Philadelphia’s Best Personal Injury Lawyers: Who to Turn To
When you hire Personal Injury Lawyers, you want them with a reputation for litigation success. Though most personal injury cases settle before trial, most also require substantial pre-trial litigation, including discovery and depositions. At each stage, carefully planned objectives must be met. The meeting of these objectives compels the insurer to settle the case according to your demands.
Mattiacci Law has a reputation for excellence in litigation. This reputation provides clients with the comfort of knowing they are in good hands. It also builds substantial leverage in negotiations.
Defense lawyers must calculate the chances of losing at trial in their deliberations. Further, they have to assess the potential damage. They are more willing to roll the dice if they believe they may only lose a little through an adverse verdict. However, if they feel they risk losing far more if they try the case, they become amenable to settling out of court.
Mattiacci Law has the reputation of prevailing at trial. Our tenacious litigation team chases down the evidence needed to prove our client’s claim and disprove any affirmative defenses. Knowing they face a strong opponent with solid evidence, defense lawyers understand they risk losing the case and paying an enormous sum.
A reputation for expertise helps us win the settlements our clients deserve.
Winning Your Case Step By Step in Philadelphia
Personal injury claims evolve through a multistep process that slowly moves toward the ultimate goal: A settlement check or judgment. How far the case must go depends on a myriad of factors, such as the level of damages involved, the amount of evidence gathering required, and the conciliatory or litigious position of the defense.
At each stage, Mattiacci Law provides clients with the excellence in service, professionalism, and legal acumen needed to achieve the best results.
The Initial Consultation
Your relationship with a personal injury firm begins with the initial consultation. During this meeting, Mattiacci Law evaluates your claim, apprises you of its strength and value, and outlines the legal process.
In addition, Mattiacci's lawyers explain the firm’s resources and how they can be deployed to win your claim. Our clients leave the initial consultation feeling they understand the upcoming process and have a firm grasp on expectations. This dramatically lessens the stress of the legal process and allows our clients to enjoy peace of mind.
The Insurance Claim
Before a case goes to court, the insurance company conducts its investigation and generates a claims decision. While, in theory, insurers should offer total compensation, this only happens with negotiation and litigation.
Insurance adjusters base their claims decisions on several factors, including comparative negligence, the amount of the damages, and how damages relate to the injury.
Pennsylvania personal injury law uses a comparative negligence standard. Accordingly, courts assign each party to an accident a percentage of fault. For example, a court may find that one party is 100% at fault and the other 0% at fault, or it can divide the legal responsibility.
Because of comparative negligence, the opposing insurer often imputes an unduly large portion of the blame onto the accident victim. For instance, if you were hit by another vehicle while traveling through an intersection with the right of way, the other driver is clearly at fault for the accident; however, at fault and entirely at fault are different.
Therefore, the opposing insurer may argue that you have partial fault because you were speeding. They may cite the other driver’s statements as evidence. In addition, they may analyze the vehicle damage and conclude that the severity demonstrates you must have been exceeding the posted limit.
An insurance adjuster may then try to claim that you are 30% at fault for the accident. Based on this reasoning, she would offer to settle the claim for 70% of your actual damages.
Amount of the Damages
Once the claims adjuster has formed an opinion on comparative negligence, they tabulate the damages. For example, you may have $15,000 in property damage, $10,000 in medical bills, and $5,000 in lost wages. Therefore, the insurer may wish to settle the claim by allowing you $30,000 in damages minus 30% for comparative negligence, for a total of $21,000, a very low settlement.
Worse, the insurance company is totally ignoring general damages, which include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress. Also, what about future medical bills for ongoing treatment?
How Damages Relate to the Injury
The insurer may also scrutinize medical bills and other evidence and dispute that certain treatments relate to the accident. For instance, if you had a previous back problem, it may argue against covering physical therapy for back pain because it was a pre-existing condition.
As you can see from the above scenario, insurance companies may offer you far less than your claim is worth. In this example, you likely have no comparative negligence liability and far greater damages. As a result, rather than the $21,000 the insurance company offers, your claim may be worth tens of thousands more once you calculate your total economic and non-economic damages.
For this reason, it’s always advisable to consult a personal injury attorney before agreeing to any settlement. It’s rare for an insurance company to offer the full value of a claim without an attorney being involved.
