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The Pittsburgh Firm
  Your Pittsburgh Law Firm   |   412.802.6666

Experienced, Aggressive Personal Injury Help

For over 20 years, the Pittsburgh personal injury law firm of Flaherty Fardo Rogel & Amick has been helping injured individuals and their families. We pride ourselves on using our experience and reputation to help recover money for serious personal injuries and accidents. Serious injuries can include car accidents, bus accidents, trucks accidents or medical malpractice and can dramatically change lives.

When taking on a new personal injury case, we treat clients like we were representing our very own loved ones. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars for victims of Pennsylvania car accidentstruck accidents and wrongful death cases. Our lawyers have been recognized by Pennsylvania Superlawyers, The Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Elite Lawyers of America, and The Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

We believe our experience, our aggressiveness, and our attention to detail truly set us apart.

The 5 Basics of Personal Injury Law

If you have been hurt or injured in an accident, here are the 5 basics of what you need to know. Each personal injury case in Pennsylvania is unique and it is important to understand and answer the following questions before proceeding with a personal injury lawsuit. Please click on each of the questions below for more information.

  1. Have you been injured?
  2. Was it somebody else’s fault?
  3. How do I find the best lawyer?
  4. Should I settle or file suit?
  5. How much money will I keep?

Step 1: Have you been hurt or injured?

In Pennsylvania, individuals are entitled to recover money if the accident or injury was caused by the intentional action, or negligence of another party. Step 1 is always asking whether the plaintiff has actually been hurt or injured. You can have a bad accident, but unless the plaintiff has been physically and/or financially harmed, then there may or may not be a case. Under Pennsylvania law, injured victims of personal injury are entitled to recover for physical, emotional and/or financial harm including the following:

  • physical pain,
  • scarring,
  • emotional pain,
  • stress, embarrassment and/or humility;
  • past and future medical bills,
  • past and future lost wages,
  • any other reasonable ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses, and
  • loss of the enjoyment of life’s pleasures.

It is up to a jury to determine what is fair compensation for physical and emotional pain. In Pennsylvania, lawyers are not allowed to ask for specific amounts for pain and suffering, and instead jurors are free to use their own life experiences when issuing verdicts and awards.

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Step 2: Was the accident somebody else’s fault?

You can only receive money if someone else caused the injury or accident. To win, you must prove that the other party acted either:

  1. intentionally, and/or
  2. negligently.

Negligence is defined as failure to exercise due care. This means that someone else acted carelessly or without adequate caution. Under the law, people are expected to exercise reasonable care around other people. When someone is careless and causes harm, the injured party may sue the responsible party for all of the harm and damage suffered. Proving that another party was negligent is not always easy. The responsible party may not admit fault, and the injured victim will be left having to prove in court that another party was responsible for their damages.

Preponderance of the Evidence

In Pennsylvania personal injury cases, the injured victim must prove by a “preponderance of the evidence” each element of their case. The burden in personal injury cases is less than in criminal cases, where the burden of proof is ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. In civil cases, the plaintiff does not have to prove ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. They must only prove their case by a ‘preponderance of the evidence’. The “preponderance of the evidence” test is synonymous with ‘more likely than not’. The jury will basically be asked, was the defendant ‘more likely than not’ negligent? If the jury believes that any element was more probable than not (even ever so slightly), then the plaintiff should prevail.

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Step 3: How do you find the right Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer?

Choosing the right lawyer can mean winning or losing your case. Even in strong cases, it may affect the amount of settlement or award. Injured victims should know that they only receive one chance at a settlement or award, and that they cannot come back later if their condition worsens. It is an undisputed fact that insurance companies pay more money to injured people represented by lawyers than they do to an unrepresented party. Therefore, once it has been determined that someone was injured, and it appears ‘more likely than not’ that another party was responsible, injured victims should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Finding the right lawyer can take time and effort. We strongly encourage injured victims and their families to interview several lawyers before hiring one. We have included here a link to the Top 10 questions to ask before hiring your Pennsylvania personal injury attorney.

