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KaplunMarx Legal Blog

Do You Have a Legal Question about Personal Injury in Philadelphia?

Use our search tool to find valuable legal guidance on a variety of subjects, or browse our latest blogs below.

Disclaimer: Please note that all information on this website is for educational purposes only. This information should not be considered legal advice for your specific situation, as each legal matter has varying circumstances.

Latest Blogs

'This is Not Over': A Look into the Recent Pennsylvania State Trooper Shooting and its Legal Implications

Local Philadelphia News

On Sunday, June 5, 2023, a Pennsylvania State Trooper fatally shot an 18-year-old during an illegal car race on Interstate 95 near Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia. The young man, Anthony Allegrini Junior, was reportedly driving towards two state troopers when one of them fired a shot into the car, killing him​1​. This incident has sparked a wave of concern and calls for a thorough investigation from Allegrini's family and the public alike.

The Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw issued a stern warning to those participating in illegal racing activities, stating that "Laws are being broken. Communities are being terrorized and people are getting hurt"​1​. She emphasized that the police department is committed to putting a stop to such activities. The incident also highlighted the ongoing issue of illegal street racing in Philadelphia, an issue the city has been struggling with for some time​1​.

Videos from the incident have surfaced on social media, allegedly showing Allegrini lying on the interstate, wounded but still moving​1​. The Pennsylvania State Police are currently investigating the incident, and both troopers involved are on a 72-hour administrative leave​1​. The Allegrini family's attorney, Enrique Latoison, has called for a transparent investigation, pointing out that Allegrini was a spectator and not directly involved in the illegal activity​1​.

From a legal standpoint, the incident raises questions about the use of force by law enforcement and the doctrine of qualified immunity. The Supreme Court case Mullenix v. Luna is a notable precedent in this realm. In this 2015 case, the Supreme Court held that a police officer who shot a suspect during a high-speed pursuit was entitled to qualified immunity. This doctrine shields government officials from being held personally liable for discretionary actions performed within their official capacity, unless their actions violate "clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known"​2​.

In Mullenix v. Luna, the officer fired six shots at the vehicle of a fleeing suspect, despite direct orders not to do so, resulting in the suspect's death. The Supreme Court held that prior precedent did not establish "beyond debate" that the officer's actions were objectively unreasonable, thus granting him qualified immunity​2​.

The upcoming investigation of the Allegrini case may need to consider similar issues, especially around whether the trooper's use of force was objectively reasonable given the circumstances. The Mullenix case demonstrates that the courts have given law enforcement considerable leeway in situations perceived as dangerous. However, each case is unique, and it will be up to the investigation and potentially the courts to determine how these legal principles apply in this instance.

The legal ramifications of this case are yet to be determined, as are the potential impacts on policy and law enforcement practices. As the investigation unfolds, we will likely gain more insights into these matters.

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Philadelphia's Columbus Statue Controversy: A Legal Showdown in the City of Brotherly Love

Local Philadelphia News

In the heart of Philadelphia, a 146-year-old statue of Christopher Columbus has been at the center of a legal and cultural controversy, inciting a lawsuit against Mayor Jim Kenney and city officials. The plaintiffs, known as the Friends of Marconi Plaza, have claimed that these officials conspired to abuse the legal process in their attempts to remove the statue​1​.

Located in South Philadelphia's Marconi Plaza, the Columbus statue was presented to the city in 1876 by the Italian American community to commemorate the nation's centennial. For many Italian Americans, the 15th-century explorer is not just a historical figure, but a cultural hero and emblem of the city's deep Italian heritage​1​.

However, in the summer of 2020, amidst nationwide protests and unrest following the murder of George Floyd, the statue became a source of contention. Some Philadelphians argued that Columbus, who had a "much more infamous" history involving the enslavement of Indigenous people and imposing harsh punishments, should not be celebrated. Supporters of the statue swiftly responded, gathering around it in defense against potential vandalism​1​. Here we see the First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly intersecting with the issue.

Mayor Kenney and the city's historical commission decided to cover the statue with a plywood box, citing public safety concerns. However, a judge later reversed this decision, stating the city had failed to provide evidence that the statue's removal was necessary to protect the public. The plywood box, painted in the green, white, and red bands of the Italian flag at the request of a city council member, was subsequently removed​1​. This brings to mind the legal principle that any restriction on expressive conduct (in this case, the statue) must serve a compelling government interest and be narrowly tailored.

This is not the first legal battle the Friends of Marconi Plaza have engaged in over issues related to Columbus. The group also filed a lawsuit against Mayor Kenney for renaming the city's Columbus Day holiday to Indigenous Peoples' Day, which they claim discriminates against Italian Americans. However, this suit was dismissed by a court, and the dismissal was upheld by a federal appeals court. The group's attorney, George Bochetto, has since appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court​1​. This aspect of the case raises interesting questions about the boundaries of cultural recognition and potential claims of cultural discrimination.

As the case continues to unfold, the Friends of Marconi Plaza and their lead attorney George Bochetto remain steadfast in their stance. "Frankly, it's shocking what took place here, and it's a shocking disregard for their responsibilities," Bochetto said, affirming his intent to hold government officials accountable for their actions​1​. The ongoing litigation underscores the evolving nature of the legal landscape in relation to public monuments and government speech.

Representatives of the mayor and the historical commission have declined to comment on the lawsuit. As the legal struggle continues, the fate of the Columbus statue in Marconi Plaza hangs in the balance, reflecting the broader national dialogue around historical monuments, cultural heritage, and the complexities of historical reckoning.

Legal controversies like this one often serve as catalysts for wider societal conversations about our collective history and identity. The tension between honoring cultural heritage and acknowledging historical injustices is not unique to Philadelphia. Similar debates have been held over Confederate monuments in the South, the statue of Edward Colston in the United Kingdom, and numerous other monuments around the world.

