Dangers of Swimming Pools

edelstein.augustblog.jpg

Summer is in full swing, bringing plenty of sunshine and warm days. This means it is time to hang out at the pool and have fun! However, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of swimming pools such as drowning and slip and falls.

 Drowning

Drowning is a danger that most people are aware of, although it does still happen. It can take just seconds for someone to drown and can lead to permanent injuries, including death. Keep these precautions in mind in an effort to prevent drowning:

-       Always have a fence around a pool, especially when there are children around

-       Keep a close eye on children and people who cannot swim around water

-       Be familiar with the pool depth

-       Keep lifesaving equipment around

 Slip and Falls

One of the most common hazards around swimming pools are slip and falls. To prevent slip and falls around the pool, keep areas dry and safe. Always beware of puddles and always walk slowly around water. A slip and fall around the pool can lead to many injuries including spinal cord injuries, brain damage and more.

At community pools, it is the responsibility of the property to take action and keep the area safe. This includes posting signs warning visitors of slippery conditions and reminding them to walk slowly. Employees must also keep areas dry by mopping up any water in locker rooms, entryways, and on decks. Rubber mats are also useful in these areas as they create traction.

 What To Do If You Slip and Fall

You might have a claim on your hands if you end up slipping and falling at a pool that causes an injury. After you report to a medical professional for treatment, speak with a slip and fall lawyer Philly to know what to do about moving forward with a claim. 

It is important to note that you will need to prove negligence. It is the duty of the property to protect any customers by warning any guests of potential slip and fall hazards, including pool areas. If they fail to keep you safe, this could prove that they failed in their duty of safety.

In addition to this, you will need to prove that the slip and fall caused you harm. Before moving forward with a claim, be sure that your injuries are worth it. Meaning, if you simply suffered from a small bruise or cut, you may want to rethink a claim. It is recommended to speak with your attorney to learn what is in your best interest. If you did suffer from severe injuries, you could receive damages to help with medical bills, lost wages, and compensation for any pain or suffering caused by the injury.

Remember, always follow the rules at the pool and pay attention to any signs, but if you do suffer from an injury caused by a slip and fall, speak with an attorney right away to know your rights.

Edelstein Law

At Edelstein Law, we will aggressively work for you from the very beginning of your case, following through until the very end. We are a well-recognized and respected law firm in the Philadelphia area that has significant experience representing injured victims and their families involved in personal injury cases, especially slip and falls.

Things To Be Aware of As a Bicyclist

Edelstien.bicyclist .jpg

With summer officially here, it is time to get out and enjoy the sunshine! One of the best ways to enjoy the weather is to enjoy a bike ride. Remember, you do need to be safe on the streets. If you have been injured while riding your bike, you might have a claim on your hands, so be sure to talk with a Philadelphia accident lawyer to know the proper steps to take.

Staying Safe on the Pavement

When riding your bike on the pavement along with traffic, be sure you are riding properly. If there is a cycle path, it is best to use that instead of the road. It is also important to use the proper bike. Always be extra careful when riding your bike in rainy weather. With the warm temperatures and wet roads, it can be extra slippery. It can also take you longer to stop and bad weather can be difficult to maneuver in.

Always Be in View

While riding on the streets, ensure that you are always in the view of drivers and other pedestrians. Make sure to be seen by putting red lights on your bike and be heard with a bell. Wearing bright and reflective clothing will also be helpful. Before you ride on the streets, always make sure that you know your turning symbols to alert other drivers of where you are going.

Be On the Lookout

It is the responsibility of both the bike rider, drivers and other pedestrians to avoid accidents. Start by paying attention and doing what you can to prevent an accident. Never assume that a car is going straight as they could be turning without using their blinkers. Make a habit of hanging back and observing the situation. Try your best not to ride beside large vehicles or buses as it is hard for them to see. Do not ride between cars or try to beat the traffic as this can be dangerous. It is best to always follow all laws and be aware of all bicyclist laws in your area.