At the very least, you should interview and research several lawyers, both online and through family and friends. You should conduct internet research and read as many reviews as possible. You will only get one chance and finding the right lawyer, who is highly competent and motivated to help you, will usually mean a great difference in the outcome of your case.

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Step 4: Should I Settle or Sue?

Settle or sue? It is often is the first important decision in any personal injury case. If liability is strong, the insurance company may want to settle, and there can be benefits to an early settlement. A bird in the hand is a common phrase, which means do not get greedy. Almost all of Pennsylvania is very conservative with the exception of maybe Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and if presented properly, insurance companies will pay prior to filing a lawsuit.

However, while a settlement may sound nice and allow the recovery of money sooner, it is not always the best option. The settlement needs to fully compensate the injured victim for the rest of their life. We believe the best settlements are made through force.

We typically prefer to file suit sooner than later. Lawsuits take a long time. Even fast simple lawsuits can take 18 to 24 months to get to court. Two to three years is the average time most cases in Pennsylvania take before they have a trial. Therefore, unless the insurance company is willing to be fair, in a very short period of time, we prefer to file suit and then grant an extension, if necessary, while we negotiate.

The decision to settle or sue needs to be thoroughly dependent upon the risk versus reward for the client. The only result that matters is the amount of money that the client actually puts into their pocket. Lawsuits can take a long time and costs a lot of money. Considerations should be made of the amount of costs necessary to take the case to trial when considering to settle or not.

There can be advantages to early settlements and it is important in interviewing lawyers to ask what strategies they will use to attempt to settle the case. At the same time, the best settlements are typically obtained when the insurance companies know that the lawyers involved are willing to take the case to trial. You should also always ask how much trial experience any potential lawyer has?

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Step 5: How much money will I keep at the end of my lawsuit?

The last step of the personal injury process is actually getting paid. The good news is that all payments for pain and suffering in personal injury cases are not considered income for tax purposes. Thus, many personal injury settlements are completely tax free in terms of payments to injured victims with limited exception.

The bad news is that the injured victim typically has significant expenses that will need to be paid out of any award or settlement received. All costs need to be fully considered before accepting any settlement. The lawyer will typically be paid their 40%. In addition, injured victims will be responsible for reimbursing the lawyer for any out of pocket expenses the lawyer incurred.

Therefore, it is VERY important for plaintiffs to keep up to date with any costs your lawyer is advancing on their behalf and to question the costs if necessary. Injured victims need to remember that any monies the lawyer is advancing is actually the clients money being spent. Injured victims also need to know whether there are any medical liens or other subrogation claims against the settlement or award.

In most personal injury or medical malpractice cases, there are monies that the plaintiff will owe for reimbursement of medical bills paid. Most health insurance agreements provide that if a 3rd party causes harm, and the injured victim is later compensated, then the insurance company is allowed to seek reimbursement for the medical bills they paid. In the end, the amount the injured victim actually receives can be a much smaller percentage than the total amount actually recovered. Therefore, it is important that if an injured person has a serious personal injury that they very carefully select the lawyer representing their interests, and only hire lawyers that they trust.

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Do I Have a Case?

Find Out If You Have a Personal Injury Case

To find out if you have a valid Pennsylvania personal injury case, please tell us as much information as possible about your potential case. All inquiries are strictly confidential. If you need immediate help, please feel free to call our offices at 412.802.6666.

To understand if you have a good personal injury case in Pennsylvania, there are 3 basic questions to ask.

1. Were You Seriously Injured?

There has to be some physical, emotional or financial harm suffered. If you have not been injured, it is highly unlikely that you will be compensated for anything.

The definition of injured depends upon numerous factors and can include economic damages (such as medical bills and lost wages), or can include physical and emotional harm, (such as disfigurement or post-traumatic stress disorder).

Sometimes it is obvious when someone is seriously injured. Other times, it can be a grey area. To better understand if you are entitled to compensation for an accident or injury in Pennsylvania, please read: How Much Is My Case Worth?

2. Was Somebody Else Responsible?

Second, if you were injured, you need to prove someone else was responsible and you need to act quickly. In civil cases, the question is always whether another party negligently caused your injuries?