In the eyes of the law, these disputes often boil down to the interpretation of the First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly, the rights of governments to engage in "government speech," and the principles of equal protection and non-discrimination. As legal precedents continue to develop in this area, they will undoubtedly have significant implications for the future of public monuments and the recognition of our diverse cultural histories.

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Negligent Security

Personal Injury

Every property should have some level of security. Some properties simply have locks on every door, whereas others have security guards and cameras monitoring the premises.

These security measures are put in place to ensure that everyone on the property is safe. But sadly, many people are injured in accidents caused by inadequate security on a property.

If you are in this situation, contact the Philadelphia negligent security lawyers at KaplunMarx to learn about your right to file an inadequate security lawsuit. Our Philadelphia Negligent Security Lawyers have helped countless clients recover compensation in negligent security cases, and we’re ready to help you as well. Call us today!

What Are the Risks of Negligent Security?

Everyone is at risk when a property is not properly secured. Some of the potential risks involved with negligent security include:

  • Assault: If there are no security measures in place, criminals could enter the property and assault visitors or residents.
  • Theft: Thieves will usually try to avoid committing crimes in areas that are highly secured. But, if a property is not secured, these criminals could enter the property and steal residents’ or visitors’ belongings.
  • Burglary: Another crime that can occur due to inadequate security is burglary. This is usually committed at the same time as theft.
  • Vandalism: Vandalism can also occur at properties that are not protected. People could vandalize the exterior of the property or enter the building and vandalize the inside if there are no security measures in place to stop them.

These are some of the many risks of negligent security. If you have been injured or your property has been damaged as a result of a lack of security, we can help. Contact KaplunMarx at once to discuss your legal options.

What Are the Security Issues That Could Lead to Negligent Security Claims?

Many people are not sure if they have a negligent security claim because they don’t know the difference between inadequate and adequate security. The level of security that is needed can vary from property to property.

But, some of the security issues that could lead to negligent security claims include:

  • Defective or faulty equipment: Defective or faulty security gates, cameras, or other equipment cannot effectively secure a property. If these are the only security measures in place, the property could be inadequately secure.
  • Lack of proper training: Security guards and other personnel cannot secure a property if they are not trained properly.
  • Understaffing/lack of coverage: If there are not enough guards working on a property, the property is not secure. This is also true if there are significant gaps between each guard’s shift.

It’s important to note that negligent security does not mean any security at all. If a property owner has some security measures in place, this does not protect him from liability in a negligent security case.

Who is Responsible For the Safety of A Property in Philadelphia?

Premises liability laws require property owners to maintain safe conditions on their properties at all times in order to ensure the safety of residents and visitors. If a property has inadequate security, the property owner has failed to fulfill this legal obligation. As a result, the property owner could be held liable if someone is injured due to the lack of security on a property.

However, a property owner is not automatically held liable for every crime that is committed on his property. The victim must be able to prove that the property owner is liable in order to recover compensation and win the case.

How to Prove Liability in Negligent Security Cases

The plaintiff–with the help of an attorney–must prove several elements in a negligent security case. First, the plaintiff must prove that the property owner had a legal obligation to secure the property. The plaintiff must also show that the property owner failed to fulfill this obligation by providing inadequate security measures.

This is the hardest part of the case since it is hard to determine what is adequate and what is not. But, an attorney can help. Our attorneys will look at crime data, security measures implemented on other similar properties, and other evidence in order to build a case against the property owner.

Finally, the plaintiff must show that he was injured as a result of the property owner’s failure to provide adequate security. If you cannot prove this element, you will not be awarded compensation for your injuries.

Meet With Our Philadelphia Negligent Security Lawyers to Discuss Your Legal Options

Have you been injured as a result of inadequate security? If so, contact Philadelphia Negligent Security Lawyers at KaplunMarx as soon as possible.

Our Philadelphia negligent security lawyers at KaplunMarx understand the risks that are associated with subpar security, and we will ensure property owners are held accountable for their negligence. Schedule a free consultation with a lawyer on our team by calling or filling out the form.

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How long does it take to settle a car accident in Pennsylvania?

Auto Accidents

Car Accidents

The amount of time it takes to settle your car accident claim typically depends on the severity of the damages and injuries. For instance, if your accident resulted in just a few minor injuries, it could be settled in a couple of months. However, it might take a while to settle in the event of permanent physical or mental impairment, severe injuries, or loss of earning capacity. In addition, you might end up in civil court if your claim is disputed.

Keep reading to learn more about the factors that can affect the length of your car accident case in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Insurance Laws

Unlike most other states, Pennsylvania is a no-fault state. If a driver is involved in an accident, they can seek compensation from their own insurer, regardless of who is at fault. Every driver must have the following insurance coverage, according to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department:

  • $5,000 of medical benefits coverage to cover you or your passengers' medical bills, regardless of fault
  • A bodily injury liability coverage of $15,000 for one person and $30,000 per accident that pays for the other party's medical bills if you are at-fault
  • Liability coverage for $5,000 for any damage you cause to property in the event of an accident

Your insurance coverage can influence the amount of time it takes to settle your car accident claim, including increased coverage for medical benefits and protection against uninsured drivers. In most cases, your claim can be resolved quickly if your medical bills and property damages do not exceed your coverage or the at-fault driver's.

However, you could be stuck waiting for your case to be resolved if your accident was unclear, you suffered severe injuries, or you were facing expensive medical bills.

When Can You Seek Compensation From the Responsible Party?

Unlike most states, Pennsylvania has a no-fault policy that restricts when you may sue another driver. However, it is one of only a few states that offers drivers a choice between a full tort or limited tort policy in a no-fault state. There are higher premiums associated with full tort coverage, but drivers can sue liable parties without as many restrictions.

The driver is entitled to recover out-of-pocket medical bills and expenses under limited tort policies, but he is limited in how much he can seek for pain and suffering. If your injuries are classified as "serious injury" according to your insurance policy, however, you may be able to sue for these damages.

