Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have a case?

You’re seriously injured and you want justice. The Team at Stanley Law offers a FREE evaluation of your case to determine if, based on factors and information you provide us, you have a case that can be won. If The Team at Stanley Law takes on your case, it’s because we

believe you can WIN.

We work hard to listen, research, investigate, and understand who might be at fault and whether a third-party acted inappropriately such that they will be held accountable, in full or in part, for the harm caused.

It’s impossible to say with 100% certainty whether one has a legal claim without knowing details about the situation. However, in general, the civil law holds that one who is injured (or their surviving family members) has a legal claim for recourse any time that another party intentionally or negligently causes harm. Intentional misconduct is obvious: the other party causes harm on purpose. Negligent misconduct is much more nuanced, but in general it refers to situations where someone acts unreasonably.

In a car accident, one driver may be negligent when they are speeding, run a red light, fail to yield appropriately, or in any other way do not act carefully. Negligence might occur when a property owner fails to keep floors free of hazards or ensure those on the property are safe. Professionals, like doctors, nursing, long-term care workers, and others can also act negligently in their work, causing harm to medical patients, nursing home residents, and others.

In fact, in some special cases a third party does not even need to be shown to have acted negligently in order to have a legal obligation to provide redress. That includes “strict liability” cases where dangerous products are made and cause harm.

The bottom line is that injured parties have legal claims in many different situations, even when the claim might not be self-evident. Because every situation is very fact-specific, the best bet is to always visit a personal injury attorney and share you story. The Team at Stanley Law promises to Leave No Stone Unturned.

How Much is my Case worth?

You want to know if you’re going to get justice, and how much you’ll be awarded in your case. There are a lot of factors that go into to determining the value of your case. It depends on the severity of your injuries, the details of the case, insurance limits and the identity of the defendant. A case's worth is based on five areas, assuming that the liability issue is straightforward. These areas include:

• Past medical bills
• Future medical bills
• Lost wages
• Loss of earning capacity
• Pain and suffering

Although the insurance companies put a ‘bean counter’ equation in place, the truth is there’s no perfect way of determining a case's value in advance; it’s based on the evidence of the case and what we can prove. Once The Team at Stanley Law have researched, gathered, evaluated and examined all medical records and statements, and have an idea as to whether the client's physical and mental state have improved or worsened from the date of injury, we can get a better idea.

The following factors are considered when determining the amount of compensation owed for your injuries:

the severity of your injuries
the details of your accident and your degree of fault
your employment history and your ability to work
your life expectancy
even the manner in which you get medical treatment,
your lifestyle, and your legal history are considered.
Helping you get what you deserve based on all of the above factors is what we’re committed to.

Can I handle the case on my own or do I need an attorney?

Following an accident it’s understandable for you to want to settle the matter quickly and move on with your life as soon as possible.  As a result, some may be tempted to try to take care of all issues—including legal issues—without getting professional representation.  It’s crucial to understand the pitfalls of trying to go it alone. In virtually all cases, an attorney can work on your case to ensure your recovery is full and you get enough cash to last you and your family for as long as you need it.  You can be sure that those representing the negligent party—usually an insurance company—will be lawyers working to pay out as little as possible.  That’s their job. They’ll deny and delay efforts in the case and make life as difficult as possible. The calculations made by the opposing attorneys are based in large part on how aggressive they feel the injured party will fight for full compensation for the harm caused.

When you retain the services of counsel, you’re making sure you’re not taken advantage of by the other side.  If the other side is not cooperating, which is likely, or offering a lesser settlement than what you deserve, your legal team must be prepared to take the case to court to ensure full and fair recovery.  Knowing you’re willing to go as far as necessary to ensure justice by obtaining legal counsel often means that the opposing side will deal more reasonably right from the beginning.

There’s simply no good reason to try to handle things on your own.  If the Team at Stanley Law takes on your personal injury case it’s because we believe you can WIN. We’re only paid on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not have to pay any money up front—our lawyers are only compensated following successful recovery.  As a result, there’s truly nothing to lose by having a legal professional in your corner fighting for you and making sure we leave no stone unturned in getting you the money you deserve.

How long will my personal injury lawsuit take?

It's difficult to determine how long it will take to resolve a personal injury lawsuit. Each case is unique; therefore, no general timetable can be established for personal injury cases. A personal injury lawsuit may settle in a few months without the need for a trial, while others can take years to complete.

What if I’m contacted by an insurance company or an investigator?

We recommend that you not discuss your injury or the way in which it happened with anyone until you have consulted an attorney. Also, if you sign any papers or agree to any settlement before speaking with an attorney, this could affect your ability to recover full compensation for your injuries.

What questions will be asked during deposition?

Some questions that may be asked during a deposition could include:

• What types of illnesses and injuries have you suffered from during the course of your life?
• Have you previously been involved in any other lawsuits or legal claims
(i.e. worker’s compensation)?
• Were there any witnesses to your accident?
• Did you file an insurance claim?
• What’s the nature of your injury?
• What’s your job history?
• How has your injury affected your life?
• When was your last treatment?

