What you need to know if you are hurt in an accident

Accidents occur in many ways, whether you were injured on the job, hit by a car while riding your bike or crossing the street, were hit by a drunk driver or even suffered injuries due to a public transit accident such as the recent tragic train incident in New Jersey.

More than 100 were injured after the train crashed into the Hoboken station platform. Several of those victims are now planning to sue New Jersey Transit. Fortunately, they secured representation right away.

In an ideal world, a person who is injured would be able to recover their medical costs and/or compensation for pain and suffering quickly and easily. All too often, however, insurance companies drag out the process or the person who caused the injury has inadequate coverage. And, unfortunately, many who have sustained an injury believe they should wait until the police report is filed or that they will automatically recover their damages. This is simply not the case. Here are 7 things you need to know in the event you have suffered a personal injury.

1. Don’t wait for a police report, contact an attorney.

2. Don’t talk to the insurance company without speaking to an attorney. Only a lawyer can protect you from the insurance company.

3. Most attorneys won’t charge you a consultation fee and will answer your questions at no cost or obligation to you.

4. Statutes of limitations vary by state, but in Pennsylvania, you have two years from the date of injury to bring a lawsuit. 42 Pa. Con. Stat. Sec. 5524.

5. In some instances, depending upon the type of accident or injury, an insurance company may deem you to be a certain percentage at fault. Pennsylvania is a comparative fault state which means that the amount of any possible settlement may be reduced in proportion to the percentage of negligence attributed to you.

6. If you have a friend or relative who has been through the personal injury process, it is key to remember that their experience will be different than yours-their settlement or case outcome will be different than yours. It will be different because your case has different facts and situations. No one type of injury or accident has the same outcome.

7. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not have to pay a dime until they obtain an outcome in your case that results in a settlement or other monetary recovery.

When you work with an experienced lawyer throughout the course of your personal injury case, you will be able to take care of yourself while your attorney takes care of the rest.