Why You Should Hire a Local Personal Injury Attorney

If you have ever watched television late at night, you have probably seen ads for personal injury attorneys who represent clients across the country in large class action lawsuits against drug companies and manufacturers. If you have suffered an injury similar to the ones described on television, your choice of a personal injury attorney is very important to the success of your case. For your peace of mind, you want to be sure you are making a choice that will be comfortable, lead to success, and allow you the ability to understand and control your case. Before calling the toll-free number you see on the screen, consider the advantages of hiring an attorney in your own state or city.

State Licensing

 

All states require attorneys who practice within their borders to be licensed. Even though victims may be located throughout the country, any lawsuits on a victim’s behalf should be brought in the state in which the victim resides. Often, law firms who handle multiple lawsuits against a large defendant will have to hire local attorneys to do the actual work involved with filing suit in each state. These local attorneys may work in conjunction with the main firm but are ultimately responsible for the cases within their jurisdictions. By hiring a local attorney to handle your case, you will be able to choose the attorney you want to represent you.

 

Personal Attention

 

If the law firm representing you has thousands of clients, it may be difficult to talk to the attorney handling your case. When you have questions or concerns, it is comforting to have access to someone who can give you answers when you need them. It is also comforting to know that you can talk to your attorney in person.

 

Familiarity with Local Courts

 

When you are involved in litigation, unfamiliarity with local court rules and procedures can lead to delays and could even hurt your chances of success. Choose an attorney who knows your local laws and court rules.

 

The personal injury attorneys at The O’Brien Firm are well equipped to handle any case, large or small, and able to handle the most complex litigation. The O’Brien Firm is also available when you need to talk to see if you should file suit. Do not trust your case to a stranger hundreds of miles away – instead, call us today at 717-907-7777 for a free in-person or virtual consultation. Visit our home page here for more information.

Seeing Your Doctor After a Car Accident

If you believe that you may have been injured following a car accident, it is always imperative to see a doctor as soon as possible, even if you are not experiencing any immediate symptoms. Sometimes, symptoms may not appear until hours or even days after an accident, but waiting too long to receive medical attention may not only make injuries more difficult to treat, but could also make it more difficult to receive compensation for your damages. The longer someone waits to seek medical care, the more difficult it will be to prove that any injuries were caused by the accident rather than some other cause.

Length of Treatment

In most cases, injuries sustained in an auto accident are diagnosed and treated, and the patient is released from care within a few days or weeks. With more serious injuries, treatment may continue for months or even years. During that time, an injured person may be out of work and worried about supporting family or paying for medical expenses. It may be tempting to accept a premature settlement, but that would be unwise. Once a settlement has been accepted, any future medical treatment or other damages will not be covered. It is important to continue treatment until released by a doctor, or until a doctor has determined that the injuries, as well as the future need for medical care, will be long-term or permanent. It is never advisable to discontinue treatment without consulting with both your doctor and attorney.

 

Long Term Medical Care and Personal Injury Settlements

 If you need long term medical care after an accident, it is usually possible to receive ongoing payments for medical expenses before a final settlement is reached.  Payment for lost wages may also be available. Your personal injury attorney will help identify all possible sources of compensation and arrange for any compensation for medical treatment or lost wages.

If a doctor determines that an injury is likely to be long-term or permanent, a settlement can be arranged that takes into account the cost of future medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

 

New York Accident Lawyers

 If you are injured in an accident, do not wait to seek medical or legal advice. Your chances of receiving full compensation for your injuries will be greater if you talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. At The O’Brien Firm, we concentrate our practice on representing injured people. We will help identify and preserve important evidence, collect necessary medical records, and work with insurance companies to get compensation for medical bills and lost wages while your case is pending. Once your treatment is completed or the extent of any long-term or permanent injury is known, we will work to get a fair settlement or take your case to court if necessary. You can arrange a free consultation by calling us at 716-907-7777.  For more information about our firm and our personal injury experts, visit our website here.

What to Do After a Hit and Run

You could have been driving alone, minding your own business, when a car suddenly came out of nowhere, hit you, and sped off. Perhaps, you were riding a bicycle and a driver got a little too close and knocked you off onto the pavement. Worse yet, a driver could have hit your child and left the scene. What can you do after a hit and run accident to protect yourself and your loved ones?

Call 911. If anyone needs immediate medical attention, this is your first priority.  However, even if immediate medical attention is not necessary, alerting the police to the location of the accident as soon as possible increases the chances that the hit and run driver will be apprehended.

Try to notice as many details as possible. The more you can remember about the vehicle or its driver, the better chance the police will have to find and apprehend the person responsible. If you are capable, identify possible witnesses at the scene who can potentially remember and identify additional details.

Take photos.  If possible, take photos of the scene of the accident as soon as possible. Tire marks, skid marks, debris from the hit and run vehicle, and other physical evidence can help identify the vehicle who hit you and tell a story about how the accident happened. Even if the other driver is found guilty of hit and run, you must still prove that he was at fault for the accident in order to recover your damages.