Seeking a Settlement

It may be possible for you to receive compensation if you have been injured in a car accident as a result of someone else's actions. In an insurance claim, you could receive compensation for:

  • Property damages – This can include vehicle damage, laptop damage, jewelry damage, etc. 
  • Past and future medical expenses – Surgeries, medications, therapies, mobility aids, extended nursing care, and more are included in this category.
  • Pain and suffering – You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering if you suffer a permanent or debilitating injury.
  • Lost wages – This may cover back pay, awards for reduced earning capacity, and living expenses.
  • Wrongful death – You may be able to obtain an insurance settlement for the death of a loved one after they were injured in a car accident. This can help cover funeral costs, burial expenses, and more.

If your claim is denied or your insurer offers you a poor settlement, you may be able to file a lawsuit in civil court. However, your ability to obtain damages for pain and suffering depends on whether or not you carry a full or limited tort policy.

Understanding Car Accident Lawsuits in Pennsylvania

It is important to understand how Pennsylvania lawsuits are handled before fully understanding how long an average car accident case takes. In general, the litigation process follows the following path, although it may vary slightly from case to case:

Filing the Claim

Plaintiffs initiate a lawsuit by filing a formal complaint with the court. Depending on the complexity of the case, the preparation of the complaint may take a couple of days to weeks.

Service of Process

A copy of the complaint must be served on the defendant after it has been filed with the court. It usually takes a couple of weeks to complete this process. In some cases, however, it may take several months for the defendant to be served if they try to avoid being served.


Defendants who receive lawsuits must file a response with the court within a specific timeframe. Usually, this response is provided within a month of service.


The discovery phase of a lawsuit begins as soon as the defendant responds to the plaintiff's complaint. This phase involves both parties requesting and exchanging evidence such as documents, photographs, and videotapes. The discovery phase of a Pennsylvania lawsuit generally takes the longest. It is not uncommon for the exchange of evidence to take up to twelve months.

Settle or Trial

Your case may go to court if a settlement is not agreed to before or during discovery. A trial is usually scheduled a few weeks after the discovery phase has concluded. Typically, court proceedings last only a few days.


An appeal may be filed if one party disagrees with the trial's outcome. Legal proceedings could be delayed for several years by such an appeal.

Factors Affecting the Settlement Process

As Pennsylvania car accident injury lawyers, one of the most common questions we hear is: "How long will my car accident case take to settle?" Several factors influence the time it takes for your case to be resolved, but each case is unique, and it all depends on the facts of your case. The following factors may play a role in how long your Pennsylvania car accident case takes to settle:

How Did the Accident Happen?

It is important to note that the facts of the accident and the level of clarity (or unclearness) regarding fault play a key role in how long it takes to resolve a car accident case in Pennsylvania. To have a viable claim, the car accident must be caused by someone else, not you.

For example, if someone rear-ends you, the fault is usually clear. However, it's a different story if the accident happened at an intersection and you're fighting over who ran the red light.

You're more likely to settle your case sooner if the accident was clearly someone else's fault.

How Long Will You Need Medical Treatment?

We cannot value and settle your case until we know the full extent of your injuries and damages. It won't be possible for insurance companies to pay some now and some later. To value your claim correctly, we must wait until your medical treatment is over or your condition stabilizes, whichever comes first.

Due to this, your case will take longer to settle if you suffer severe injuries and spend a long time in treatment.

What is the Amount of Insurance Coverage?

Case settlement times can also be affected by the amount of insurance coverage available. There's a good chance you'll settle your Car Accident claim much faster if the defendant has minimal coverage and your injuries are obvious and serious.

In these situations, you may be able to pursue a second claim against your own insurer if you have Underinsurance Coverage on your own policy.

In contrast, if you have severe injuries and your insurance coverage is adequate, your case may take longer to settle.

Can you reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company, or does your claim need to be litigated?

Lastly, whether a settlement can be reached without litigation can impact the time it takes to resolve a Pennsylvania Car Accident Claim.

There are instances in which the insurance adjuster will offer a fair settlement based on an evaluation of the claim. Other times, the adjuster makes a lowball offer without being willing to negotiate. Generally, this varies from one insurance company to another or one adjuster to another.

In some cases, we can be lucky and negotiate a fair resolution, while in others, we must litigate, which can significantly lengthen the process.

We usually attempt to resolve cases pre-suit at KaplunMarx Accident & Injury Lawyers. Still, we always recommend my clients reject lowball offers and litigate if the insurance adjuster is unfair. Our skilled team is not afraid to take on the insurance company in court to get you the compensation you need.

Learn More By Contacting a Philadelphia Attorney for a Free Case Review

There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to car accidents. Get a personalized review of your case by a Philadelphia car accident lawyer rather than comparing it to the averages. You can find out how long it may take to get a settlement check by speaking with a Pennsylvania car accident lawyer. Having a lawyer could also prevent you from accepting a settlement that is less than what you deserve. 

Many insurance companies offer low initial settlement amounts in the hope that the claimant will settle the case quickly without submitting a counteroffer. Before accepting a settlement, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. In addition to getting you the most money for your injury, our PA personal injury lawyers also want you to receive payment as soon as possible. Please allow us to assist you in resolving your car accident case as efficiently and successfully as possible.

Call KaplunMarx Accident & Injury Lawyers at 215-939-4895 today.

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What the most common causes of accidents in Pennsylvania?
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philadelphia car accident

In 2018, Charlotte, NC announced a new safety agenda called Vision Zero to reduce the number of fatal crashes in the community. As it’s home to the 15th most fatal crashes in the country, local leaders felt that a change was needed. Bicycle and pedestrian accidents only account for about 3% of traffic accidents, but nearly 50% of all fatal injuries.

Charlotte isn’t the only city in North Carolina that has a high risk of accidents. North Carolina has the fifth-highest rate of traffic fatalities in the United States, even though it ranks ninth in population.