The negligence standard is often defined as “below the acceptable level of care” for the situation. We all have a duty to be careful around other people. If we are careless, and it causes someone else harm, then we are legally responsible for all of the harm suffered.

If you believe it was a someone’s else responsibility, then you need to act quickly regardless of the circumstances. As time fades, witness memories fade, and vital evidence can be lost forever.

3. Are There Resources To Pay You?

If you have been injured, and you believe someone else was responsible, then the third question is always, how will you get paid?

Injured victims primarily receive compensation from the insurance companies. Hopefully, the defendant will have adequate insurance coverage. This may be a auto insurance policy or a home-owners’s insurance policy or both.

Many serious injury cases require attorneys who are experienced in finding additional insurance coverage. Whether that is an additional umbrella policy or adding additional defendants, you need attorneys skilled at finding funds to compensate you.

Free Consultation

If you believe you have been seriously injured, and have questions about seeking compensation for your injuries, Flaherty Fardo offers free consultations on all Pennsylvania injury and accident cases. Consults can be done on-line or by calling our offices at 412.802.6666. If you need immediate help, please text us at 412.855.5511.

How Much is it Worth?

How to Determine the Value of Personal Injury Lawsuits in Pennsylvania.

To value personal injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania, you must first understand how to calculate damages. It is not enough to say that you were involved in an accident, or that a doctor committed an error. In Pennsylvania injury law, you need to prove (1) liability, (2) causation and most importantly (3) damages.

Here are the three things that you need to know about Pennsylvania damages.

I. You Need To Show Damages

In Pennsylvania, you are not allowed to ask for an arbitrary amount, such as “my case is worth 1 million dollars”. Any effort to do so may be grounds for a mistrial. Instead, you are only permitted to board damages. This means that you or your attorney must present evidence of specific itemization of damages that Pennsylvania law allows recovery for (not including pain and suffering) such as:

  • past medical bills,
  • future medical bills,
  • lost wages,
  • lost earning capacity, and/or
  • other ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses.

These are your defined boarded damages. The more damages you can board, the higher overall value of your case. If you are unable to board damages, then you may be limited to only the pain and suffering of your injuries.

II.  You Need To Have Pain and Suffering

As stated, you are never allowed to ask a jury for an arbitrary sum, and this specifically refers to pain and suffering. Pennsylvania personal injury law allows for the recovery of pain and suffering, which can include:

  • physical pain,
  • emotional pain,
  • stress,
  • mental anguish,
  • embarrassment,
  • humility, and/or
  • reduction in the likelihood of marriage.

The jury is asked to award an amount of fair compensation. But you are not allowed to say “my pain is worth $(blank)”. This is different than many people expect, and can create questions about what this pain and suffering is actually worth.

The answer as to what pain and suffering is worth is unique to every single case. Likable plaintiffs typically receive more money than disgruntled plaintiffs, even with the same injuries. In addition, everyone’s definition of money is unique, and verdicts in Philadelphia or New York are consistently higher than similar verdicts in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County or western Pennsylvania.

Testimony relating to an individual’s pain and suffering if often more well received when the testimony is told from family members and/or friends rather than from the plaintiff’s own mouth. It is even better if it is established through testimony from a treating physician. This helps avoid a situation where the plaintiff looks like someone who complains. Regardless, in order to maximize recovery, there should be strong credible testimony from other people of what the injured individual(s) has and will endure in the form of pain and suffering.

III.  You Need To Be Realistic

Being unrealistic in Pennsylvania personal injury lawsuits can cause more harm than good. The first inquiry is always, “what am I able to board?”.  If you are not able to board high medical bills, or significant lost earnings, then you need to really focus on establishing the pain and suffering of your case. Insurance companies seem more willing to litigate cases where the plaintiff is only complaining of pain and suffering, as opposed to higher boarded damages.

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, has had numerous verdicts whereby juries have awarded $1.00 for pain and suffering. Most often, these cases have been rear end collisions, whereby the injured driver claimed soft-tissue damages, such as whiplash. In many of these cases, various medical conditions existed prior to the accident. These cases are typically unable to board significant damages, and instead were relying solely on pain and suffering. Thus, you need to be realistic in evaluating your case.

