Frequently Asked Questions & Blog
If a driver crashed into you because he or she ignored a stop sign or was driving distracted, that’s negligence. If the crash resulted in a broken arm and severe headaches, negligence caused your injuries. If the injuries required medical attention or caused you to miss work, you are entitled to compensation.
Even if a driver has no insurance, or flees the scene of a crash, you still have rights and ways to collect damages. I offer you a free consultation to evaluate the merits of your case and, if the full scope of your injuries is known, to calculate your likely settlement.
Although it’s terribly self-serving to tell you to speak with a personal injury lawyer immediately after an accident, the fact is, most people have no idea what it takes to collect a full and fair settlement from the insurance company, or how to protect themselves from their aggressive tactics.
At your free, no obligation consultation, you'll learn much that will be valuable to you…
A free consult is also your best option for evaluating an accident attorney and deciding if you want to move forward. Since experienced accident lawyers offer expert advice for free, you should always consult with one before accepting any settlement offer.
Insurance companies want you to believe that limited tort coverage prevents you from collecting money. But if any of these exceptions apply to you, we can recover full financial compensation for your car accident injuries.
The 6 Exceptions to Limited Tort Coverage:
A motor vehicle accident or a nasty fall can change your life in an instant. Medical bills, lost wages, property damage and pain can make it hard to know what to do next.
If you’ve experienced a personal injury due to someone else's negligence or carelessness, an proven personal injury lawyer can protect you from an aggressive insurance company, collect the full compensation you’re entitled to, and help you rebuild your life and finances.
Insurance Companies have a Playbook.
You need a Game Plan.
You don't need a lawyer to file a claim. In fact, insurance companies will tell you that a lawyer complicates an otherwise friendly process, adds tensions and paperwork, and can delay your settlement check by several months. But here are two simple facts:
Insurance companies have many tactics for reducing the compensation they pay. They offer quick settlements to anxious accident victims before they know the full extent of their injuries and bills. They don’t disclose that the settlement they're offering won’t cover the care you need, or replace lost wages, or compensate you for your pain. They are adept at getting trusting customers to say things which weaken their case, and to sign things which limit their rights. And the pushback from insurance companies requires such tenacity, the best injury lawyers are described as “bulldogs.”
To help you manage the bills, recover your health, and collect your rightful compensation, Attorney Andrew Goldberg will:
How long have they been practicing personal injury law? A minimum of ten years is good. How many cases have they handled like yours? Ideally, fifty or more. Are they experts in Pennsylvania personal injury and limited tort laws? If negotiation fails to achieve a favorable settlement, can they win your case in court? The answer to both should be a confident Yes.
How is your lawyer paid? To protect my clients, my fee is contingent upon delivering a settlement. If I fail to obtain a financial award, I don’t get paid – and I personally pay all of the legal expenses to prosecute your case, including medical reports, professional investigators and expert witnesses.
“After my meeting with Andy I said, “So how much do I owe you?” “Not a thing until I have a check for you,” he said."
– Officer Roger Joseph
My fee is one third of the settlement. Some Philadelphia law firms take up to 50% of your award. It’s also standard for lawyers to take their fee “off the top,” leaving the often substantial legal expenses to be paid from your share of the settlement. I won’t do that. Before I take my fee, I pay all verifiable costs. Then, two-thirds of the proceeds are paid to you, I receive one-third, and your claim is fully resolved.
"People don’t realize that attorneys leave you to pay all the legal expenses. Andy takes his third after he pays the investigator, arbitrators, expert witnesses, everything. He’s such a good guy."
– Officer Kevin Enderle
Does the lawyer inspire confidence and clarity?
Does the attorney listen carefully to you? Does he ask insightful questions? Are you comfortable sharing your personal details? Does he grasp the medical and financial complexities of your case? Accident victims need a seasoned lawyer whose in-depth knowledge of Pennsylvania’s personal injury and limited tort laws assures you of expert strategy and timely advice throughout the claims process. Intellect. Caring. Creativity. And an unwavering commitment to beating the insurance company at their own game. Seek out these qualities, and you'll have a lawyer who will do everything in his power to secure your full and fair settlement.
Choose an expert Guide.
It’s vitally important that your attorney is a skillful communicator, in person and on paper. He or she must be able to combine facts, words and images to create a settlement claim so compelling, the insurance company willingly agrees to your demand.
“The way Andy crafted the story of Jack’s injuries was so moving, the arbitrator ruled in our favor before we even made it home.”
– Susan Moran
You want to be represented by someone who listens to you intently, understands and respects your concerns, and tells you what you need to know in clear, simple English. A good lawyer updates you on all discussions with the insurance adjuster and lawyers. He is available early and late, and responds quickly to your calls, emails and texts.
