injuries, how you disclose the information can make or break or your case. When you file for compensation, the insurance adjuster will ask for a recorded statement. You have the right to talk to a personal injury attorney before you present the statement to the insurance company, and it’s in your best possible interest to utilize this right. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you craft your statement so that you are not withholding information in a way that could jeopardize your credibility, but that you also aren’t hurting your case by wording something in a way that the other party could use against you. Tell your personal injury attorney about any previous injuries or accidents and share the notes and opinions from your doctor.

Be Careful of Insurance Traps
Do not share medical release forms or medical bills with your insurance adjuster without the green light from your personal injury attorney. Often, insurance adjusters will ask for medical release forms and medical bills with the indication that it will help you get paid faster. But don’t fall for this. Often, the insurance company is trying to get information that they can twist and use against you to avoid having to pay the full settlement you’re entitled to.

Avoid Simple Mistakes!
Did you forget to mention or otherwise neglect to disclose prior injuries during your current claim for personal injury compensation? Get a qualified personal injury attorney’s help today before you lose your chance at compensation!

Even with no perceived “dark secrets” of past injuries, winning a personal injury case is still difficult. But thankfully, you don’t have to face this challenge alone! There’s a personal injury law firm dedicated to you and your case in Pittsburgh, PA. Set up a free case evaluation by calling (412) 918-1241 or sending us a message online.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law
The Mitchell Building
304 Ross Street, Suite 510
Pittsburgh, PA, 15219
Phone: (412) 918-1241

How Does Pain and Suffering Compensation Work in Pennsylvania?

When claiming personal injury compensation, you need to know the full scope of what you’re entitled to, or you might miss out! One type of compensation available in personal injury claims is called “pain and suffering.” Pain and suffering can be a large part of your personal injury compensation, but it can also be complicated to claim.

There are two types of pain and suffering: physical and mental.

Physical pain and suffering is the pain from actual physical injuries. It includes not just the pain and discomfort that the accident victim has endured, but also the negative physical effects that he or she is likely to suffer in the future as a result of the accident.

Mental pain and suffering results from the accident victim’s physical injuries, but it is more of a by-product of those bodily injuries, and can be summed up as any kind of negative emotion that an accident victim suffers as a result of enduring the physical pain and trauma of the accident. Mental pain and suffering can include mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, fear, anger, humiliation, anxiety, shock, anger, depression, loss of appetite, lack of energy, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and more. Severe mental pain and suffering can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Like physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering can also cover the negative mental conditions that the victim will likely suffer in the future as a result of the accident.

How do juries and judges award pain and suffering?  

According to FindLaw, because there is no dollar amount immediately associated with pain and suffering, awards are considered non-economic (or “general”) damages.

Some of the factors that may be considered when attempting to place a dollar value on pain and suffering include:

  • How much will the injured party’s daily routine be limited or altered?
  • Will the injury impact relationships at home or work?
  • How does the pain or injury affect sleep or other lifestyle factors?
  • Will the injury impact the victim in the long term?

There are many other factors that judges could use to determine pain and suffering compensation. It’s important to have an attorney’s help if you want the courts to rule in your favor.

Because pain and suffering is so complex, victims often walk away with less than they deserve. But this doesn’t have to happen to you!

How to Successfully Claim Compensation 

The best way to ensure maximum compensation is to start working with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Were you involved in a car crash or other accident in Pittsburgh, PA? If you’ve been injured in any type of accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s time to claim the full compensation you deserve. Don’t settle for anything less! Call (412) 918-1241 or message us online.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building

304 Ross Street, Suite 510

Pittsburgh, PA, 15219

Phone: (412) 918-1241

How Dangerous Are ATVs?

A fatal ATV accident brought tragedy close to home earlier this month in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. It’s not exactly clear yet what caused the crash, according to WPXI News, but at least one person died as a result of riding an ATV along McGeary Hollow Road in Allegheny Township, Westmoreland County.

If you or any of your loved ones use an ATV for recreation or work, it’s important to know the risks that these vehicles carry. Let’s take a look at just how dangerous ATVs are and what you can do to avoid deadly accidents.