So How Much Is My Case Worth?

The answer is, it depends. How much are your boarded damages?

  • past medical bills?
  • future medical bills?
  • lost wages?
  • lost earning capacity?
  • other ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses?

How much pain and suffering did you endure?

  • physical pain?
  • emotional pain?
  • stress?
  • mental anguish?
  • embarrassment?
  • humility?
  • and/or reduction in the likelihood of marriage?

Answering the above questions will help you to better determine how much your personal injury case is worth. The hardest part of valuing cases is of course the pain and suffering elements. How do value a lost leg or a life? Experienced lawyers are able to tell clients what similar cases have settled for or what juries have awarded other similar plaintiffs. But as each plaintiff and jury are unique, no one can value an injury with absolute certainty.

However, experienced lawyers can help guide clients towards a settlement or trial that they believe will yield the greatest return for the client. That is what we, Flaherty Fardo, believe we have to offer.

Free Consultation

If you have been injured, and need more information, or have questions about the monetary value of your case, please contact attorney Noah Paul Fardo, Esq. directly at 412.802.7080 or email us for a free consultation.

No Fee Unless Recovery

It’s That Simple

If you have been the victim of a personal injury, accident or medical malpractice case, you need to make sure you will not incur any fees or costs unless you receive compensation.

Flaherty Fardo guarantees that if we accept your personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit, we cannot be compensated unless we win and or settle your lawsuit and you receive compensation.

The Contingency Fee Agreement

The contingency fee agreement means that payment for any legal services is contingent upon success. The lawyer is only paid if they obtain money for the client. The lawyer receives a contingent fee (or percentage) of the total sum of money actually recovered.

The lawyer usually charges 40% of the total award or settlement. However, this fee can sometimes be negotiable. Please read:  Top 10 Questions to Finding The Best Injury Lawyer.

The contingency fee allows justice for injured victims who do not have the resources to hire a lawyer. Also, when lawyers are hired on a contingency fee basis, they have a stronger financial incentive in the final outcome. The lawyer's fee is directly tied to the outcome of the case. If there is a defense verdict, or no recovery for any reason, the lawyer cannot be paid a fee. Likewise, the client will have no financial obligation to the lawyer unless they receive money.

Flaherty Fardo provides contingency fee agreements for all of our personal injury, accident, and medical malpractice cases. Our contingency fee agreements allow our clients to focus on their lives and not worry about legal fees or expenses in their lawsuit.

Be Careful About Advanced Case Costs in Personal Injury Cases

Flaherty Fardo also guarantees that unless we are successful, clients will never owe us any advanced case costs. Advanced case costs are different than fees. Fees refer to the lawyers compensation for their time and services. Advanced case costs refer to expenses advanced by the lawyers. These are different.

If a lawyer hires a medical expert for your case, the doctor may charge anywhere from $1,000.00 to $10,000.00 or more. The lawyer advances these costs for you. If you lose, you are not responsible for the costs. However, if you win, then the costs are deducted from your percentage, not the lawyer’s percentage.

When hiring the right lawyer, make sure your lawyer is not wasteful with costs. You will be paying these costs back at the end of the lawsuit. Thus, you want to know if your lawyer is spending your money wisely. Are they flying first class? Or hiring the most expensive doctors?

Flaherty Fardo ensures that in all cases, we spend no more than is necessary to aggressively pursue your case. We understand that each dollar we advance is one less dollar that you will have later. We believe that injured victims need to keep as much money in their pockets as possible.

Free Consultation

If you have any questions about wrongful death lawsuits, Flaherty Fardo offers free consultations. Consults can be done on-line or by calling our offices at 412.802.6666.

Our representation for all Pennsylvania wrongful death and survival action cases is based on a contingent fee structure. There is absolutely no fee unless we obtain monetary recovery. We advance 100% the costs, including experts, filings, and depositions and are only reimbursed from the client’s share if we are successful.

10 Steps to Finding the Best Injury Lawyer?

Not all Personal Injury Lawyers Are Equal

Injured victims see a lot of advertisements. However, more advertising does not always mean you are finding the best injury lawyer. If you or a loved one are thinking about a filing a personal injury lawsuit, we recommend interviewing at least three different injury lawyers. You should meet with each of these potential lawyers, and at a minimum, you should be certain to ask these these 10 questions.