“Andy was truly invested in my case. He always kept me in the loop – by mail, phone and text.”
– Nancy Stewart
As your lawyer, my mission is to present a claim for a specific dollar amount that’s so authoritative, the insurance company has no choice but to settle. Every eyewitness statement, every photo and diagram, every medical report and hospital bill is strategically organized and supported with expert testimony and financial analyses. Because when the insurance company has nothing to contest, you win.
“Andy’s case to the insurance companies left no room for doubt. The settlement he negotiated was quite high, allowing me to pay off my mortgage and retire comfortably. The whole process was incredibly smooth because Andy covered every base.”
– Cathy Cavalier
It’s rare to have an accomplished attorney personally direct every detail of a case. In big law firms, the average claim is handled largely by paralegals and junior lawyers. Yet the key to a successful outcome is expert strategy and meticulous follow-through.
Attorney Andrew Goldberg left a larger firm in 1996 to enter private practice so that he could personally direct every aspects of a client's case. Andy expertly coordinates the accident investigation, prepares and negotiates the insurance claim, and stays personally engaged in each client’s medical care. This level of focus, participation and caring can make all the difference when it comes to the size of your financial award and the success of your physical recovery.
“Andy puts in countless hours to make sure that every detail is right. He does everything possible to win for you.”
- Officer Roger Joseph
A claims adjuster seeks to determine if the accident was caused by their customer, and if the extent and nature of the injuries (“damages”) justify a settlement offer.
Claims adjusters are trained to find reasons to reduce or reject your claim. It’s up to you to conclusively prove your case.
As your lawyer, I work with you to document your out-of-pocket costs and prove that they are directly related to the accident. If you’re out of work, I prove that your disability and resulting loss of income were caused by your injuries. And if you experience pain or emotional distress, I present compelling evidence to prove it.
Following the investigation, the claims adjuster makes a decision. If you accept a settlement amount, the insurance company sends you a release form and a check, and the process ends. If we reject the offer, negotiations begin, and I push back with additional supporting materials as firmly and as often as needed to negotiate a satisfactory award.
Few cases require a court battle. But...
If negotiations hit a wall, and the adjuster rejects our compensation demand or denies that its insured was at fault, you have two options: present your claim before a mutually agreed-upon arbitrator, or in the courtroom.
As your lawyer, I prepare your case from day one as if we are going to trial. Then, if presenting your claim before a jury becomes necessary, I've already assembled the evidence to support it - details which would be far more difficult to collect if we had to produce them this late in the case.
To calculate the value of an injury claim, insurance companies begin by adding up the special damages, or hard costs, documented by invoices, receipts, and wage statements.
Special damages consist of medical bills (including the cost of future medical treatment), lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses such as repairing or replacing damaged property, and services made necessary by an injury, such as childcare, housekeeping and landscaping.
General damages compensate for pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and the loss of physical ability to fully resume occupational or recreational activities. There are no objective measurements for these “soft costs.” Typically, insurers arrive at a soft cost settlement amount by doubling or tripling the amount of the special damages.
Experienced personal injury lawyers do not rely on multiples of hard costs. My clients’ pain and suffering is deeply felt and deserves a full and realistic valuation. In my experience, it has proven far more effective to present a persuasive picture of the full extent of your injuries. I aim to demonstrate how those injuries have diminished your ability to resume everyday living and enjoy your favorite recreational activities.
Generally, the more severe the injuries, the higher the award. But several factors affect your settlement amount:
To overcome the pushback from insurance adjusters, you’ll need meticulously organized paperwork, as well as detailed doctors’ notes fully explaining the recovery period and how your injuries are affecting your quality of life.
Has you injury caused you sleepless nights, or forced you to miss important family events? Can you no longer play with your kids or grandchildren? To support my clients’ claims of pain and suffering , I use emotionally descriptive language to convey their distress. I want the insurance adjuster to feel a client’s heartache when they are unable to hold their baby. I want the jury to experience their deep-seated fear of losing their job permanently.
The key is to communicate your unique damages completely, creatively and persuasively.
Do not let the claims adjuster persuade you that the insurance company settles all similar claims for the same amount. While accidents can share similarities, none are exactly alike. Your injuries may affect you very differently from someone who suffered similar injuries.
When necessary, I work with forensic accident and medical experts to build the strongest case possible. For example, I may…
If during the claims process, your medical bills were paid by any form of health insurance, those payments most likely must be repaid from your settlement. I stay in touch with these insurers throughout your case. Then, as I direct reimbursements from your settlement check, I negotiate with them to reduce their claims, so you keep more of your award.