Your Stanley Law Team prepares you for your deposition by reviewing documents, such as police reports or medical records, which are related to your personal injury claim. We also prepare you for questions that may be asked during the deposition and will be there during the questioning to help you.

How much does a lawyer cost?

At Stanley Law, we abide by the contingency fee contract, which is approved by the New York and Pennsylvania Bars. This means that we will only collect if the case is successful. We accept a fixed percentage, typically one-third, of the recovery.

How soon should I file a lawsuit?

Timing is crucial. Speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following your accident. Injury victims only have a short period of time to file a claim. Failure to file within this time period, known as the statute of limitations, can bar you from ever recovering compensation for your injuries.

Can my attorney settle my case without my consent?

It’s your life, your family, your money to help get your life back on track as best as possible. Your Team at Stanley Law will never settle your case without your consent. Recommendations of whether to settle or not are made, but the ultimate decision to settle lies with you.

How soon after settlement is my money received and disbursed?

In many cases, the funds are received within seven to fourteen (7-14) days after the release is signed. Cases involving a large settlement, the State, private individuals, and/or out-of-area insurance companies often can take much longer. In some cases we need to obtain the approval of the Court before a settlement can be finalized.

What is negligence?

To have a viable personal injury claim, the victim must have been injured from the negligence of another individual or entity. Negligence occurs when an individual fails to exercise a reasonable standard of care for the safety of others. If a person fails to act as a reasonable person would, he or she may be liable for any resulting damages.

Can I still pursue compensation if I was partially at fault for my injuries?

It depends on your jurisdiction. In a few areas, individuals cannot recover compensation if their negligence partially contributed to their injuries. However, most jurisdictions maintain that victims can still receive compensation if they were partially at fault for their injuries. In these cases, the amount of compensation awarded to the victim may be decreased in accordance with the victim's degree of negligence.

Who can be held liable for a catastrophic injury?

To determine liability, it's important to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. More than one person may be responsible for your injuries. Depending on your type of personal injury, the liability may rest on a hospital, doctor, motor vehicle driver, truck driver, employer, municipality, or manufacturer.

Should I sign a release?

Before signing anything, be sure to contact a personal injury lawyer to ensure your rights are protected. If you sign a release, you may be unable to recover future damages. In many instances if you have a viable case, insurance companies offer an easy and early settlement. Be warned. These settlement offers may not fully compensate you for what you deserve. You should never ‘go it alone’ up against the big insurance companies. Because you may still be unaware of the extent and future costs of your injuries, connecting with your personal injury attorney as quickly as possible could mean the difference between fast cash, and getting enough to last.

Why am I not being compensated when I have full insurance coverage?

Underinsured or uninsured coverage happens far more often than it needs to considering a little extra premium annually to get you this coverage. Many drivers believe they have full coverage, but are not insured under certain circumstances. There are several different types of insurance coverage, and failing to have a particular one may limit recovery. In many cases, our clients often find that even though they believe they have “full coverage,” they do not have underinsured or uninsured coverage, which will cover you in the event of an accident where the other party cannot pay. Contact your insurance company and discuss what coverage you have, when the coverage is applicable, and, if necessary, hire an attorney if you believe your insurance company is trying to avoid paying a valid claim.

If this is not the case, and you do have full insurance coverage, you may not be satisfactorily compensated because your insurance company wants to minimize payouts. They’re in the business of making money and are your friend up until you have a claim. There are often disagreements about specific language in your insurance contract, how much a claim is worth, and whether any other parties are involved who may be responsible. If other insurance or health insurance companies are involved, there may be disagreements over who is responsible for payment. These issues can cause serious delays in compensation.

What is Maximum Medical Improvement?

When you've concluded your treatment of an injury with a doctor, we request a final narrative. At this time, the physician has determined that the patient has reached MMI, or maximum medical improvement. This means that the patient has reached a point where they are as healthy as they can be; they may not be in the condition that they were prior to the accident, but their health has stabilized. If that is the case, a doctor may assign the patient a permanent impairment rating according to American Medical Association guidelines. Although it is not necessary to have available during courtroom proceedings, car insurance companies may want access to the permanent impairment rating as part of their case evaluation.

What does it mean to "file suit," and why do we do it?

The act of filing legal papers at the courthouse is called filing suit. The client gives the authorization to file suit after all other options have been exhausted during pre-suit. Over the last decade, the insurance industry has stepped up its aggressive defense of these cases, and the number of clients we’re undertaking is steadily increasing. When a case is filed with the court, it does not necessarily mean you will be accompanying your lawyer to court. Most cases are able to be resolved before trials begin, but some still reach the courtroom.


Do you think you have a Personal Injury case?
 Contact our lawyers for a free case evaluation.