1. What Is Your Contingency Fee?

Most personal injury fee agreements are based upon the contingency fee agreement. This means that there is no legal fee unless there is a monetary recovery. If there is merit to your personal injury case, rest assured you will find an attorney to take your case on a contingency fee agreement.

Contingency fee agreements are negotiable and typically range between 33.3% to 40%. The standard in Pennsylvania is 40%. However, the stronger the case and more severe the damages, the more negotiable the fee agreement will be. Medical Malpractice cases are almost always 40% because of the significant costs involved.  If you have a good case, do not be afraid to negotiate with potential lawyers to find the lowest fee. You only get one chance at recovery in a lawsuit.

2. Will I be Responsible For Any Advanced Costs If I Lose?

Typically not, but be careful. In addition to the contingency fee, lawyers also charge any costs advanced. The costs can be substantial, and are almost always deducted from the client’s share. Make sure your lawyer takes the case whereby you are not responsible for the costs, even if you are unsuccessful. Make sure to ask for a guarantee that you will not be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses regardless of the outcome of the case.

3. Have You Tried These Types of Cases Before?

Lawyers are hungry for personal injury lawsuits. There is immense competition and advertising. Do not assume just based upon advertising that the lawyer has handled or tried your type of case. Ask for your lawyer’s experience and results. Ask to speak to former clients, if possible. You need to control the consultation. Do not be intimidated or bullied by the lawyer. You are the one hiring, remember that.

4. Do You Have The Time Necessary To Actually Work On My Case Now?

Be very careful about going to the name everyone else knows. Lawyers love to get clients signed up and then sit on the cases, while they sign up additional new cases. This is certainly not all lawyers, but it happens all too often. Lawyers will sign up a client and then wait 12-18 months to file suit, just prior to the statute of limitations. That delay may be harming your case. Ask the lawyer if he will have the full time necessary to devote to your case? You Should ask the lawyer how many other cases he has pending and how much of his time does he plan on devoting to your specific case?

5. When Will My Lawsuit Be Filed?

Demand specific answers. Many lawyers do not like to work on specific cases until there is a deadline. We have seen all too often, viable lawsuits sit for a year or two because there was no pending statute of limitations. If you have a lawsuit, we strongly believe that it can be beneficial to file suit sooner than later. Unless there is a justifiable delay in filing, you need to know when your case will be filed.

6. Will My Case Actually Go To Trial? And If So When?

Your lawyer better be expecting every single case to go to trial. If your lawyer tells you that your case is going to settle, be very cautious about what you are settling for. It is hard to be properly compensated if you are not prepared to go trial. Ask for time frames. It will be hard to give exact answers, but these are relevant questions. Many personal injury cases can be resolved within 2-3 years, or less.

7. What Is My Case Worth?

Valuing an injury is difficult, but it is a fair question to ask potential lawyer. Your lawyer should have some idea. It is true that it can be a broad range based upon discovery, liability and unknown medical issues. At the very least, your lawyer should be able to provide a spectrum and explain the unknowns to you. Use your own judgment. Do not be fooled by lawyers who make promises that seem unrealistic.  Here is some help to determine What Your Case is Worth.

8. Will You Be The Actual Attorney Handling My Case?

Be careful about the meet and greet, and then never seeing that lawyer again. Find out specifically: who will be handling your case? Who will be your contact? Who will you be speaking to on the telephone? etc. Be careful about meeting the persons in charge, only to later realize that an associate will be handling your case, when you thought you were hiring somebody else.

9. What Will I Need To Do?

This is a very important question. Lawsuits are about teamwork. Make sure you understand your role and what is expected (or not expected) before hiring your lawyer. If you are very passionate about your case, you may want to stay more involved. Will your lawyer let you? Some will and some will not.  Regardless, your participation and the ability to work with your lawyer are important to your lawsuit.

