Peacock Tales • Spring 2010

Lawsuits: The Best Offense and a Good Defense

By Roger J. Ecker

In litigation, just as in sports, often the best offense is a good defense.

When our clients come to Peacock Keller & Ecker for any lawsuit or litigation need, they are fortunate enough to get the best of both worlds: good offense and good defense. When you need to go on the offensive and file a suit, our Plaintiff's lawyers are ready to help. When you need to defend liability claims filed against you, our Defense attorneys are there for you. Our litigation lawyers, Roger Ecker, Doug Nolin, Susan Roberts and Frank Adams, know the ropes inside and out — on both offense and defense.

Here are a few practical suggestions if you or a family member are injured in an accident, by a defective product, or by any act of negligence caused by a person or a company:

  • If injured in any way, DO go to the emergency room, the hospital, or your family doctor immediately — not two weeks or a month after the injury.
  • DO call the lawyers at Peacock Keller and Ecker as soon as possible after the injury — before you do anything else.
  • DO get the names, addresses, phone numbers, email, license and insurance numbers of all individuals, vehicles or entities involved in the accident.
  • After providing an investigating police officer with your driver's license, registration card and insurance card and a brief statement of what happened in the accident, DO NOT give verbal, written or telephone statements to anyone else, especially to insurance company representatives or investigators.
  • DO take photos of the accident scene, damages to vehicles and bodily injuries involved in the event.
  • DO preserve the evidence, whether physical, documentary, electronic or photographic, as close in time to the event as possible.
  • DO keep a written, daily diary listing all doctor's appointments, hospital stays, therapy appointments, test and procedures, as well as any changes in physician's instructions, prescriptions, x-rays, MRI's or any other diagnostic tests.
  • DO record any changes in your regular activities of your daily living.
  • DO record changes in physical activities, dates of missed employment and changed social and recreational activities.

On defense, if either you, or a family member, or your business become the object of a claim for damages made against you, here are some of things you should do and not do, to give you the best defense possible:

  • DO NOT give statements, either verbal or written to anyone, especially to insurance representatives or the other party who may be injured.
  • DO call your lawyer at Peacock Keller and Ecker for an appointment as soon as possible.
  • DO call your automobile insurance or general liability insurance company, or your business and commercial liability carrier, to report the facts of the accident and possible injury or damage to third parties.
  • DO at least once a year, review your insurance policies with your agent or broker, possibly your CPA and especially with your Peacock Keller & Ecker lawyer to see if you have the correct and adequate amounts of insurance coverage for the risks that you, your family or your business are exposed to every day.

Remember: for both a good offense for injured Plaintiffs — and for a good defense for Defendants who need protection from liability claims — an ounce of prevention is often worth a pound of cure.

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Peacock Keller, LLP • 70 East Beau Street • Washington PA 15301 • 724-222-4520