Q
What should I bring to our initial consultation?
A
For our initial consultation, it is most helpful for you to bring with you the following items:
  • The Driver Information Exchange Sheet or Incident Report from your accident;
  • Photographs of the accident scene, the motor vehicles involved, and/or injuries;
  • Emergency room discharge papers or other medical documentation;
  • Pay stubs, to calculate and establish lost wages;
  • Health insurance cards;
  • Photo identification card, such as your driver’s license or state I.D. card;
  • Correspondence received from any insurance company concerning the accident; and
  • Name and contact information for any insurance adjuster who has contacted you regarding the accident


Q
I have been injured in an accident, do I have a Personal Injury claim?
A
To have a successful Personal Injury claim, you must be able to prove that you were injured and that your injuries were caused by the fault of another. The first issue that a Personal Injury attorney will analyze is fault; whether another individual or entity was the cause of the accident. If you can prove that the accident was the result of another’s negligence, the next issue to consider is whether you suffered injuries and damages (i.e. pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, etc.) as a result of the accident. A Personal Injury attorney will evaluate your accident on whether you can prove these items.


Q
Do I need an attorney for my Personal Injury claim?
A
You may be able to handle your Personal Injury claim on your own, but it is always recommended that you consult a Personal Injury attorney before speaking with an insurance adjuster or signing anything provided to you by an insurance adjuster. Keep in mind that insurance adjusters are trained and experienced in handling claims. It is in your best interest to consult with a Personal Injury attorney who is trained and experienced to know what you are entitled to receive as fair compensation for your claim and also what you are required to sign. I am often contacted by individuals who unknowingly signed a Release giving up their claim. If you are being contacted by the insurance for the at-fault party, you should contact a Personal Injury attorney for a free consultation so that you do not forego your claim without fair compensation.


Q
Attorney Fees
A
First, there is no charge for the initial consultation to discuss your Personal Injury claim. If after our initial consultation you decide to engage me as your attorney and I decide to take your case, I will request that you sign a Contingency Fee Agreement. I handle all of my Personal Injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that I am paid based upon the result that I am able to obtain for you. If there is no recovery achieved for your claim, there is no attorney’s fee paid. There is no money requested of you up front.


Q
Do you offer Free Consultations?
A
Yes, I offer free initial consultations for Personal Injury cases. When you meet with me, there is no payment required of you and no obligation to hire me as your attorney. If you decide to hire me as your attorney, because all Personal Injury cases are taken on a contingency fee agreement, there is no fee that is required to be paid by you. The amount of attorney’s fees that are paid to me for handling your case is a percentage of your overall recovery.


Q
Office Locations
A
I am located in the Centreville, Delaware office of MacElree Harvey, Ltd.: 5721 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE 19807. I am also able to meet with you at the other MacElree Harvey offices in West Chester or Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. In situations where your injuries are serious and you are confined to the hospital or your home, we can schedule the consultation to take place at the hospital or your home.


Q
How much is my Personal Injury claim worth?
A
First, the value of the case is based upon the damages you have suffered. Your Personal Injury claim can encompass several different types of damages, such as medical expenses, wage losses, and pain and suffering, and it is necessary to wait until you have completed your medical treatment for the injuries sustained in the accident or until your condition stabilizes prior to evaluating the value of your claim. Second, the amount that you can recover for your claim will depend upon the amount of insurance carried by the at-fault party and, in car accident cases, whether you have additional coverage available to you in the form of un-insured or under-insured motorist coverage. Because of all of the different components involved in evaluating your claim, I will not put a value on your case at our initial consultation, and you should be cautious to proceed with an attorney who claims to know the value of the case at the initial consultation.


Q
How long will it take to finish my case?
A
It is impossible to know at the beginning of your case how long it will take to resolve. It is necessary to wait until you have completed your medical treatment for the injuries sustained in the accident or until your condition stabilizes prior to evaluating the value of your claim because of the different damages (i.e. medical expenses, lost wages, future wage losses, pain and suffering) that you may recover. The legal process is a slow process, and it is not uncommon for cases to take over a year to resolve.


Q
Will my Personal Injury case have to go to court?
A
Most Personal Injury cases are able to be resolved without the filing of a lawsuit. In those situations, we are able to reach a settlement of your claim with the liability insurance carrier prior to filing a lawsuit in the court. If your case is not able to be resolved in that manner, then it is necessary for us to file a lawsuit against the person or entity at fault for causing your accident. Even if your case has to be put into suit, it is still possible, and likely, a settlement of your claim may be achieved prior to the trial, either through attorney negotiations, at mediation, or through arbitration.


Q
Why should I consider hiring you as my Personal Injury attorney?
A
My practice has been primarily focused on Personal Injury law since becoming an attorney. I am experienced in all aspects of civil litigation and will file a lawsuit if necessary to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages. My staff and I are compassionate and sympathetic to the stress accident victims are under and will guide our clients through the process, taking time to ensure that our clients understand the process of their case and are put at ease so that they can focus on their treatment and healing.


Q
Should I talk to the insurance adjuster after a car accident?
A
No. The only insurance adjuster you should speak with after a car accident is the adjuster for your own insurance company or the insurance company handling your no-fault/Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim. You have a contractual obligation to report the accident to your insurance company and cooperate with your own insurance company to receive benefits available to you under your insurance policy. However, you should not speak to or sign anything for the adjuster for the other driver’s insurance company. You have no obligation to provide a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company or sign anything for the other driver’s insurance company. I have seen numerous situations where an individual has unknowingly signed a Release giving up their claim and any right to additional compensation. If you are being contacted by the insurance company for the at-fault party, you should contact a Personal Injury attorney for a free consultation.