Wear Safety Gear

Riding your bike means wearing safety gear such as a helmet, the right clothes, the right shoes and possibly gloves. It will depend on the type of bike ride you are going on and your experience. For example, riding on the roads will require less gear than riding in the mountains. It is also important to make sure your bike is properly taken care of. Check the tires and gears to ensure everything works properly each time before going on your ride.

Motorist

As a driver on the roadways, you need to be aware of and mindful of bicyclists. When turning, always watch and look out for a bicyclist. You never want to cut them off. When passing a bicyclist, if possible, give as much of a gap as possible. When driving at night and approaching a bicyclist, dim your headlights so you don’t blind them. During wet weather, give bicyclists even more room. Remember, always share the roadways with bicyclists to help prevent an accident!

Filing a Claim with Edelstein Law

If you have suffered an injury from an accident, you will need to file a personal injury claim. The legal team at Edelstein Law will offer advice and legal representation on a number of different personal injury cases. Sit down with our experienced personal injury attorneys to review your options. Our team will always go the distance to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve and never settle for less.

Summertime Slip and Fall Hazards

blue-water-empty-pattern-97047.jpg

Summer is here and that means fun in the sun and plenty of vacations. Of course, you want to stay safe this summer and you can do that by being aware of these slip and fall hazards that are common during the summer months, and knowing what to do if involved in a slip and fall. We are all aware of the dangers of slip and falls in the winter such as ice and snow. So, what kind of danger do we see in the summer in Philadelphia or while on vacation?

Slipping on Common Hazards

Summer months can often bring lots of rain. With the sidewalks being warm, adding rain to the mix makes for slippery conditions. Always be careful when walking on sidewalks after rainfall. Also, be aware of any cracks in the sidewalk, as these can cause you to trip while walking or even riding your bike.

Pools are going to cause slippery conditions as well. This is why it is important to never run but always walk around the pool, especially when there is a lot of water on the ground. Kids will be running around playing with hoses and water guns, which can cause puddles in unlikely places. Always pay attention to your surroundings and never be in a rush to get somewhere. Barbecues are popular during the summer months, but can also cause slipping hazards, especially when food, ice, cocktails and ice cream are dropped on the floor.

Poor lighting is also a factor when it comes to slipping and falling. Walking around outside or even inside a property if you are not familiar with it under poor lighting conditions may make it difficult for you to get around, and there could be plenty of things that may cause you to fall.

Traveling on Vacation

Slip and falls can happen on vacation. Just remember that property owners are usually the ones responsible for keeping the property safe and preventing slip and falls hazards on the premises. If there are dangerous conditions on the property, there should always be signs and warnings alerting you to the hazards. This is when you need to pay attention to your surroundings.

Ways to Avoid Slip and Falls

When avoiding slip and falls, it really comes down to common sense and just paying attention. Never run when around pools or around puddles of water, especially when wearing shoes such as sandals or heels. Always be aware of any signs around that warn you of dangerous conditions. In addition to knowing how to avoid a slip and fall, it is helpful to know what to do if you do end up being injured in a slip and fall.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

After being injured in a slip and fall, you should always seek medical assistance right away and report the incident. Then, you will need to file a personal injury claim. An experienced personal injury attorney will sit down with you to review your options and give you the legal advice you need. Neglect, such as the owner of the property failing to keep premises safe, usually needs to be a factor in a slip and fall to win a personal injury claim. Your attorney will work to prove this so that you can receive the damages you deserve. In the state of Pennsylvania, you must bring a slip and fall claim forward within 2 years of the incident.

Edelstein Law Firm

Have you been injured in a slip and fall this summer and are looking for a skilled accident attorney Philadelphia that will focus on your case while aggressively fighting for you? The attorneys at Edelstein Law have in-depth knowledge and experience with slip and fall cases to fight for you from the beginning of your case to the end, never settling for less than you deserve and always working to find you justice.  

How Social Media Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim

apple-cell-phone-cellphone-607812.jpg

Social media is more popular than ever. It is known for people posting anything and everything about their lives, but did you know that posting on social media about your accident or personal injury claim can jeopardize your claim in the end?