If you are in the unfortunate situation of suffering from injuries from a car accident, as the lawyers at Cohen & Cohen can explain, you may be entitled to compensation for expenses that are the result of your injuries.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, in 2017, there were over 532,000 crashes, with 2,635 of those crashes involving fatalities. What were the most common reasons?

  • Failure to reduce speed
  • Inattention or distraction
  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Improper lane change
  • Exceeding safe speed for conditions
  • Disregarding traffic signs

One disturbing fact from 2017 is that more children aged 5 to 7 who were unbelted were killed in a motor vehicle crash than 2016, while younger and older children who were unbelted declined. Make sure to have your child properly secured in the car.

Passenger cars and sport utility vehicles experienced the greatest number of crashes, with the most fatalities. Crashes were fairly even between occurring at intersections or non-intersections. The larger cities had the most crashes, but most counties, even rural ones were not without a few crashes that had serious injuries. Drivers create the most dangers on the road themselves.

Traffic crashes rose by 2.8% in 2017, even though the number of fatalities decreased. The number of pedestrian deaths increased by 86.7% in 2017 over 2016. When you walk on the road, you face a higher risk of getting in an accident. Motorcycle deaths decreased from 2017 to 2016, which is encouraging.

The NCDOT calculated the average cost per crash was about $77,000. The crash cost per hour in NC is about $3,126,006 (calculated over a three-year average). The annual cost of all crashes comes in at over $23 billion.

What Can You Learn?

Knowing what causes accidents can help you be a better driver. Remember to slow down for the conditions in which you’re driving. Watch the speed limits and stay within the recommended limits. Avoid distractions from electronic devices. It’s up to the drivers to pay attention to make North Carolina a safer place to drive and walk.If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may want to contact an automobile accidents lawyer to help with your claim and to protect your rights.

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5 Tips for choosing the best attorney for car accidents

Personal Injury

Tips and Guides

There are many Philadelphia personal injury lawyers out there, some are very good, some not so much. Some Philadelphia personal injury firms want to put the least amount of effort into your case and don’t want to put their time and money into it; these are called ‘personal injury settlement mills’.

These ‘settlement mills’, many of whom you may recognize from mid-day or late-night TV advertisements, will often churn a personal injury case to settlement well before it should have been settled, often costing the injured a great deal of money they should have recovered.

Here is a comprehensive guide to use when searching for and selecting a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia to represent you.

TIP #1 – Avoid the Lawyer Who Won’t Explain the Process

What your personal injury lawyer is doing for you should never be a big secret, and if it is, it certainly raises a red flag. As a client, you have a right to stay informed. This means you should be given all the details upfront about attorney fees, average processing time, and possible settlements. This also includes updates along the way.

TIP #2 – Don’t Hire an Attorney if You Can’t Communicate With Them Directly

Communication plays an integral role in the process of a personal injury case; if you can’t communicate with your lawyer directly, you should not hire them. Why? Throughout the process of a personal injury case, you will need to tell the attorney and/or law firm staff about your level of injury, doctor appointments, status, and settlement expectations. Choose a lawyer who makes you feel comfortable and who will communicate with you.

TIP #3 – Only Choose an Attorney Who Bills Injury Cases on a Contingent Fee Agreement

A contingent fee agreement is a system in which your lawyer receives a percentage of your settlement as payment. This means that if you don’t win your case, you owe your lawyer nothing. A contingent fee works as motivation if the client gets nothing from the lawyer, and the law firm is paid nothing for the time and costs they may have invested in the case.

TIP #4 – Will the Lawyer, and Law Firm, Go to Trial? Or Do They Settle the Majority of Cases?

Obviously, you want an attorney who is successful. Look at the personal injury lawyer and the law firm's track record. Do they have a history of securing favorable verdicts and settlements? Is the lawyer, and law firm, willing to file a lawsuit and go to trial if they feel they are not being offered proper value for the personal injury case? Not surprisingly, insurance companies keep records on lawyers and law firms, telling them who will go to court with guns blazing or who will shrink when it comes time to put up or shut up. Select a personal injury lawyer, and law firm, that will go all the way in their attempt to secure you the best outcome for your personal injury case.

TIP #5 – Go With Your Gut When Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Don’t hire a lawyer if your gut is sending you warning signals. A “bad feeling” is usually the first sign that you are picking the wrong personal injury lawyer. Your comfort level with your injury lawyer, their staff, and the law firm means everything when pursuing a personal injury claim.

When searching for a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, keep these five tips in mind. These tips will help you pick the right one and give you a better chance to end up with a successful result once your case is over.

Do you need top Philadelphia personal injury lawyers serving Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, and New Jersey? Contact KaplunMarx Accident & Injury Lawyers in Philadelphia.

Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Injury Law Firm

Suffering a serious injury due to someone else’s negligence is no one’s idea of fun. In some cases, you may even be able to pursue compensation. But, before reaching out to the other party, it’s important to speak with a personal injury attorney. Hiring an attorney will help you understand your options and how you should proceed.

If you’ve never had to hire an attorney before, it can seem like a daunting process. However, asking the right questions upfront will lead you to find a qualified individual. Read on to learn 4 questions you should be asking before hiring an injury law firm.

1. What is your experience with personal injury cases and what were the results?

This no-brainer question gives you the most valuable insight about an injury law firm.

Do they have considerable experience handling personal injury cases? Have they been successful in handling these cases?

Past experience shows that a law firm has more than just background knowledge. It means they have acquired the necessary skills and expertise to produce results. It also wouldn’t hurt to ask for references from past clients. If they have a portfolio, even better.

2. What costs would I be responsible for?

Oftentimes, personal injury cases are handled by way of contingency fees. This means that you wouldn’t be responsible for paying a fee unless you win.

Usually, contingency fees are 33% of the settlement. However, you need to be aware of advance case costs in the event you lose. This can be costly, so you should ensure you aren’t responsible even if unsuccessful.

