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Do You Have Questions? We Can Answer Them

Click on any of the frequently asked questions listed below for more information, or call Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, L.L.C., in Bethlehem at 610.365.1316 or toll-free at 866.307.8858 to schedule a free consultation about your personal injury case.


What kind of compensation can I get for my injuries?

Depending on the details of your situation, you may be eligible for compensation to cover your:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Damage to your car, or other property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of a loved one (in a wrongful death case)
  • Other damages related to the accident

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Do I have a case?

In determining whether you have a case worth pursuing, there are three things that will need to be evaluated and discussed with an attorney:

1. Liability
2. Damages
3. Source of payment

If all three of the above listed elements are present, you should contact an attorney to discuss pursuing the matter further.

Liability - Liability means fault. Whose careless or reckless actions caused the accident or injury? More than one person could be responsible for any particular injury. If so, the negligence of each person is compared to all others responsible and used in the determination of your recovery.

Damages - Damage is another word for injury. The injury could be physical or nonphysical in nature. In assessing damages, the jury will make a determination of what you have lost as a result of the accident. Often, damages include past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and inconvenience due to your physical or mental condition, which resulted from the accident.

Source of Payment - Is there an available source of payment? Who or what entity will provide you with reimbursement for the injuries you have sustained? Typically, payment for compensation of personal injury damages is made by an insurance company on behalf of its insured, the negligent person or corporation. In the case of an automobile accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, payments may be made by your own insurance company if you maintain that type of coverage. If a responsible party or corporation does not have insurance, it may be necessary to pursue recovery from the personal assets, if any. If there is no insurance and no assets, a lawsuit may not be worth the expense of pursuing.

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What if I was partly at fault for the accident?

Pennsylvania adheres to the theory of comparative negligence. This means that you can seek compensation for your damages even if you're partly at fault — as long as you're deemed to be less responsible for the accident than the other party. In other words, you have to be less than 51 percent at fault to be eligible for compensation.

Also, the percentage of fault assigned to you will directly impact the amount of compensation you receive. If you are 10 percent at fault and the other party is 90 percent at fault, for example, you can seek compensation for 90 percent of the damages.

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How does my lawyer get paid?

Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, L.L.C., generally handles its personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis. The fee is ordinarily a percentage of the total amount of recovery that Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, L.L.C., obtains in the case. In the event that there is no recovery, no fee is owed to the firm.

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Do I have to pay for costs or expenses?

For most personal injury cases that Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, L.L.C., handles, there is no charge for costs or expenses if we do not obtain a recovery. Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, L.L.C., will waive all costs incurred by our firm if we do not settle or win the case at trial. However, upon successful resolution of the case, Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, L.L.C., is reimbursed for the actual costs and expenses out of the settlement or verdict.

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Will my case settle out of court?

Because approximately 95 percent of cases settle before trial, the personal injury attorneys at Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, L.L.C., are always prepared to negotiate settlement for the client. However, Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, L.L.C., focuses primarily on preparing for trial and does not focus on settling the claim because our personal injury attorneys will not recommend a settlement unless it is in the client's best interest.

In determining whether a settlement is in the client's best interest, we help the client evaluate any offer by considering the strength of the case and the risks associated with going to trial. A settlement offer will not be accepted unless the client consents to such settlement.

Strength in a case may be built through fierce investigation and preparation. Our personal injury attorneys and staff immediately begin gathering the evidence from the time you select the personal injury attorneys of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, L.L.C., to provide your legal representation. It means having the most reliable medical experts, engineering experts, economic expects or other experts who are professionals in their field, as dictated by the circumstances of each specific case, who can best offer opinions based on the evidence to support your case. A case that is well-prepared with sufficient support to confront and counter the insurance company's position is the best strategy for a pre-suit resolution.

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How long do I have to file a claim?

Typically, the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of the accident. However, there are exceptions to this. Injuries to children generally come with a longer time frame in which to file a claim, while claims against government agencies may require that you file a notice within six months.

Because the time limits can be confusing, it's best to talk with one of our lawyers as soon as possible. As soon as you turn to us, we can also take prompt action to preserve any relevant evidence such as truck driver logs and witness testimony. The longer you wait to get a lawyer on your side, the higher the likelihood that such evidence will disappear.

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Can my attorney decide to settle my case without asking me?

No, you don't have to worry about our lawyers settling your case without your permission. We won't simply accept an insurance company's settlement offer in order to close your file and move along to the next client. Instead, you can rely on us to take your case all the way to trial, if needed, to pursue the full amount you deserve. Ultimately, the decision about whether to settle or litigate will always be yours.

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Is it true that a heath care insurance company can take part of my settlement?

In some cases, yes, your insurance company can claim some of your personal injury settlement to help repay what it spent on your medical bills. If your health insurance policy contains language to this effect, it's even more important for you to retain a lawyer who can fight for the full amount of money you need — knowing that the insurance company may claim some. Let us advocate on your behalf.

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