The Power of Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms are more prominent than you may think. Since there are so many different social media platforms, there are many different outlets to vent on. You may think your accounts are private, but even still there are many ways to find your interactions on social media. There are also many ways you can hurt your claim by posting even the littlest bit of information. This includes your current location, posting about being happy, posting photos of you working out--as all of these things may not seem like a big deal. However, if you have been involved in an accident and are in the middle of a personal injury claim, some of these posts can be used against you.

Examples of Posts That Can Hurt Your Claim

After you have been injured in an accident and you start a claim, you should avoid posting any photos or posts about being active like working out or even doing things like dancing. This can be used as proof that you are not as injured as you may claim or that you are not taking proper care of your injury. If you are claiming that you are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or emotional issues, posting posts and photos of you out having fun and portraying a positive life could also be used against you. The other party will try to spin these posts to make it appear that you aren’t actually suffering emotionally from the accident. Posting about your accident or claim should be avoided at all costs. This includes posting photos, details, venting about the other party, blaming the other party, or discussing your injuries that you suffered from the accident. It is best to just never post any information about your accident or personal injury claim on any of your social media accounts.

Monitor Your Social Media

The other party involved in your personal injury claim will do everything in their power to find something to use against you, including lurking on your social media pages. Even though you might think that your pages are private, posts and photos can still be found. Not only will your posts be looked at, but also your friends’ posts. This means that anything you say on another person’s posts can actually end up hurting you and your claim. It is best to avoid posting at all during your claim. In fact, you might even consider deactivating your accounts during this time.

Edelstein Law

Have you been injured in an accident and need to start a personal injury claim? You will want to work with a trusted and reliable Philadelphia accident lawyer. Edelstein Law specializes in personal injury cases and are there to provide you advice, especially when it comes to your social media pages and what you are posting. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Edelstein Law will always focus on your case and have the in-depth knowledge about personal injury accidents to fight for you from the beginning of your case to the end, never settling for less than you deserve. While you are recovering from your accident and injuries, the extra stress of trying to receive the damages you are owed can be a burden. With the help of Edelstein Law, their legal team will take care of your entire case so that you can direct all of your energy to healing!



Talking with Your Child About Sexual Abuse

Talking to your child about sexual abuse isn’t an easy topic to bring up, but it is a topic that needs to be addressed. It is important to really take the time to talk with your child about what sexual abuse is and what to do if they are a victim.

Be Honest & Open

The most important thing to remember when talking with your child about the difficult topic of sexual abuse it so be honest with your child. You want your child to feel comfortable talking to you about these issues. Sex abuse isn’t an easy topic to discuss, but being open with your child will help open up the discussion. Conversations about safety should start at a young age to help them understand. If they do experience sexual abuse, encourage them to always speak up. It is important to be direct with your child and to not tiptoe around the topic. If you show your child that you are nervous, then they will become nervous, making the whole situation much more difficult to deal with.

Provide Education

Providing education is another way to discuss sexual abuse. Teach your children wrong from right and to understand the importance of privacy of their own body. Children need to know that it isn’t okay for others to touch them inappropriately and that it is okay to say no. Stranger danger should be something that is discussed at an early age as well. Education is extremely important when talking with your child about sexual abuse because it will help them really understand the significance of it. Of course, this can be a sensitive subject. Just do your best in making the conversation as comfortable as possible and let your child know that this is a very important conversation, but that they can always confide in you.

Be Open to Questions

Children always ask a lot of questions and this is a time where they may have many questions to ask. Always be open to answering any questions they may have and let them know it is ok to be confused at first and that it is ok to always ask questions. In some cases, you might even have to have the conversation more than once, which is okay too! The goal is for your child to really understand the importance of reporting sexual abuse and encourage them to always speak up, no matter how scared or confused they might be. Creating a safe zone for your child is necessary and they need to know that you can provide them that safety.

If your child has reported that they have been a victim of sexual abuse, always report to the police right away and talk with an attorney. An attorney will help you through the difficult process and offer the legal advice and representation you need.