3. Are you balancing several other cases, currently?

It’s likely a personal injury attorney is overseeing several cases at one time. With this in mind, you should determine if this person has enough time for yours.

You can ask several follow-up questions if they answer ‘yes’ but you feel unsure. Figure out how long it’ll take for your lawsuit to be filed. Also, ask how often they will communicate with you or if they’ll be your main point of contact.

4. What would I need to do to make this a successful case?

As a client, you should understand your responsibilities to drive a successful case. With personal injury lawsuits, there may be certain steps you need to take. This can mean visiting your family physician or seeking other medical attention. Also, it can mean more technical responsibility such as submitting forms, for example.

Designating responsibility from the beginning will prevent miscommunication issues later down the road.

Having said that, you should also be aware of the attorney’s actions and the steps they take to resolve your case.

Can I Fire My Personal Injury Lawyer?

A common question we hear is: Can I fire my personal injury lawyer? In a word, yes! You are the boss, it is your injury case, and you can terminate your lawyer if you are unsatisfied with their services. However, your lawyer may be entitled to fees for work that they have done, which is usually outlined within the fee agreement. Even if the working relationship is strained, there is a correct and polite way to fire an attorney.

One Last Olive Branch

You should try one last time to speak to the lawyer and discuss any issues you are having. Remember, you are the boss! Sometimes these things can get resolved by addressing your concerns with the lawyer directly, and I would always encourage clients to try and communicate their troubles first before making any rash decisions. While it can be frustrating, there could have been a genuine reason for their behavior, and they might be willing to make amends. While their treatment of you may have been rude and unprofessional, it is always wise to clearly communicate your issues with their handling of your case.

What to Do When Talking Doesn't Work

If You have offered to reach out clearly and politely and they still refuse to cooperate, remember to always leave a paper trail. You should send the lawyer a letter detailing why you are terminating them, ask them to stop working on your case, and direct them where they should send the contents of your file, whether it be directly to you or another law firm. Acting courteously and professionally should help to smooth the transition process. There is no need to scream and threaten the lawyer with a bar complaint or otherwise – most lawyers value their reputations and will understand that sometimes differences between clients happen.

As a practical matter, the case file is yours. Still, the fired lawyer may assert a fee for work and costs they have expanded on the file – this will usually get worked out by your new lawyer and the fired lawyer. If a lawsuit has been filed in your injury case you may need the permission of the Court to allow you to terminate your lawyer – but even at that point, you still have the absolute right to fire your lawyer.

So the bottom line to the question is, Can I fire my personal injury lawyer? Yes, you can. This is your personal injury case, not the lawyers. The personal injury lawyer and law firm should always treat you the right way, but you indeed wouldn't be reading this blog post if they did.

Looking for a New Personal Injury Lawyer?

Consider KaplunMarx Accident & Injury Lawyers in Philadelphia for your case. We prioritize our clients' and their cases, guiding them through every step of the process. We are an experienced team of Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys. 

Give us a call at 215-939-4895 or contact us using our contact form.

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How to get a fair settlement

Personal Injury

Auto Insurance Claims

Tips and Guides

"How much is my personal injury case worth?" is the question most clients ask us upon our first meeting about their injury case. Of course, the answer is complex and dependent upon many variables. But for our purposes here, it is easy: It's impossible to know the value of any claim on day one. So RUN from any attorney who tries to tell you the value of your personal injury case on day one. They are just guessing, and you need solid legal representation, not a lawyer pretending to be Nostradamus and trying to divine what the future holds. Within this article, we will guide you through the process of getting a fair personal injury case settlement.

Every claim is unique, even if they appear similar at first glance. For example, even when two individuals are involved in the same car accident and seem to have common injuries, there is a genuine likelihood that the value of their claims will be different. We tell our clients that 1000 factors will come together to help us figure out the value of a case.

If there is one thing about personal injury claims that you must know, it is this: Never settle with an insurance company … before speaking with an injury attorney. An unrepresented injured party is like blood in the water for the insurance company sharks. For example, recently, a severely hurt person in an auto accident came to consult with us. 

Still, he had already signed a general release and accepted a payment of $500.00 from the insurance company for his accident. This person's case would have been worth tens of thousands of dollars, but he is out of luck because little did he realize, by signing the release and accepting this small sum, he signed away all of his rights – before speaking to us.

A personal injury attorney will listen to your story, ask you some questions about your situation and injuries, and give you an idea about what type of offer the insurance company should make. Then, in very short order, a personal injury attorney can let you know if you should accept the settlement or retain an attorney to fight for the compensation you rightly deserve.

How do You Determine the Value of a Personal Injury Case?

There are many factors that we look at before coming up with our best advice – some of those factors:

  • Injuries – Looking at the extent of the injuries sustained, permanency of those injuries, and likelihood of full recovery.
  • Liability – How substantial is the weakness in the particular personal injury case against the party that caused the injury.
  • Trial Statistics – Examining other jury verdicts and settlements with similar injuries cases.
  • Money and Damages – How much do we feel the particular personal injury case may be worth at trial vs. the offer on the table for settlement.

We used these metrics to make a well-informed estimation on the value of the personal injury case, then ALWAYS discuss it with our clients (remember it's your case, don't let any lawyer tell you differently). The injured client always makes the final call as to settlement or not, we will certainly give you our opinion as your injury lawyers, but you get the final say.

What Is Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) and Why Does It Apply to My Personal Injury Case?

To fully understand the extent of your injuries, we must wait until you achieve maximum medical improvement (MMI) to proceed with your case. MMI means that either you have fully recovered or the injury has stabilized to a point where no further recovery is expected. By waiting for MMI, we benefit from understanding the total cost of your medical treatment and any ongoing physical limitations that may exist.

Why Shouldn't I Settle with the Insurance Company?

