How to Protect Yourself and Select the Best Attorney to Handle Crash Injuries

By Christian Schappel correspondent
Bad things do happen to good people. And when those things happen on the roadway, you want to take two steps to protect your loved ones and yourself:

The first is making sure you have adequate insurance coverage. The second is making sure you select a skilled attorney with experience and a strong reputation for dealing with motor vehicle accident cases.

That is the advice of William Goldman, Esquire, trial attorney and managing partner at Goldman Law Offices in Doylestown, Pa.

What is adequate insurance coverage? The answer is not the same for everyone, but it often means obtaining more than state-minimum-level coverage.

"For a small amount of money, you can purchase additional coverage to protect yourself," Goldman said. "You must protect yourself against the negligent acts of under-insured or uninsured motorists, as experience tells us there are many under-insured and uninsured motorists on our roads."

For starters, Goldman recommends making sure motorists purchase first-party benefits that will cover medical costs and income lost as a result of injuries sustained in an accident.

"This is important so your bills can be paid, regardless of fault," he said.

Another recommendation: Explore stacked coverage if you have multiple cars. Goldman said stacked coverage allows you to multiply your uninsured motorist and under-insured motorist coverage limits by how many cars you have for a minimal cost.

He also advised that drivers select full-tort, rather than limited-tort coverage.

"This allows you to collect for loss of life’s pleasures, and pain and suffering, without limitation," Goldman said. "If you select limited-tort, you are barred from suing for loss of life's pleasures, unless the driver was drunk, there was a serious injury, disfigurement or death."

"The key is to be proactive and preemptive," he added.

But if the time comes to present a claim or head to a courtroom, it pays to do your homework on who is going to represent you.

"You want an attorney who is skilled in a courtroom and has recognized abilities," Goldman said. "Insurance companies know who we are."

There are numerous resources available to you in order to find the right lawyer.

Example: William Goldman has been given the highest rating possible, AV® Preeminent™, by Martindale-Hubbell, a company that provides peer as well as client ratings of attorneys nationwide. Consumers can view the ratings at www.Martindale.com.

Goldman has also been recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer since 2004. Super Lawyers is a rating service (www.SuperLawyers.com) that uses peer ratings to recognize attorneys with a high degree of expertise and achievement.

"Those are some of the recognitions you can look for to make sure an attorney is, a) competent and qualified, and, b) skilled in his or her profession," Goldman said, explaining that the Internet is a great tool for seeing what others — both peers and clients — say about an attorney.

Once you have selected an attorney, Goldman said it is critical to establish an immediate rapport with him or her.

"You want a counselor, an advisor and an advocate," he said. "It is also imperative to be open and honest with each other."

In addition, Goldman said a good attorney will get to work immediately investigating the car accident, interviewing witnesses, reviewing emergency medical services records and making sure the client is receiving the best medical treatment.

"You need a lawyer who sees the big picture," he said.

Goldman Law Offices are located at 90 E. State Street, Doylestown, PA, 18901. The office may be reached at 215-348-2605, and www.GoldmanLawOffices.com