Edelstein Law Firm

When the unthinkable happens, you want someone to be on your side like a sex abuse attorney Philadelphia. At Edelstein Law Firm, you will work with an experience attorney that will respect your privacy during this sensitive time while still fighting to bring you justice. Dealing with sexual abuse isn’t going to be easy, but you will always have someone on your side when working with the trusted attorneys at Edelstein Law Firm.

Things to Avoid When Filing a Personal Injury Claim

edelstien.road.cars.march.jpg

After being injured in any type of accident, you will want to meet with a trusted personal injury attorney to receive advice on what to do next and to help you through the process of filing a claim. You may have been told what you need to do to file a claim. However, keep in mind that there are some things you always want to avoid when filing a personal injury claim.

Personal Injury Claim

A personal injury claim is a legal dispute after one person has suffered an injury in an accident and another party is legally held responsible. During a claim, evidence must prove that the other party must have shown negligence, causing harm. A Philly accident lawyer will build a strong case for you, taking care of all of the difficult parts such as dealing with the insurance companies and the other parties involved. This is why talking with a personal injury attorney after being involved in an accident is important, especially to know all of your options and to know what to expect so that you get the most that you deserve out of your case. Every proper step you take helps with a successful claim.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Before you do anything, always seek medical attention right away after being injured in an accident. If you don’t follow through with this, you are pretty much stating that you are not injured and it is very difficult to file an injury claim later on down the road. Your injury must be proven with medical documentation. If you wait to receive medical attention, there could be the question that your injury didn’t stem from the accident, making your case very difficult to win. Even if you are unsure if you are injured (remember, some injuries take weeks to surface) it is smart to always be evaluated by a medical professional right after an accident--never wait or decline medical treatment. After receiving medical treatment, it is important to never stop treatment early. You should always keep going with your therapy and treatment options until officially discharged. All of these things will be documented by your doctor, which will be used as evidence in your case.

Don’t Miss Any Important Information

Next, never miss getting any information from the other party involved. Proper documentation is crucial for any personal injury claim. This means getting the name, address, phone number and insurance information from everyone involved in the accident. Also, get the contact information of any witnesses. You want to always be upfront and honest with all of your information as well and be as cooperative as possible. This means never lie about your information, about your injuries or about what happened during the accident. Official statements are always going to come into play during your claim.

Don’t Speak with Insurance Companies Without Proper Guidance

Most importantly, never talk to insurance companies without first speaking with an attorney. Your attorney will prepare you on what to say as insurance companies know what they are doing and will try to get an early statement from you to settle for less. Insurance companies are known for trying to trap victims into saying something they shouldn’t to impact the settlement. Speak with an attorney to receive legal advice and always keep in mind that less is actually more when it comes to speaking with another insurance company.

Never Settle Without Proper Legal Representation

Of course, you never want to settle without the legal representation of a Philadelphia injury attorney. You will always receive more from your claim with the help and expertise of a skilled attorney as they understand how the system works. Avoid making any negotiations without an attorney present as well. Your attorney is a professional when it comes to personal injury cases and know how to properly negotiate with insurance companies and other parties involved.

Edelstein Law

At Edelstein Law, we will aggressively work for you from the very beginning of your case, following through until the very end. We are a well-recognized and respected law firm in the Philadelphia area that has significant experience representing injured victims and their families involved in personal injury cases. From auto accidents to slip and fall accidents, Edelstein Law can assist you with any personal injury claim.



Don’t Underestimate the Long Term Impacts Of a Car Accident

Being involved in an automobile accident is a traumatic experience, whether you suffer  injuries or not. Afterwards, you might be feeling fine, but it is always important to receive medical attention after an accident right away since it can take days or even weeks for symptoms to show up. On top of physical injuries, never underestimate the long term psychological impacts that being involved in an accident can cause.