Below are five reasons you should never settle with an insurance company. Although the insurance companies use their size, money, and strong-arm tactics against people daily, understanding these tricks will help. Read over these reasons before you consider a settlement offer and keep them in the back of your mind as you speak with the insurance adjuster.

  • The insurance adjuster is not your friend. They may seem sympathetic and compassionate, and they may even genuinely feel bad that you were injured, but ultimately, they don't have your interests at heart. The adjuster's job is to get you to settle quickly and for as little as possible. Often, at least initially, the adjuster will present an extremely caring demeanor to bond with you. Then they give the settlement amount almost as if they are doing you a favor. Always remember their job: to get you to settle for as little money as possible.
  • The insurance company trains its adjusters to be manipulative. They may lie to you, twist the facts, and deceive you any chance they get. They will tell you this is their final offer, that you will receive less money if you retain an attorney, that they are doing you a favor. They will try everything to trick you into accepting a low settlement because this is their career. They get paid to get you to take exceedingly low and often insulting settlements.
  • Once the insurance adjuster realizes that you will not quickly settle, they may demean and insult you. Suddenly your friendly insurance adjuster will become grumpy, insulting, and downright mean. They will insist that you are attempting to get more money than you deserve and that you are exaggerating your injuries. They will accuse you of being deceptive. They may avoid your phone calls, getting back to you and giving you "their last final offer." Again, as before, they will do everything they can to get you to settle.
  • The insurance adjuster will trick you and mislead you whenever you speak to them. Everything you say can be used against you when you talk to the adjuster. If they call and ask how you are doing, and you casually answer, 'fine,' they may write down, "Injured party reported on 5/12/2021 that they feel fine." These unfair tactics are par for the course for insurance adjusters. They may try to get you to give a recorded statement or answer questions that they can later twist and use against your case.
  • People who retain an attorney receive more than twice as much in their settlements. A study by the Insurance Research Council found that individuals who hired an attorney to help them through the personal injury process received payments more than twice as high as those who chose to go it alone.

These five reasons you should never settle with an insurance company should be enough, but there are countless other games that the insurance companies play to make your life hell after an accident. Don't go through this yourself. 

How Do Insurance Companies Rig the System?

Insurance companies have spent millions of dollars to develop a computer program called Colossus, whose primary focus is to find ways to reduce payments for injury claims. So how can Colossus do this? Initially, the programmers studied how insurance adjusters made decisions on injury claims and created the program to aggregate the data through questions and spit out a value range. Colossus looks at many factors: the severity of the injury, settlements for the same type of injuries, and verdicts.

The program seems fair and logical on its face, but here is the catch: insurance company executives are inputting the data. Those executives have a mandate to increase the bottom line, and this is done by paying less for injury claims. They are at the controls of Colossus, which means that they can and will skew the data to spit out lower valuations for claims – thus increasing profitability.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer Jonathan Marx discusses the Top 3 insurance company tricks used when trying to minimize the value of your personal injury case. Understanding these tricks can only help when trying to get a fair settlement on your personal injury case.

  1. Insurance adjusters try to rush you to settle immediately.
  2. The 3 D’s: Delay, Deny, and Defend.
  3. Bully Tactics – Adjusters telling the injured “We are going to close your file unless you cooperate”.

What Does the Personal Injury Case Settlement Process Involve?

Your attorney will work with you to collect your medical bills and records, confirmation of lost pay, and physician statements about any physical limitations you may face. Then, your attorney will provide all of that information together with a settlement demand to the insurance company. This is called a Demand Packet

The demand packet will provide a narrative of the accident, information concerning why the other party is at fault, how you have suffered, the ongoing effects of your injury, and an initial settlement figure. The insurance company will generally review this information and counter with a lower settlement figure. This often lengthy process can continue back and forth for several months.

What Happens if a Settlement Cannot Be Reached?

If your attorney and the insurance company do not agree upon a settlement, your case will be tried. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations on personal injury trials is two years. That means that if you do not file your suit within two years from the date of injury, you cannot recover. Rest assured, if we have not achieved a top dollar settlement, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf, making sure you do not miss this deadline.

Unlike some other personal injury law firms, at KaplunMarx, we are not afraid of seeing cases through to trial if we are not offered a satisfactory settlement. In many cases, we often file suits to put added pressure on the insurance company. Our trial attorneys are prepared to go to Court to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. 

The answer to how long it will take to settle your injury case varies, but rest assured, if you are with KaplunMarx, we will work to get a fair personal injury case settlement. To set up a free consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer attorney, call 215-939-4895 or contact us online.

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5 Summertime accidents that can lead to personal injury cases

Auto Accidents

Personal Injury

As Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers, we know that summertime is a great time to enjoy the company of family and friends with swimming pool parties and backyard barbecues. In Pennsylvania, it is also a wonderful time of the year to enjoy the outdoors by riding your bike, taking long walks, and road trips. Unfortunately, however, it is also the time of year when accidents are at their highest. As a result, there is also the potential for other injuries that can range from inconvenient to devastating. Here are five of the most common summertime accidents that can cause personal injury.

Car Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the peak time nationwide for auto accidents. There are many reasons for this increase. Research shows that teen drivers generally spend about 44 percent more time during the week driving than during the school year.

In addition, having more inexperienced drivers on the road increases the risk of collisions. Excessive heat during the summer can also increase the risk of equipment failure. Tires are particularly vulnerable to blowouts during the summer because hotter weather can cause the air inside the tires to expand. Also, in many states, including Pennsylvania, construction crews are out fixing roadways during the summer. When roadwork leads to detours and lane closures, the risk of collisions increases. In addition, during the summertime, particularly during holiday weekends, there are more drunk drivers on our roadways and more road trips and long drives to visit friends and family.