135,000 people are injured every year due to ATV accidents. Over 700 people are killed in these accidents every year and approximately 1/3 of the people killed in ATV accidents each year are under the age of 16, according to HG.Legal. Trauma surgeons and public health researchers say that people are far more likely to die after ATV accidents than after motorcycle accidents.

ATVs can be unstable and hard to control, particularly at high speeds. Rollovers and collisions happen often, and some of these are fatal, warns KidsHealth. At 600+ pounds, ATVs have large, powerful engines that allow speeds of over 65 mph. Their high center of gravity and lack of roll bars, safety cages, or seatbelts means they can tip easily, throw riders and passengers off, and even roll over on top of riders. This can cause serious injury or death, usually because of head injuries.

Safety Guidelines

HG.Legal reports that many ATV injuries could have been prevented if proper safety advice was followed. If you choose to use an ATV, follow these safety guidelines:

  • Kids age 16 and younger should not ride an ATV.
  • Take a safety training course to learn how to operate an ATV safely, and only ride an ATV that’s right for your size and age. Learn more at the ATV Safety Institute’s website.
  • Always wear an approved helmet and eye protection.
  • Wear long pants, long sleeves, gloves, and over-the-ankle boots to help prevent scrapes and cuts.
  • Only ride during daylight hours.
  • Always ride at a safe speed on a designated ATV trail.
  • Know basic first aid to treat minor injuries, and be able to get help in an emergency.
  • Never ride on a three-wheel ATV.
  • Never ride while drinking alcohol or using drugs.
  • Never ride on paved surfaces or public roads (except to cross them).
  • Never exceed the number of passengers recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Never let kids and teens drive an ATV with a passenger.

If You’re Injured In An ATV Accident

Many ATV accidents involve the negligence or recklessness of the driver or another person nearby, says HG.Legal. If you’ve been injured because of negligent or reckless use of an ATV, an experienced personal injury attorney can help. Contact our Pittsburgh office at (412) 918-1241 or online.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building

304 Ross Street, Suite 510

Pittsburgh, PA, 15219

Phone: (412) 918-1241

Have You Been in an Accident? Avoid This Deadly Mistake!

Have you been in an accident? There’s a high chance that you experienced a serious head injury. HealthLine defines a “head injury” as any sort of injury to your brain, skull, or scalp. Common head injuries include concussions and skull fractures and can get as serious as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Head injuries may be either closed or open. A closed head injury is any injury that doesn’t break your skull. An open head injury is when something breaks your scalp and skull and enters your brain.

It’s critical to remember that head injuries do not always have obvious or immediate symptoms. Whether your accident happened recently or not, be aware of the possibility that you were seriously injured.

The worst thing you can do as a potential victim of head injury is to ignore it! Unfortunately, that is the most common mistake that victims make. Brain injuries aren’t always immediately obvious, and sometimes take a few days to manifest. But even if you aren’t convinced that you’re injured, you should still seek medical attention. A timely diagnosis might mean all the difference in the world! It’s essential to always thoroughly evaluate your head injury – or get an exam to discover if you have a head injury. Your life could depend on it!

How Serious Can Head Injuries Be? 

It can be hard to assess how serious a head injury is without proper examination. Some minor head injuries bleed heavily, and some major injuries don’t bleed at all. It’s important to treat all head injuries seriously and get them assessed by a professional.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, serious head injuries contributed to nearly 50,000 deaths, and almost 2.8 million emergency room visits in 2013. Head injuries can result in brain damage, which translates to trouble with memory, thinking, attention, concentration, speaking, and mood changes. Head injuries have the power to affect every aspect of life, and yet sometimes brain injury victims have the power to change that.

What Are the Leading Causes of Head Injuries? 

The CDC reports that head injuries happen most commonly during falls, and the second leading cause of head injuries is being struck against an object. According to the CDC, car accidents are the third largest cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among all age groups. Car accidents are also the most common form of personal injury cases, so it’s no surprise that victims often suffer a TBI due to someone else’s negligence. Getting help right away not only increases your recovery chances but is also important when claiming compensation for a personal injury case!

The Definition and Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury

According to BrainLine, traumatic brain injury (TBI) refers to damage or destruction of brain tissue due to a blow to the head, resulting from an assault, a car crash, a gunshot wound, a fall, or the like. It’s important to know the symptoms of head injuries and pay attention to them! Most serious head injuries are diagnosed in the hospital shortly after an accident, but some symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury may take days or weeks to appear. It’s important to always seek medical attention immediately after an accident, even if you don’t feel like you’ve been injured, and then continue watching for tell-tale symptoms of a brain injury.