10. Why Should I Hire You?

Personal injury lawsuits are typically about money. Sometimes, you’ll be in a position to make a change, but a majority of the cases focus on obtaining the maximum recovery for you. You need to hire the personal injury lawyer that gives you that best opportunity for recovery. You only get to try your case once. You need to make the most of it. It is your lawsuit, and you need to be prepared to ask tough questions of any lawyer you are considering to hire.

We believe Flaherty Fardo has the experience, the advocacy skills, the ethics and the commitment to our clients that set us apart. We would welcome the opportunity to interview for yours or a loved ones personal injury case.

Free Consultation

If you have any questions about wrongful death lawsuits, Flaherty Fardo offers free consultations. Consults can be done on-line or by calling our offices at 412.802.6666.

Our representation for all Pennsylvania wrongful death and survival action cases is based on a contingent fee structure. There is absolutely no fee unless we obtain monetary recovery. We advance 100% the costs, including experts, filings, and depositions and are only reimbursed from the client’s share if we are successful.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pennsylvania Personal Injury

The following are the most frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) concerning personal injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania which we have received from clients and/or potential clients.

  1. I’m injured, what do I do?
  2. Do you offer free consultations?
  3. How much is my personal injury case worth?
  4. What should I be asking personal injury lawyers before hiring them?
  5. Should I talk to the insurance company?
  6. Should I sign any forms for the insurance company?
  7. Is settlement possible or do I have to sue?
  8. How long will my lawsuit take?
  9. What is the statute of limitations in personal injury cases?
  10. What is a tort?
  11. What is an intentional tort?
  12. What does negligence mean?
  13. Is there really no fee unless we win?
  14. What is the standard contingency fee agreement?
  15. How are the costs calculated in personal injury cases?
  16. Why should I choose Flaherty Fardo?
  17. What do your past clients have to say?

Question 1: I’m Injured. What Do I Do?

  1. First and foremost, seek proper medical attention. Never make a medical decision based upon a lawsuit.
  2. Make sure the accident is reported to the authorities.
  3. If possible, take pictures and/or send a family member or friend to take pictures of the accident scene.
  4. Try to record any and all witnesses’ names and contact information.
  5. Stay focused on complying with any medical orders.
  6. Do not speak to or communicate with the insurance company.
  7. Consult an experienced personal injury lawyer for a free consultation before speaking to anyone about the accident (412.802.6666).

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Question 2: Do You Offer Free Consultations?

Yes. Flaherty Fardo Rogel & Amick offers free consultations on all personal injury cases. We make home and hospital visits, and there is no obligation to retain our services. Free consultations can be obtained by emailing us at info@pghfirm.com or calling 412.802.6666. If you need immediate help, you can call our cell phone at 412.855.5511.

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Question 3: How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

The value of your personal injury case can vary dramatically from person to person and from case to case. Only after investigating the circumstances of the accident and understanding the complete medical history should a lawyer opine on the value of a personal injury case. There are many factors involved. If liability is proven, then under the law, the plaintiff is entitled to, at the very least:

  • past medical bills,
  • future medical bills,
  • lost wages,
  • lost earning capacity, and/or
  • other ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses.

Pennsylvania law also allows monetary recovery for pain and suffering, which may include:

  • physical pain,
  • emotional pain,
  • stress,
  • mental anguish,
  • embarrassment,
  • humility, and/or
  • reduction in the likelihood of marriage.

For a more detailed explanation of how to value personal injury cases, please read, “How much is my Pennsylvania personal injury case worth?”

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Question 4: What Should I Be Asking Personal Injury Lawyers Before Hiring Them?

  1. What is your contingency fee?
  2. Will I be responsible for any advanced case costs if we lose?
  3. Have you tried these types of personal injury cases before?
  4. Do you have the time necessary to actually work on my case now?
  5. When will my lawsuit be filed?
  6. Will my case actually go to trial? And if so, when?
  7. What is my case worth?
  8. Will you be the actual attorney handling my case?
  9. What will my participation in the lawsuit be?
  10. Will you get me more money than other attorneys and why?

To read more analysis of these questions, please see: “Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney“.

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Question 5: Should I Talk To The Insurance Company?