Make sure you have enough insurance. This is the most important protective measure you can do to protect yourself in case of a hit and run accident, but, of course, it must be done before an accident occurs. Many drivers leave the scene of an accident because they do not have proper insurance. Some hit and run drivers are never found. If the driver who hit you is not found or is uninsured, you can still make a claim with your own insurance company for uninsured motorist benefits. Make sure you have enough coverage to protect you and your family if one or more of you is seriously injured in a hit and run accident.

Seek the advice of an attorney. Don’t wait to talk to a personal injury attorney after a hit and run accident. Important evidence can be lost or destroyed within days or even hours after an accident, and your attorney can send investigators to collect and preserve this evidence if necessary. You may be able to get compensation for lost wages and/or medical expenses even before the other driver is found. If litigation is necessary, you will need an experienced attorney in your corner.

The attorneys at The O’Brien Firm are available any time for free, no obligation consultations. Just call 716-907-7777 to arrange an appointment. Visit the firm’s website at http://www.theobrienfirm.com/personal-injury/ for more information. COVID-19 UPDATE: Although we are working from alternate locations, we remain fully functional and look forward to helping you.

 

 

How Will COVID Affect Auto Insurance Rates?

It is now more than two months into the nationwide COVID lockdown, and medical experts and government officials are warning Americans that returning to their normal routines may take months, or even years. With many people laid off from work or working from home, and travel severely restricted, there is some good news. The number of automobile accidents have decreased, and people are putting less wear and tear on their cars, causing many drivers to wonder how their insurance rates might be affected.

Fortunately, most major car insurance companies have taken steps to compensate their customers for part of the premiums they have paid for vehicles that have been virtually idle since March. Many have offered rebates and/or discounts on premiums during the pandemic. Some of these include:

Allstate: A 15% discount on premiums for April and May

Farmers: A 25% credit for April premiums

GEICO: A 15% discount on premiums for new policies, and for policies that renew between April and October 2020.

Liberty Mutual: A 15% discount on premiums for April and May

Progressive: A 20% credit on April premiums, and a 20% discount on May premiums

State Farm: An average credit of 25% for the period between March 20 and May 31.

USAA: A 20% credit for April and May premiums

All companies report that discounts and rebates will be applied automatically.

Since driving habits may be altered for quite some time after the pandemic is over, some insurers are offering new products, such as User Based Insurance (UBI). A UBI insurance policy calculates premiums based on the actual number of miles driven during the policy period. Users will have to install a tracking device on their vehicle to qualify for the programs, which could save money for people who drive sporadically. Some insurers also offer discounts for safe driving, based on devices that monitor such things as speed, the time of day a car is driven, and whether the driver makes sudden stops. While many are skeptical about allowing insurers to have access to so much information, others may be willing to accept the trade-off.

Insurance tracking devices may also be useful in the event of an accident, to prove that a driver was not exceeding the speed limit, for example. If your insurance company offers UBI or safe driving discounts, make sure to learn as much as you can about the type of devices they use and how the collected information is protected from unlawful use and disclosure.

If you or a loved one is injured in an automobile accident, the attorneys at The O’Brien Firm are here to help. Just call 716-907-7777 to for a free consultation. COVID-19 UPDATE: Although we are working from alternate locations, we remain fully functional and look forward to helping you.

 

Protecting Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it is normal to feel anxious, frightened, and even relieved if you were not seriously injured. Understandably, you may not be able to think clearly immediately following the incident or even a few hours to days after. However, time is not on your side after an accident and you must act quickly to preserve your rights. Before going out for a ride, all motorcycle riders should know what they should do to protect their rights in case they are involved in an accident.

  1. If you can, take photos of the accident scene before any vehicles are moved. The relative positions of the vehicles can be a crucial piece of evidence needed to establish who was at fault. Other physical evidence, such as skid marks and debris on the road, may disappear or fade within days or even hours. Photos can also help show weather conditions at the time of the accident.
  2. If there are witnesses, try to obtain their contact information, in case they leave the scene before the police arrive.
  3. Do not admit any fault to anyone. Even if you believe you may have been partially or completely at fault for the accident, you may not be aware of all of the circumstances. A hasty admission of fault can affect your rights, even if it turns out that you were mistaken.
  4. Ask for a copy of the police report. It will contain important information that you may need later on.
  5. Always seek medical care. Some injuries are not immediately apparent. The stress and adrenaline of the accident may mask pain and lead you to believe that you are uninjured. Failure to seek immediate medical attention will weaken your case if you start to experience symptoms afterwards. Even in extenuating circumstances, such as with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it is important to be checked by a doctor after an accident. Take proper safety precautions, but do not delay in getting medical attention.
  6. Call an accident attorney. Your attorney will be able to help preserve evidence, interview possible witnesses, and work with insurance adjustors to get money for your medical expenses even before your case is settled.

The attorneys at The O’Brien Firm are dedicated to helping accident victims and have the experience necessary to handle the unique circumstances involved in motorcycle accident cases. Visit our website at  http://www.theobrienfirm.com/ for more information, or call us at 716-907-7777 to arrange a consultation. During the current coronavirus outbreak, we are available for phone and video consultations.