A Tragically Common Mistake

Far too many people ignore a potentially fatal injury. Brushing off the possibility of a serious head injury or traumatic brain injury could kill you. If you’ve been in an accident, it’s always advisable to have your head checked by a medical professional. If you have even the slightest inclination that you might have a head, neck, or brain injury, it’s important to get a medical opinion right away and report it to a reliable personal injury attorney. Ignoring or dismissing the issue can put you at serious risk of physical harm, long term injury, or death. And it can also hurt your chances of being properly compensated for your immediate and long term medical care and expenses. Because head injuries can require months, years, or even a lifetime of long-term care, medical costs and lost wages can pile up easily. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, you are entitled under law to claim compensation. A head injury is one of the most serious injuries a person can sustain, and it’s a personal injury case that Scanlon & Wajton will take just as seriously! Don’t wait to get the help you need and deserve!

Get started on your case by contacting us at (412) 918-1241 or online.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building

304 Ross Street, Suite 510

Pittsburgh, PA, 15219

Phone: (412) 918-1241

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit: A Step-By-Step Guide for Pennsylvania

“Personal injury” is the term used when someone’s negligence caused someone else’s injuries. Personal injury law allows accident victims to claim compensation for their injuries (also known as “damages”) and other misfortunes. If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation to cover medical bills, property repair costs, lost wages due to injuries forcing you to miss work, pain and suffering, and much more!

Do you believe you have a personal injury case, but need a little clarification on how to get started? Keep reading for a simple, step-by-step guide to filing a personal injury lawsuit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and getting the compensation you deserve!

Step 1: Don’t Procrastinate

Every state has a “statute of limitations” that restricts the amount of time you have to file your personal injury case after being injured. The statute of limitations for personal injury in Pennsylvania is two years, according to AllLaw. After that window, you may lose your right to receive compensation.

Step 2: Determine if an Insurance Policy Covers the Incident 

This is important because it can determine whether or not you’d actually be able to collect any damages a jury awards you after a personal injury trial. Having a judgment in your favor is one thing, but being able to collect on that judgment is another story. If the defendant has inadequate insurance coverage and very little in the way of assets, you might be left with no compensation to claim. Consider the extent of your injuries and whether your own insurance coverage might provide an acceptable solution. If you weren’t seriously hurt, or fault for the accident isn’t clear-cut and you have health insurance coverage, AllLaw recommends thinking twice before filing a lawsuit against someone who has no insurance. On the other hand, if your injuries are significant and there was clear negligence from another party that caused your accident, you’ll probably want to proceed whether or not the at-fault party is covered by an insurance policy.

Step 3: Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

If you have any significant injuries, AllLaw recommends discussing your case with a personal injury attorney. If you’re not sure if you have a case, contact our legal team for a free case evaluation.

Step 4: To File Or Not To File?

The majority of personal injury cases reach a settlement before trial, and many are resolved before a civil lawsuit is even filed.

In some situations, it’s worth considering the ways that you can recover compensation without filing a lawsuit. Where insurance coverage is in place, you can file a “third-party claim” against the at-fault person’s insurance carrier. You’d start by getting the name of the other person’s insurance carrier and their policy number. Then, you’d send the company a notice of claim that includes the insured person’s information, your information, the date of the accident, and a notification letter in which you declare that you were injured and intend to pursue a claim.

Step 5: Complete the Summons and Complaint 

The complaint is a formal legal document that identifies the legal and factual basis for your personal injury lawsuit.

The beginning of the complaint will identify you (the plaintiff), the defendant, and the court you’re filing your lawsuit in.

The next section will consist of numbered sentences or paragraphs that explain the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case, identify negligence behind your allegations, state the related facts, and explain what damages you’re demanding from the defendant.

Many jurisdictions will require you to file a summons, a document that identifies the parties to the litigation and explains to the defendant that they are being sued. The summons also usually contains a signature of the court’s representative and the seal of the court.