Mattiacci's Personal Injury Lawyers negotiate with the insurance company to obtain the total amount you deserve. If the insurer continues to offer a short settlement, they proceed with a lawsuit.
Filing the Complaint in Philadelphia
Mattiacci Law drafts complaints that get results. Our team of Personal Injury Lawyers details the event, how it adversely impacted the client, and how the applicable laws entitle our clients to total economic and noneconomic damages.
The defense files an answer to the complaint, and then the case proceeds to discovery.
The law allows the parties to have few surprises in court. Though some new rebuttal evidence may be allowed, by and large, the sides must put all of their cards on the table before the trial date. This keeps trials fair and also fosters settlements.
Personal injury cases can settle at any point in the discovery phase.
The first stage of discovery involves an exchange of documents between the sides. Also, your Mattiacci lawyer will seek relevant documents from other sources. In addition, many pieces of documentary evidence contain important witness statements.
Physical evidence may include dash cam videos, accident scene photos, and the vehicles involved. In some cases, hiring an accident reconstructionist to review the physical evidence provides enough data to show the other side’s culpability, force a settlement, or help win a trial.
Your Mattiacci personal injury lawyer will acquire all physical evidence that bolsters your case.
In lawsuits, interrogatories are written questions posed to the other side that require a response under oath and within a specified time frame, usually 20 to 30 days. In addition, either side may present the other with form- and special interrogatories.
Form interrogatories consist of a standard set of questions for a specific type of case, which is issued by the court. For example, Philadelphia car accident cases have standard questions that apply to all, such as identifying information, the location of the collision, and other typical pieces of information.
Attorneys prepare special interrogatories when needed for any particular case. For example, your Mattiacci lawyer may write several special interrogatories for a retailer defendant in a slip and fall case, such as whether it has a cleaning company that indemnifies it against slip and fall claims.
The opposing counsel can object to an interrogatory. For example, he may argue that a question is too vague or general. The other side then has an opportunity to amend the question.
Special interrogatories must be tailored to elicit evidence relevant to the case. The law prohibits interrogatories that seek personal information unrelated to the claim.
Your Mattiacci personal injury litigation team crafts the special interrogatories that yield important evidence. Also, they advise you on answering interrogatories so you comply with all legal requirements but avoid falling into any traps set by the defense.
Depositions often become the most crucial discovery feature in a personal injury case. In a deposition, lawyers ask direct questions of opposing witnesses to understand the case better, discover additional evidence, and preserve witness testimony. Though lawyers may ask broader questions than those posed at trial, they may not use depositions for fishing around in extraneous matters. They must remain within the scope of the lawsuit.
Depositions are often dispositive. Witnesses must answer pointed questions truthfully, and the results of depositions can significantly strengthen or weaken a case. For this reason, many cases settle around the time of depositions.
Mattiacci Law’s legal team creates deposition strategies that get results for our clients. We carefully advise our clients on how to respond in depositions and question opposing witnesses to position ourselves for success at trial.
Though many settlement negotiations occur via telephone and written communications, some cases have a better chance of settling at a formal conference. Often, when discovery has been exhausted, and a trial is imminent, the court will require a settlement conference.
Mattiacci Law meticulously litigates cases to position for settlement conferences. We go into the conference with a strong case that would be enormously expensive for the defense to try. As a result, we have won many high settlements at conferences.
Most cases never get as far as trial. By the time discovery is complete, the defense knows it has more to lose than gain through a trial. However, some cases must be heard by a jury. For example, if the defendant has been dishonest and uses this as a basis to avoid providing compensation, we may need to take the case to trial.
At trial, your Mattiacci team relentlessly drives home the evidence against the defendant and persuades the jury that the defense arguments are meritless. Most juries sympathize with accident victims and want to see them treated fairly. Therefore, we see to it that our clients receive the best treatment.
Either side can appeal a verdict or the amount of the award. When a plaintiff wins a big judgment, an appeal usually follows. Cases can settle at this stage. Your Mattiacci lawyer can advise you on whether it's worthwhile to negotiate a post-trial settlement or complete the full process.
Mattiacci Law has the superstar Personal Injury Lawyers you need. We fight hard for our clients and take cases as far as necessary to win justice. If you have suffered a personal injury, please contact Mattiacci Law for a consultation.
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