In Pennsylvania, owners of residential and commercial real estate can be held liable if someone is injured on their property. Even if found to be up to 50% at fault, accident victims have a right to compensation,
You can recover compensatory damages for expenses such as doctors visits, hospital bills and lost wages, and for pain and suffering caused by physical impairment, disfigurement, or loss of your ability to earn a living.
Many potential hazards can cause a fall, from slippery floors to bad lighting. Owners are required to keep their properties reasonably safe for anyone invited in – friends and family, neighbors, customers, and people making deliveries or providing requested services. A property owner or manager who knew, or had reason to suspect, that a hazard existed and failed to act to prevent harm could be liable for your damages.
Most falls are preventable. Yet, despite obvious hazards and serious injuries, many people never talk to an attorney about recovering the compensation they deserve. I will fully assess your case, and if you have a claim, I will present a step-by-step strategy for obtaining the maximum possible settlement.
How do you win maximum compensation for your injuries and lost wages? By documenting your claim in such authoritative detail, we convince the insurance company to agree to a high settlement demand. Assembling an indisputable claim demands hard work, expertise and perseverance. Here’s how I win the largest possible awards for my clients:
Step 1. Talk with me about Your Case.
I know it sounds terribly self-serving to say “Talk with a personal injury lawyer after you’ve been in an accident.” But there’s no cost or obligation to meet with me, either in person, by phone or video call. And whether you choose to hire me or not, you'll learn a great deal that will be valuable to you. You can rely on me to thoroughly answer your questions, educate you on how the process works, and provide an expert evaluation of your case and likely settlement.
Step 2. Choose a Lawyer to Represent You
If you hire me to represent you, I will do everything in my power to help you recover what’s rightfully yours. My fee is paid from the settlement or award that I obtain for you. If I don’t win, I don’t get paid. In addition, I pay all the expenses incurred to present your claim from my own pocket. Simply stated, I don’t take a case I can’t win.
Step 3. I Prepare and Present Your Claim
As your lawyer, I personally direct every detail of your case:
Step 4. The final Step: Collect Your Award
A settlement check concludes the claims process. It’s standard practice for lawyers to take their fee “off the top,” leaving all legal costs to be paid from the client’s share of the settlement. I don’t believe in leaving those costs for my clients. Before I take my fee, all court costs, medical reports and expert witnesses are reimbursed from the settlement. Then two-thirds of the proceeds are paid to you, I receive one-third, and all issues related to your claim are resolved.
No. But a well-crafted will can….
Completing both a Living Will and a Medical Power of Attorney enables your surrogate to review your medical records, get information from your care team, and specify your doctors and treatment. If the doctor sees no chance for recovery, or if you have expressed a desire to avoid specific medical measures such as a ventilator, your surrogate may also refuse medical care.
Trusts are designed to shelter the inheritance from in-laws, creditors or a former spouse. A Dynasty Trust defines how funds are used for your child’s benefit, and at what age he or she can control them. Your Will can appoint a Trustee to manage your child’s trust and work with the Guardian to pay the child’s expenses - typically until age 18, when the Trustee will collaborate with the child. A Disclaimer Trust protects your spouse’s assets from creditors or a future husband or wife, and gives your spouse the option to apply the protection or not.
A person signing their Last Will and Testament must be of sound mind, and acting of his or her own free will. Your will must also be signed by two witnesses. If the Will is notarized, it is considered self-attesting. This eliminates the need for your witnesses to appear in court to authenticate your signature.
This elected county official decides if a document should be accepted as the Last Will and Testament of the deceased. The official also determines who is authorized to administer the estate, and collects payments toward Pennsylvania’s Inheritance Tax. If an executor fails to qualify, or if you die without a valid Will, the Register typically grants administration of the estate to the next of kin. If there’s a dispute as to whom should administer the estate, the Register decides.
Wills are frequently challenged on grounds including forgery, lack of capacity or undue influence. The Register of Wills hears testimony on these challenges, and makes a decision to accept or reject the Will.
Choose carefully! If you select the wrong Surrogate, your wishes may not be respected. Not everyone is able or willing to make the decision to turn off your life support. Communicating your wishes to your surrogate, family and close friends can prevent conflicts regarding who should be making decisions and what you wished for.
The surest way to understand your case is to talk with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
When you request a free consult with me, Attorney Andrew Goldberg, you’ll learn exactly what it takes to obtain the maximum settlement for your injuries.
It’s also your best opportunity to determine if you need a lawyer – and if a lawyer has the knowledge, skills and commitment to come through for you.