After you file the complaint and summons with the court, you need to serve a copy of each on the defendant. This is absolutely critical because otherwise, the court will not have jurisdiction over the defendant and can’t impose any judgment.

Step 6: Wait for the Defendant’s Response

The defendant can either file an “answer” to your complaint, in which the defendant admits or denies each of your numbered allegations or the defendant can state that they neither admit nor deny the allegations.

Alternatively, the defendant can file a motion to dismiss. If the court grants this motion, it can mean dismissal of either your entire claim

Injured in Pittsburgh? You have peace of mind and the compensation you deserve at your fingertips. Set up a free case evaluation by calling (412) 918-1241 or sending us a message online.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building

304 Ross Street, Suite 510

Pittsburgh, PA, 15219

Phone: (412) 918-1241

8 Tips to Prevent Social Media From Damaging Your Personal Injury Case

When you’re going through a personal injury lawsuit or attempting to file an insurance claim in Pittsburgh, it’s imperative to understand all the different factors that can hurt your chances of getting compensation. A few mistakes could cost you some or all of the personal injury compensation you were counting on. Make a wrong move, and you could be stuck with mountains of medical bills to pay on your own. One factor that accident victims often overlook is the risk associated with their social media.

According to JusticePays, what you post and say on social media could make or break your case. Keep reading for 8 important tips on how to protect yourself from the harmful repercussions of social media mistakes during a personal injury case.

  1. Remember that anything you post or say online can be used against you! Insurance companies have a lot of resources to spare on undermining legitimate claims like yours because they don’t want to pay the money you are owed. In addition, the attorneys on the opposing side will be looking for anything to use against you to discredit your case and entitlement to compensation. No matter how harmless or neutral a social media post might seem, it can be twisted and used against you. For example, you might post an update that says “Still shaken from the accident but not in as much pain now, thanks to everyone for your concern!” The opposing party or your insurance company could twist this to use as evidence that you aren’t badly injured and don’t deserve compensation.
  2. Remember that privacy settings don’t guarantee privacy. No matter what your settings are, anything you post online can become public.
  3. Never post ANY details about your injuries, legal proceedings, insurance, or the accident – including photos, discussions, frustrations, updates, attorney opinions, diagnoses, and doctor’s reports, according to HG.Legal. This refers not only to your physical injuries, but also to any property damage incurred in the accident (such as your car), any emotional or psychological harm, and/or any details or photos from the accident scene.
  4. Avoid posting photos or details of you doing any kind of physical activity after the accident and during your personal injury case. This even includes photos of physical activities related to your recovery or physical therapy. You’d be surprised what can be used against you in a legal case! You don’t want to give the opposing side any potential evidence that the accident injuries aren’t impacting your life negatively.
  5. Do not post travel photos or text related to traveling after your accident or during your personal injury case. Again, insurance companies and the other side’s attorney can use this to say that you aren’t being hampered enough by your injuries to merit the compensation you’re asking for. They can also argue that travel is expensive and therefore you don’t really need the compensation as much as you say.
  6. Alert your friends and family about the risk of social media during this time. Talk to your friends and family about the dangers of having something posted on social media being used against you in court. Ask your friends and family not to post anything related to your accident and/or injuries and not to tag you in any posts or photos during this time. Even a family member tagging you in an innocent photo such as you playing with your dog could be used to your detriment – if insurance companies or the opposing side’s attorney use it to prove that you aren’t injured enough to receive compensation. A concerned family member might post an update informing their followers that you are recovering, but this can be used against you to say your injuries and pain and suffering don’t merit compensation. If there is any indication that you are recovering or don’t need continued medical care, insurance companies and opposing attorneys can use this to decrease the compensation you receive.
  7. Consider a temporary social media blackout. If you feel you cannot trust your friends and family to listen to your warnings, or you worry about yourself forgetting and posting something that could compromise your case, you might consider temporarily shutting down your social media until after your case has been finalized.
  8. When in doubt, don’t post! And let your friends and family know about this helpful rule!

Do you have questions about your personal injury case and getting injury compensation in Pittsburgh? Have you already posted something or been tagged in a post that you fear will be used against you? Call (412) 918-1241 or message us online for a free case evaluation.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building

304 Ross Street, Suite 510

Pittsburgh, PA, 15219

Phone: (412) 918-1241