Slip-and-Fall Accidents

Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents also happen all the time during the summer season. Why? Because we spend more time outdoors. These types of accidents can also result in severe or even fatal injuries. Property owners must take the time to repair dangerous conditions such as broken stairs, torn carpeting, and cracked walkways so that their premises are safe for tenants, visitors, and guests. After a long winter, property owners must pay attention to these types of issues and fix them before someone gets badly injured.

Bicycle and Motorcycle Accidents

Children and adults are out riding their bikes when the sun is out. Motorcyclists are also out on the roads during the warmer months. While riding bicycles and motorcycles can be fun, there is also an increased risk for bike accidents. Bicyclists should wear clothing that makes them visible. Motorcyclists should wear the necessary safety gear to protect themselves, even if it's hot out, while bicyclists and motorcyclists should wear helmets to prevent head injuries. Motorists should remember at all times that they share the roadway with other vehicles. They should look out consciously for these smaller vehicles, particularly at street intersections and in residential areas. to avoid serious summertime personal injuries.

Summertime Burn Injuries

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, in 2013, more than 126,035 children across the country were injured due to a fire or burn, and fireworks injured only a tiny percentage. However, there is an increased risk of burn injuries from barbecue grills and fireworks during the weeks of the fourth of July and Labor Day.

As we know, burn injuries can be extremely painful and costly to treat. The best way to prevent these injuries is to ensure that children are under adult supervision at all times. Older children typically suffer burn injuries from direct heat sources such as campfires and grills. The key to preventing burn injury is adult supervision and caution around grills, bonfires, and fireworks for all parties involved.

Pedestrian Accidents

When the sun is out and the days are longer, you see more people walking on the road. Unfortunately, this is also when there is an increase in pedestrian accidents. If you are walking, take safety precautions, such as walking only on sidewalks, crosswalks, and areas designated for pedestrians. Motorists should also be wary of areas where there is heavy foot traffic. Drivers should watch their speed and be sure to yield the right of way to pedestrians.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to receive compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at KaplunMarx can help protect your rights. Call us at 215-393-4895 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation, and case evaluation.

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My Child was injured in an accident. Can I file a claim?

Personal Injury

When a child is injured in an accident, it is the worst time in a parent's life. Parents often have questions and concerns relating to their children's injury and legal rights. Simply put, we get asked this question all the time: My child was injured in an accident – can we file a claim? The focus of this post is to help answer some of these questions and alleviate some concerns that parents will naturally have when children are injured in an accident.

In Pennsylvania, children have the same rights as adults to bring a claim for personal injury, including getting a lawsuit, if they were injured in an accident because of someone else's negligence; our Philadelphia premises liability attorneys can help with that. The first order of business is making sure that the appropriate medical care is obtained for the child to get the treatment they deserve.

This becomes exceedingly important when a child is injured in a car accident or other accident involving issues relating to the brain, including concussion. Recent studies have shown this type of injury on a developing brain can be long-lasting and take some time to manifest.

However, there are three notable differences in the law.

Statute of Limitations on a Childs Accident Injury Case.

The significant difference for a child injured in an accident versus an adult's injury claim is that the minor's statute of limitation will not expire until two years after the child turns 18. In other words, even if a little one is injured as a toddler, they will have the right to file a lawsuit against those responsible for their injuries until they turn 20 years of age. The statute of limitations for an injury claim for an adult is two years in Pennsylvania. This extended statute of limitation for a child hurt in an accident is again for the child's best interest. Injuries, especially in very young, developing children, can manifest over time – specifically as mentioned above relating to concussion injuries on a child's developing brain. The extra time allows for the full extent of a child's injuries to play out and be sure that they are recovered before determining what their injury case is worth.

A Child Cannot Enter a Legal Agreement with an Attorney.

A child (younger than 18) does not have the legal capacity to enter into a fee agreement with an attorney. That means the child's legal guardians have to choose the attorney and sign any fee agreement on behalf of the child. The contingency fee that the attorney can accept for legal services varies. Each county in Pennsylvania has policies regarding the maximum contingent amount acceptable when a child is involved. Each county Court caps an attorney's fee for a child's accident injury case. This is done because the overarching goal is to protect the child's best interest. After the injury and counsel have been chosen, the claim of minor proceeds much the same way an adult's claim moves through the legal system. If and when it comes time for an actual lawsuit to be filed, a child cannot bring a claim in their name alone. The Plaintiff in the case is the child by the parent or guardian—for instance, Billy Smith, a child, by his mother, Connie Smith.

Where Will the Injury Settlement Go Once the Case is Won?

The case will proceed through the litigation process as adults would until it is time for settlement. Before a minor's claim can be conclusively settled, a Petition must be filed with the Court in the county where the litigation is pending or in the county where the child resides. This Petition to the Court will request approval of the settlement, along with the support of the distribution of the proceeds of the settlement. This proposed distribution will detail exactly where the money is going, including the clients' portion, the attorney's fee, costs, and any other items that need to be paid. When the Court does approve the settlement, an Order will be issued. This designates who receives what amounts out of the payment. It also allows any money that is due and owing the child will be placed in an interest-bearing trust account that is not to be touched until the minor reaches adulthood (18) or until a further Court Order is issued.

When to Call a Lawyer about Your Childs Accident Injury Case

As a parent, it is essential to understand that a child's personal injury case may take a long time, but the extended process is in place for the child's best interest. That extra level of protection will, in most cases, help to ensure that all the child's injuries are known and well-healed before the settlement of their injury case. If you have any questions about your child's accident, don't hesitate to get in touch with our firm at 215-939-4895. We are happy to take the time to answer any questions you may have if your child was injured in an accident.

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A guide to filing an injury claim

Tips and Guides

Personal Injury

When you get hurt in an accident, you are faced with a lot of uncertainty and stress. So, stop – take a breath, and let us help. If you are injured in an accident, the process can be overwhelming. Still, there is nothing to worry about if you hire the correct accident attorney in Pennsylvania to guide you through filing your personal injury claim.

