Car Crashes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Did you know that car accidents are Pennsylvania’s leading cause of injuries? The insurance industry will do its best to minimize its loss and increase its profits, which is why it is important to get the help of a seasoned Philadelphia car accident attorney to fight for you.
Accidents can be life-altering, especially when you have to live with significant injuries and emotional trauma. Going alone against a large insurance company will only make matters worse. If you are looking for an accident attorney to work your case, The Villari Firm can provide you with counsel to assist with insurance settlement talks and court actions. Call our Philadelphia personal injury law firm to learn more!
Why Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Pennsylvania?
Here are some situations when you should consider requesting our legal assistance.
You Are Held Responsible for the Car Accident
Nobody will want to take the blame for a car collision. No one. It is, therefore, typical for everyone involved (and their insurers) to assign blame and point fingers. If you reside in a state like Pennsylvania with modified comparative fault statutes, your ability to seek compensation might be severely hindered. You must be less than 51 percent at fault in Pennsylvania to obtain compensation for an accident. If other parties attempt to blame you, their techniques might hinder or even prevent your take-home recovery.
Our skilled Philadelphia car accident lawyer can defend you against these claims and ensure you get the compensation you need.
You’re Working With a Car Insurance Provider
Contrary to what they claim in television advertisements, insurance firms are not on your side. If you are injured in an accident, they will not be concerned with ensuring that you obtain compensation for all of your losses. They are a business, after all – profit is their main motivation. They will attempt to use the circumstance and the fact that you lack a comprehensive grasp of the law and the company’s claims process. If you hire our competent car accident attorney in Philadelphia to defend you while dealing with an insurance adjuster or firm after an accident, you eliminate their advantage and level the playing field.
Your Car Accident Injuries Are Serious
You do not want insurance companies or other parties to determine the value of your case. They want to leave knowing that they paid you the least amount possible. Therefore, they will try diligently to reduce the value of your claim. They may challenge your injuries and claim they existed before the collision. They may accuse you of exaggerating and trying to get additional money from them. How can you ensure that your case is accurately valued? This is precisely how our qualified Philadelphia car accident attorney can assist you.
Your Case May Proceed to Court in Philadelphia
True, the majority of personal injury claims never reach the courtroom. However, there is always the possibility that it may. If this occurs, you will want to work with someone with trial experience and savvy. Insurance businesses employ a large number of attorneys. If they learn that you represent yourself, they may be more likely to dismiss your claim and corner you.
When we represent you, insurers recognize that you mean business. They will be aware that, should your case not settle, they will be required to appear in court and seek to persuade a jury. The majority of juries dislike insurance companies. Therefore, having us represent you might increase their level of seriousness. If your claim goes to trial, you may rest confident that it will be handled competently.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Philadelphia
You just got into a car accident, shocked and hurt. Do you know what you should do?
You must take actions following a car accident to ensure that you not only comply with the law but also do not jeopardize your ability to pursue a claim in the future. After an accident, you should perform the following to the best of your ability:
- Ensure that you and all other passengers in your car are safe.
- Take a minute to assess the situation.
- Be alert of your surroundings. If danger is imminent, relocate the vehicle.
- If you are not wounded, attempt to evacuate the vehicle if possible.
- Call 911. Inform them if medical aid is required or if anybody seems injured. If someone is hurt or appears to be harmed, do not move them until paramedics or EMTs arrive.
- Communicate with the drivers, passengers, and pedestrians involved in the collision. Try to get the contact details of any witnesses to the collision.
- Document the scene as thoroughly as possible. If you have a smartphone, snap pictures of the accident site, the damage to your car, and your injuries.
- If you are sent to the hospital for injuries, be careful to record your injuries and any treatments performed. Document every doctor’s appointment and physical therapy session in the days and weeks following the accident.
- Contact your insurance provider to file a claim. Ensure you have the police report and necessary medical records for the claim.
It is typical to encounter obstacles while submitting a claim, but we can guide you through the procedure and safeguard your rights. If you are approached by the insurance company of the at-fault party, stop communicating with the adjuster and call us instead. We can help guarantee that you do not say anything that might damage your claim.
Who Is Held Liable for A Car Accident in Philadelphia?