Physical Effects

It isn’t hard to believe that car accidents are extremely common, and one of the leading causes of injury and death. From sprains to broken bones, injures can range from minor to severe. Whiplash is caused by the sudden movement of the neck and is commonly caused by car accidents. Brain trauma can also occur from being involved in a car accident, which can cause issues with coordination and memory. Some of these injuries can make a lasting impact on your life, for just a few months to a few years to a lifetime. This is why filing a personal injury claim to receive damages is extremely beneficial for your recovery. Not only are injuries suffered from these accidents painful, they can be costly, as some injuries might require multiple doctor visits, treatments, medications and possibly therapy. These effects can last long after the accident. Receiving medical treatment right after being involved in an accident is crucial to your health and to your personal injury case. Especially with whiplash, symptoms from injuries sustained in a car accident can take weeks to show up. Plus, not receiving the medical treatment you may need after an accident could hurt your chances of receiving damages in a personal injury case.

Psychological Effects

Physical injuries aren’t the only lasting effects that can be caused by an auto accident. Being involved in accident can also cause emotional and psychological effects. We all know injuries are painful, but these injuries can also lead to anxiety or even depression. Some injuries require limited activity and mobility, which often times leads to the feeling of isolation. Stress can also build-up after being involved in an accident as you may need to attend a number of medical appointments for your injury or attend court dates after filing a claim. Post-traumatic stress disorder isn’t uncommon after experiencing a traumatic event like an accident. In fact, car accidents are one of the major causes of PTSD. Suffering from PTSD can impact your ability to function properly, whether it be at work or in a social setting. Often times being involved in a car accident will bring on a mixture of emotions including fear, anger, shock, anxiety and even guilt. Some people even experience nightmares and flashbacks. These issues can impact your relationships and cause issues with your sleep, eating habits and even bring on mood swings. It is common for people who have been injured in a car accident to feel afraid of driving in a car again. Therapy might even be needed in some cases.

Financial Burden

The financial strain that comes with being involved in an accident can also take a toll on your health. The cost of treatment for injuries will quickly add-up, especially if you have to miss work. A personal injury claim can take time and unfortunately, you may not receive the damages you deserve right away. This can cause even more stress on your mind and body. Working with an experienced attorney can help relieve the stress as they will be the ones to deal with the insurance companies and other involved parties to get your damages as quickly as possible. When working with a personal injury attorney, remember to always be open and honest throughout the entire process. Following the right steps through your case with the guidance of an experienced attorney will decrease your stress, leading you on a faster road to recovery.

Edelstein Law

Working with a trusting and supportive personal injury attorney during your recovery will help you get through this challenging time. At Edelstein Law, we know how difficult it is to be involved in an auto accident and the stress that going through a personal injury claim can cause. We will aggressively fight for you so that you will receive the justice and damages you deserve. Our goal is to get your claim settled as quickly as possible, while understanding the sensitivity of your situation.



What You Need to Know About Slip & Falls During the Winter

Edelstein January.jpg

Slip and falls can happen, and they can happen to anyone and at any time. They happen to be more common in the winter months thanks to wet, slippery, and icy conditions. These personal injuries are common in the elderly but can happen to anyone at any age. So, if you have been a victim of a slip and fall, what can you do?

What is a Slip & Fall

A slip and fall can lead to a personal injury case. When suffering injury from a slip and fall, you may require a premise liability lawsuit and could receive compensation since the owner of a location needs to exercise reasonable care to maintain the safety of the premises, like avoiding defective stairs and wet floor. It is necessary for owners to take precautions, communicate any unstable conditions, or be held legally accountable for any injuries from a slip and fall.

Causes of Slip & Fall

Nursing homes are a common place for slip and falls during the winter when conditions can become a safety hazard for slip and falls. You need to always be aware of your surroundings as the following could cause a slip and fall:

- Uneven pavement or stairs

- Loose flooring

- Irregular surfaces

- Slippery floors

- Insufficient lighting

- Hazardous winter conditions which may cause the flooring to be wet or  icy

A slip and fall can lead to significant injury. In fact, injuries can be minor to severe and temporary to permanent. Common injuries suffered from a slip and fall include:

- Bruises

- Cuts

- Concussions

- Broken bones

- Neck and back injuries

- Internal injuries

- Head injuries

- Death

On top of physical injuries, emotional distress and financial burdens will likely arise from a slip and fall. Medical bills could pile up and you may have to miss work, causing you to lose out on wages. A lawsuit can help you receive compensation to help with these financial burdens and hold the person responsible accountable.