If you have been injured in an accident because of someone else's negligence, you deserve compensation from the insurance company of the party who caused the accident. Insurance companies, however, are like most businesses and are constantly focused on increasing their bottom line. 

For this reason, insurers will attempt to limit their liability whenever possible. Too often, a settlement offer from an insurance company will be substantially lower than necessary to cover the injured person's medical bills, lost income from missed work, other injury-related losses, not to mention pain and suffering. Is there a secret to maximize recovery for a personal injury claim?

A personal injury lawyer who understands what an insurance company will do to lower the value of an injury claim going in can turn the odds in the client's favor by getting them to the right expert to evaluate their injury case. Therefore, having a personal injury lawyer who knows the game becomes crucial. This alone can mean the difference between a couple of thousand dollar settlement to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How do I file a Personal Injury Claim?

The guide below explains how to pursue a personal injury claim in Pennsylvania, no matter if you were in a car accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice, or other accident. This walk-through will help you as you progress through this process, just as we work with you to get the compensation you deserve.

Collect Photographs, Evidence, and Contact The Authorities:

Take pictures of your injuries and the accident scene or product that injured you. Photograph several angles and keep anything you receive, such as witnesses' names and phone numbers. Call the police if you have been in a car accident or the building administrator if you were injured at your office or a place of business.

Contact an Attorney: 

It is essential to contact our attorneys as soon as possible after an accident. All personal injury consultation with our attorneys is free. This is where we look at the circumstances surrounding your injury and determine if you have a viable case. Remember – do not talk to the other party's insurance adjuster without first speaking to your attorney for advice and guidance.

Be Diligent in Your Medical Treatment: 

If you are hurt, get to the hospital or see a doctor. Moreover, make sure you follow the doctor's orders related to your treatment. This can include being sent for diagnostic testing like x-rays, MRIs, emg's, and physical therapy. If the doctor sends you for these tests, there is a reason to diagnose and treat your injury correctly.

Keep Notes and All Information Related to the Personal Injury Claim: 

It may seem a pain to keep track of your pain and medical treatment, but these notes can be the difference between a small settlement and a significant cause. Note all of the medical treatments you receive and follow any orders your physician gives you. Hold on to your insurance explanation of benefits, medical bills and receipts, police reports, and any other information, even if you don't think it may not be relevant.

Help Your Attorney Prepare Your Personal Injury Claim:

  1. Keep documenting your injury. If this can be done through photos or video, do so.
  2. Keep all outstanding medical bills related to your injury. Your attorney will ask for your photos, videos, notes, bills, and papers related to the case.
  3. Present them to your attorney as requested so that they can build your case.

Demand Packet to the Insurance Company:

This demand packet is composed by your attorney, discussed with you is to compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property loss. Typically, there will be several rounds of offers and counteroffers before you either reach a settlement or pursue legal action. As attorneys, we are bound by the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct to present all settlement offers to our clients. You will get our opinion on the offer, but the choice to accept is yours.

Reject the Offer and Proceed to Trial:

Rejecting a low-ball settlement offer and filing a lawsuit can provide the type of leverage needed to move the insurance company to a fair settlement offer. Then, we will prepare your injury case for trial, letting the jury (or judge) decide on the proper compensation for your injuries.

The Discovery Process: 

During discovery, both parties collect and present Evidence, respond to interrogatories (questions on paper), and request Evidence. Depositions by the plaintiff, defendant, and witnesses are given with a court reporter present. Evidence is gathered by both sides to put forth their case at trial – this phase can be slow but is often where personal injury cases are won.

Modified Comparative Negligence: 

In Pennsylvania, if you are partially at fault in the accident, your damages can be reduced by a percentage based on the amount of fault. But, again, this is something our attorneys will consider and discuss in the initial consultation, all the way through trial.


The trial process begins with jury selection, or if it's a bench trial, a judge will oversee the problem. Both sides make opening statements, and then the jury considers your claim and any counterclaim. Ultimately the jury then responds with their ruling, and hopefully a lot of money for our client. Remember, sometimes injury cases settle just before the court date because the insurance company wants to avoid the jury result, something they cannot control.

Ways to Maximize Your Personal Injury Claim

There are also ways to negotiate with an insurance company that has offered an inadequate settlement. An experienced personal injury attorney has many tools to prove that you deserve more than the initial offer and one important tool is the use of expert witnesses.

Expert witnesses can analyze your situation and present their findings to the insurer to demonstrate that you truly deserve the total amount of your claim. The following are some expert witnesses that are commonly used in personal injury matters:

  • Medical professionals and specialists testify to your injuries' nature, cause, extent, and all treatments needed.
  • Occupational specialists to analyze your work-related capabilities after your injuries.
  • Accident reconstruction professionals testify that the other party was negligent in causing the accident and that you did not contribute to the cause.

Expert witnesses can play a critical role in a personal injury claim as they can support your allegations regarding your injury-related losses so that you can receive the maximum amount of compensation available in your case. Although expert witnesses get paid for their role in your case, their technical testimony can significantly increase your insurance award. 

Contact an Experienced Attorney to Handle Your Personal Injury Claim

A skilled personal injury lawyer will be able to evaluate your situation and advise you whether using an expert may be worth it in your case.

The team of experts we use, whether a doctor, engineer, accident reconstructionist, economics, or otherwise, are some of the most well-respected professionals in their field. Their evaluation of the claim, expert reports that they write, and often testimony at trial carry a great deal of weight and help us maximize recovery for our injury clients. 

These ten steps to pursue a personal injury claim in Pennsylvania are a general walk-through of the process. However, every case comes with its own set of complexities, and that is precisely why you need an attorney to guide you. 

If you have been injured in an accident in Pennsylvania, we can help! Our team of Personal Injury Lawyers understands the process. We will help you avoid the pitfalls and ultimately work to get you top dollar for your injuries. Contact us at 215-939-4895 for your free consultation.

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