Laurie Tewinkle, Attorney at law.

Address: 821 state street. Erie, Pennsylvania 16501. Phone: (814) 454-1100

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What is a personal injury?

A personal injury (sometimes referred to as bodily injury) is any physical or mental injury to a person as a result of someone's negligence or harmful act.

Q. When is a personal injury attorney needed?

If you have been seriously injured or are unsure as to the outcome of your injury, you are better off hiring an attorney as soon as possible. You should always consult an experienced personal injury attorney before you give any statements or sign papers of any kind. 

Q. How do I know if I have a personal injury claim?

To have a personal injury case, you must be able to show that you have been injured, either physically or emotionally, by someone else under a negligence, strict liability or intentional misconduct theory.

Q. What is medical malpractice?

When a medical professional, such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, technician, hospital worker, hospital or other health care provider causes harm or death to a patient by failing to provide suitable care, medical malpractice or medical negligence occurs.

Q. What must be proved in medical malpractice cases?

Three basic elements must be proven in a medical malpractice case against a health care professional.

  1.  You must show established standards of medical practice were not followed.
  2. Negligence or wrongdoing that resulted in the patient’s injury or suffering must be proved.
  3. Damages caused by the medical malpractice must be shown.

Lack of adequate proof of any one of the three elements will result in failure of your case.

Q. If I suspect that malpractice has occurred, what should I do?

If malpractice is suspected, as soon as possible, consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Tell the attorney exactly how the events unfolded; if possible, obtain your medical records so the attorney can have them reviewed by an expert. If the patient’s care is ongoing by the physician, you may want to transfer the patient to another hospital or health care provider.

Q. What is a “wrongful death?”

A wrongful death is an unnecessary death that has been caused by the negligence of another person or company. Examples of wrongful death include those caused by a drunk, reckless or careless driver, an intentional act such as a deliberate murder, deaths caused by the manufacture of an unsafe, defective or dangerous product, or even deaths caused by a physician failing to diagnose a treatable disease.

Q. What qualifies as “neglect” in a nursing home setting?

Neglect is defined as the failure to provide services essential to a person’s health and safety, such as food, shelter, clothing, supervision and medical care.

Q. What does the term “bad faith” insurance mean?

“Bad faith” refers to unreasonable or unfair conduct by an insurance company. An insurance policy is considered a contract between you and your insurance carrier. Bad faith insurance is any matter regarding an insurance claim by an Insured that is wrongfully denied by the Insurer.

Q. Why do insurance companies commit “bad faith?


Insurance companies have a self interest to not pay claims; it saves them money. Companies receive thousands of claims daily and wrongfully deny many of them. Very few people actually dispute their claim, which keeps millions of dollars with the company.

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