No. If you are seriously injured, you should NOT talk to an insurance company directly. You should hire an attorney to handle all of the verbal and written communication. 100% of your efforts should be focused on your medical treatment, your daily activities and your family.

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Question 6: Should I Sign Any Forms?

Do NOT sign any insurance forms without having them first reviewed by your lawyer. The risks outweigh the benefits. Most often, insurance companies will want you to sign release forms so that they may settle your case or they may try to obtain copies of your medical records. If you need to communicate with the insurance company, it is better to have an attorney handle all of the communications.

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Question 7: Is Settlement Possible Or Do I Have To Sue?

It depends. We will always explore settlement options early if we believe it is in the best interests of the client. Many times it will be necessary to file a lawsuit. Even if a lawsuit is filed, a majority of meritorious claims do settle prior to an actual trial. However, we believe the best settlements are obtained by being fully prepared for trial.

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Question 8: How Long Will My Lawsuit Take?

A typical lawsuit takes anywhere from 18-30 months in Pennsylvania. Of course, there are numerous factors including the complexity of the legal issues and the amount of discovery necessary. We try to expedite all Pennsylvania personal injury lawsuits to the best of our ability. 

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Question 9: What Is The Statute Of Limitations In Personal Injury Cases?

The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania for personal injury cases is two (2) years from when the accident occurred. However, the statute can be extended if the plaintiff was not aware of the defendants’ negligence. In certain cases, the statute will be tolled until the plaintiff knew, had reason to know, or should have known of the defendants’ negligence.

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Question 10: What Is A Tort?

A “tort” is a wrong by definition. A civil tort can be done negligently or intentionally. Both types of torts allow wronged individuals in Pennsylvania to recover monetary damages for these wrongs. 

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Question 11: What Is An Intentional Tort?

An intentional tort in Pennsylvania simply means that a wrong was caused intentionally (with the specific intent of causing harm or damage to another). Intentional torts sometimes can include the addition of punitive damages (which are damages aimed at punishing defendants). 

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Question 12: What Does Negligence Mean?

Negligence is the breach of a duty of care to another. It has a legal definition that is similar to being careless. In Pennsylvania, for a party to be liable for negligence, there must be a breach of a duty which directly and proximately causes harm or damage to another party. When a party is negligent in violating a Pennsylvania statute or law, it can be known as negligence per se. 

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Question 13: Is There Really No Fee Unless We Win?

Yes. Our representation for all personal injury cases is based on a contingent fee structure. There is absolutely no fee unless we obtain recovery for you. We advance 100% of the litigation costs, including experts, filings, and depositions and are only reimbursed from the client’s share if we are successful. 

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Question 14: What Is The Standard Contingency Agreement?

Almost all personal injury lawyers, if there is merit to a case, will offer representation on a contingency fee agreement. The amount of the contingency fee agreement will typically range between 30%, to somewhere as high as 50%. The standard within the western Pennsylvania legal community is 40% of any and all monies recovered. 

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Question 15: How Are Costs Calculated In Personal Injury Cases?

We have all heard that there is no fee unless there is recovery in a personal injury case. What most people do not know is that the costs of the case are deducted from the clients’ money. This is the reason why some personal injury lawyers actually receive more money than their clients in settlements and verdicts.

EXAMPLE: Case settles for $100,000.00 Lawyer Charges 40%: (or $40,000.00) Client’s portion is 60%: (or $60,000.00). However, what you do not know is the costs. You never hear lawyers explain in advertising how the costs are then deducted. For example, if the lawyers spent $11,000.00 on costs, then the client would only receive $49,000.00 (their share $60,000.00 minus the costs $11,000.00 = $49,000.00), and the lawyer would receive $51,000.00 (atty fee $40,000.00 + costs $11,000.00 = $51,000.00).

The lawyer received more than the client? Though it is absolutely necessary for personal injury lawyers to spend money on case costs, lawyers have a lot of discretion in how exactly this money is spent. Clients are rarely ever told their options about the costs of experts or other various costs associated with litigating their case. Lawyers can very easily spend excessively to pursue a case, knowing that the money will ultimately be paid back by the client. For example, is your lawyer flying first class or coach? What hotel is your lawyer staying at?