Who is Responsible for Slip and Falls?

Keep in mind that a property owner isn’t always held responsible for accidents that may happen from a slip and fall on their property. Every person has a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings and know where they are going. However, you could have a legal claim on your hands if there has been negligence, and the owner of the premises has been found responsible. This is why you should always seek legal advice right away to see if you do have a personal injury case to move forward with.

Steps to Filing a Claim

After you have been injured in a slip and fall, seek medical assistance right away and report the incident to the property. After that, be sure to speak with a personal injury attorney to review your options. To determine if there is a premise liability claim, report all of the facts to your attorney. The owner of the premises or an employee must have caused a spill, worn spot, or other hazard causing dangerous locations. There could also be a case if they have known about the issue and didn’t do anything about it, or if they didn’t know, but should have known. In the case that any reasonable person would be able to discover, remove, or repair the safety hazard, a reasonable negligence claim can be filed if it has been found that the defendant didn’t do their job to make regular efforts to keep a safe environment, the lack of preventative maintenance, or if the safety hazard has been there for a long time. Would a barrier or sign prevent the slip and fall? Perhaps poor lighting was the cause. Then, you must explore the options of a personal injury lawsuit. The defendant file this within the statute of limitations. In the state of Pennsylvania, you must bring a slip and fall claim forward within 2 years of the incident. Remember the case may take some time, so remain patient. Work with an honest, skilled, and experienced lawyer, who will be able to get the case rolling and solved as quickly as possible with the outcome you deserve.

Types of Slip and Falls

When filing a personal injury claim from a slip and fall, be aware of the different types.

Trip & Fall Accidents

Trip and fall accidents occur when you trip and fall due to an obstacle in the way. All areas need to be clear of clutter, free from hazards, and safe.

Step & Fall Accidents

A step and fall accidents happen with an injury occurs from an uneven step or payment, causing you to lose balance and fall. This usually happens from cracks, broken stairs or pitted holes.

Stump & Fall Accidents

Stump and fall accidents happen when a walkway is defective, causing you to stumble and lose your balance.

Slip and falls can happen anywhere and are known to be a leading cause of death in the elderly. This is because slip and falls happen more often at nursing homes. This doesn’t mean you don’t have a case on your hands if it happened outside of a nursing home. This is especially true in winter conditions. The owner of the property still needs to be responsible for keeping premises safe, even in harsh winter weather. Whether it be by posting signs or keeping the area clear of snow and ice. If negligence has been found, you will have a strong case on your hands.

Edelstein Law Firm

At Edelstein Law Firm, we have a team of trusting lawyers that understand personal injury cases, especially slip and falls. They have the experience and skills to fight for you and get what you deserve, while holding the responsible party accountable. Edelstein Law Firm is known as  the top Philadelphia personal injury lawyer for a reason.

Edelstein Law Wins Supreme Court Case as PA. Justices Require Consent For 3rd-Party Insurance Claims

Law360 (November 21, 2018, 6:19 PM EST) -- A worker’s compensation insurer needs the consent and participation of an injured worker in order to bring claims against the parties responsible for the injury, and merely claiming a lawsuit was filed “on behalf of” the injured worker is insufficient, a split Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled Wednesday.

Clarifying an earlier ruling on a different case that barred independently launched subrogation actions while allowing claims properly filed on behalf of a subrogee, the 5-2 Supreme Court majority found that The Hartford Insurance Group couldn’t bring a lawsuit against the driver and rental car company that injured insured worker Chunli Chen if Chen herself had not filed claims against them or joined in Hartford’s lawsuit, since the insurer trying to subrogate and recover some of what it paid Chen was effectively preventing Chen from filing her own actions against the defendants.

“Sanctioning a workers’ compensation carrier to pursue litigation of the injured employee merely by captioning the complaint as ‘on behalf of’ the employee and including a bald assertion seeking any recovery due the employee, contravenes the very jurisprudence establishing that it is the injured worker who retains the cause of action,” wrote Justice Max Baer in the majority’s opinion. “Absent the injured employee’s assignment or voluntary participation as a party plaintiff, the insurer may not enforce its … right to subrogation by filing an action directly against the tortfeasor.”