You are paying your lawyer to maximize your recovery, not to spend your money on first class plane tickets. I always recommend that clients stay involved with the costs as the case progresses. Ask your lawyer to always send you a copy of every check spent on costs. This will save you money, because lawyers will be more cognizant of the spending.

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Question 16: Why Should I Choose Flaherty Fardo Rogel & Amick? 

In serious personal injury cases, it is important that clients feel comfortable with the personal injury lawyers chosen. There needs to be teamwork between the lawyers and the client. We understand that a financial award can never fully compensate an individual for a significant injury or for the loss of a loved one when a serious personal injury or accident occurs. However, monetary compensation can help to make the burden of injury or loss, at the very least, economically bearable.

Our goal is to maximize monetary recovery. Serious personal injuries and accidents are never planned and can wreak financial disaster in a family’s life. Our work cannot lessen the emotional and/or physical trauma that loved ones suffer. However, we attempt to mitigate the financial hardships and bring justice for the negligence and/or malpractice of others.

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Question 17: What Do Your Past Clients Say? 

“Noah Fardo is a 5-star lawyer. I underwent a medical procedure that unfortunately went wrong. Reluctantly, I took a chance and found Noah through the Yellow Pages. When Noah took my case, my experience in working with him exceeded far beyond my expectations. He respected and reciprocated with me on my personal viewpoints of the case, yet dealt with me realistically on possible outcomes. He kept in touch with me through every step of the process, alleviating much of the anxiety associated with a lawsuit. He responded to my ongoing questions, comments and concerns almost immediately. I felt like we were a team and when the case finally came to execution, he left no stone un-turned. Most importantly, he fought for me equipped with total knowledge, vigor and professionalism.” Mary L., Pittsburgh, PA

“3 years ago, I sustained an injury which I believed I needed an attorney. After countless phone conversations with many law firms that said, no, I did not have a case based on our phone conversation, I finally was able to get at least a personal interview with the law firm Flaherty and Fardo to determine if indeed I had a case. I met with Noah Fardo and he was very professional. After our meeting it was determined that his law firm would help me. The entire staff, from legal secretaries and lawyers, were very professional, compassionate and thorough. The law firm of Flaherty and Fardo made me feel like I was their only client. They kept me informed weekly with the progress of my case. They were able to win my case and I was awarded a monetary value beyond my expectations. I highly recommend them if you want it done right. Even to date they call me to see how I am doing. Flaherty and Fardo were truly a godsend to me and my family.” D.L., Pittsburgh, PA

“I’d never been involved in a lawsuit concerning a death before. But, when my uncle died unexpectedly in his apartment after the local utility company shut off his heat, I decided to ask several lawyers if they felt that the company was negligent. Attorney Noah Fardo was the only one who looked deeply into the details of the case and then decided a wrong had indeed occurred. Hands down, I’m glad that he was so thorough in his investigations. Attorney Fardo walked me through the entire case, basically, hand-in-hand. He’d call to update me through every stage of litigation, and when he had any news at all to report. I was never in the dark… or lost and confused about anything. I appreciated, so much, the personal touch he had with my case. I have to say, if there was an attorney who was ever so determined, and unrelenting, it’s Noah Fardo. Now my case has been successfully won and the estate received a large settlement. I can leave the trauma in the past. Thank you, Noah!!” Peter R.F., Pittsburgh, PA

“Hi Noah and Shawn, Thank you. I had no idea what to expect filing my first lawsuit. I really didn’t even want to file it. You guys did a phenomenal job and me and my family can’t thank you enough. I hope I never need you again, but if I, or anyone I know does, I absolutely will recommend you.” Thanks again guys, we really appreciate it!” Robert F., Pittsburgh, PA

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Free Consultation

If you have any questions about wrongful death lawsuits, Flaherty Fardo Rogel & Amick offers free consultations. Consults can be done on-line or by calling our offices at 412.802.6666.

Our representation for all Pennsylvania wrongful death and survival action cases is based on a contingent fee structure. There is absolutely no fee unless we obtain monetary recovery. We advance 100% the costs, including experts, filings, and depositions and are only reimbursed from the client’s share if we are successful.