The court majority reiterated and clarified the precedent it had set in the 2015 case of Liberty Mutual Insurance v. Domtar Paper , noting that even if the insurer were filing the suit “on behalf of” Chen and seeking to establish the defendants’ liability to her, the point of Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act was to first serve the injured worker and give her the right to file any lawsuits, which would be precluded by allowing insurers to independently sue since the law doesn’t allow for the same damages to be recovered twice by different parties.

“Granting an employer an independent cause of action against the tortfeasor would impermissibly split the employee’s cause of action, thereby subjecting the tortfeasor to multiple suits for the same harm,” the opinion says.

The decision overturned a Superior Court ruling and upheld the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas’ ruling that had tossed the case on the defendants’ preliminary objections, which cited the Domtar Paper case and said The Hartford couldn’t bring the case against them without Chen.

One day in October 2013, Chen was waiting to rent a vehicle in the parking lot of a Thrifty Car Rental when she was struck and injured by a vehicle driven by defendant Kafumba Kamara.

Both the defendants and the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, which filed an amicus brief for them, said the insurer could not independently sue regardless of whether it was filing the suit “as a subrogee of” or “on behalf of” Chen.

The Hartford countered that its lawsuit was still preserving Chen’s independent claims and she could still elect to join it, and it noted that while it would need her cooperation during discovery and her testimony at trial, her participation was not needed when it came to filing the lawsuit.

In a pair of dissenting opinions, Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor and Justice Debra Todd reiterated why they had also dissented in the Domtar Paper case, saying it had limited a longstanding precedent allowing employers to sue in their employees’ name.

Though the majority had noted that letting insurers sue on employees’ behalf could preclude their rights to sue independently, Justice Saylor said the court could dictate procedures for notifying employees and giving them the opportunity to participate so those rights could be preserved.

Justice Todd joined Justice Saylor’s dissent and added her own, saying that the majority ruling tied the hands of insurers whose clients chose not to sue and left them without a way to recover their costs.

“It leaves an insurer which has paid an injured employee’s workers’ compensation claim arising out of the tortious actions of a third party without a means to enforce its statutory right to subrogation against the third party in situations such as this one, where the injured employee elects, for whatever reason, not to pursue a tort action against the third party,” Justice Todd wrote. “This, in turn, will unavoidably, and unnecessarily, lead to higher workers’ compensation insurance rates.”

Since it decided the case based solely on whether Domtar Paper applied, the Supreme Court did not weigh the second question in the appeal, which was whether the insurance company could have one of its employees verify the complaint instead of Chen.

“We are extremely pleased with the high court’s ruling, in particular its strict adherence to the precedent it established in Domtar,” said Christopher N. Leeds of Edelstein Law LLP, who represented the defendants.

David R. Kunz of Kunz & Germick, representing The Hartford, said that despite losing the appeal, he was grateful for the clarity it provided his client, which could now avoid litigating other cases the same way as Chen’s and fighting to preserve them in preliminary objections.

David C. Harrison of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice said he was happy the court recognized the risk to injured workers if insurers were able to sue without including them — and without even notifying them that they were suing. Since subrogation claims don’t include damages for a plaintiff’s pain and suffering, the insurer could theoretically settle with a defendant for less money, and the injured party would then be blocked from recovering the rest, he said.

“It’s a good opinion and I agree with it,” Harrison said. “I’m glad the court is recognizing the danger and sympathizing with the injured parties.”

The Pennsylvania Association for Justice is represented by David C. Harrison.

The Hartford Insurance Group is represented by David R. Kunz of Kunz & Germick.

Kamara, Thrifty Car Rental and Rental Car Finance Group are represented by Jay L. Edelstein and Christopher N. Leeds of Edelstein Law LLP..

The case is The Hartford Insurance Group on behalf of Chunli Chen v. Kamara et al., case number 24 EAP 2017, in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

--Editing by Adam LoBelia.