According to Pennsylvania law, determining the person to blame for the collision also decides who owes the victim damages and how much the victim should collect. As a result, our Philadelphia car accident attorney prioritizes quickly determining who was to blame in an automobile collision.
Other parties may be partially or wholly accountable for the collision. The greater the number of prospective defendants our skilled Philadelphia car accident attorney can identify, the more alternatives the client may have to collect damages. Other examples of at-fault parties are:
- Businesses and Other Entities. Someone who interferes with a driver’s control over his vehicle might cause an accident, such as when a shipping firm fails to balance the weight in a tractor-trailer, placing it at risk of tipping over.
- Automobile Component Manufacturers. Car and automobile component manufacturers may be held severely accountable if they sell a faulty product that causes an accident. A product might be deemed “defective” based on its design, how it was made, or if it does not come with usage instructions. Under Pennsylvania law, it may not matter if the maker was negligent in permitting any of these defects to exist when they cause an accident.
- A Government Agency. A government entity responsible for planning or maintaining roads might be “negligent” if it constructs a road improperly or leaves it in a condition that increases the likelihood of accidents.
- The Business That Served an Intoxicated Driver. Under Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Law, a bar or restaurant may be held accountable for damages caused by an intoxicated motorist. If the intoxicated individual to whom a restaurant or bar supplied alcohol is involved in an accident while driving home, the restaurant or bar owes a duty to the victims of the drunk driver.
To establish liability under the Dram Shop Law, the victim needs to demonstrate that the bar or restaurant served alcohol to the motorist while the person was intoxicated and that this was the cause of the accident.
Proving Liability After Car Accidents in Pennsylvania
Our seasoned car accident attorney in Pennsylvania is familiar with the evidence required in Philadelphia courts to prove that the other driver’s negligence caused an accident. The following forms of evidence may be utilized in a Philadelphia car accident claim:
- Photographs taken at the collision scene depict the cars’ positions, skid marks, damage, traffic signals, etc.
- Testimony from witnesses
- Surveillance images from traffic cameras or businesses in the area
- Driving documents
- Mobile phone data
- Analysis by professionals in accident reconstruction
What If You Contributed to Your Vehicular Accident?
Do not fret if you feel you may have contributed to the car accident. You can still obtain compensation unless you are more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. This is due to the modified contributory negligence doctrine in Philadelphia. Here is how it operates:
- A judge will assign a percentage of fault to each party in a car accident case under Pennsylvania law.
- The plaintiff can receive damages if your part of the blame is less than the overall share of fault shared by all defendants.
- Your compensation from the defendant(s) will be reduced proportionally to your degree of liability.
The modified comparative negligence laws might complicate the calculation of fault and damages. Occasionally, one defendant may be responsible for 100 percent of the damages, even though other defendants were at fault. Consult with our seasoned Philadelphia car accident attorney before filing a claim for damages against the at-fault driver, especially if they attempt to transfer the responsibility to you.
What Types of Damages Can You Recover After a Car Wreck
The damages possible in civil courts in Pennsylvania include:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Earnings
- Future Earnings Loss
- Property Loss
- Pain and Suffering
- Punitive Damages
Our Philadelphia car accident attorney will evaluate your case and assist you in determining how much compensation you may be entitled to if you file a Pennsylvania car accident lawsuit.
How Does a Family Make a Claim for Wrongful Death?
Under Pennsylvania law, the executor of the deceased’s estate may initiate a wrongful death case on behalf of the deceased’s surviving spouse, children, and parents. The estate must file the case within six months after the decedent’s date of death. Otherwise, any of the previously stated parties may claim wrongful death.
Are There Still Insurance Company Negotiations for a Wrongful Death Claim?
Even if a loved one dies due to injuries received in a fatal car accident, the deceased’s family will still need to initiate discussions with the insurance company for a wrongful death claim. The expectation is that the insurance company will compensate the losses fairly. However, insurance companies do not like to pay out more than necessary, especially considering the expense of a wrongful death lawsuit. The family members of car accident victims must be aware of tactics the insurance company may use to persuade them into accepting a smaller payment.
The insurance company may videotape you and your loved ones discussing the accident, which is one of the most despicable acts it may participate in. You should never agree to be recorded, as such information may and will be used against you. You do not want to furnish your loved one’s insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company with a comprehensive medical history. Only those medical documents directly related to the accident are accessible to insurance companies. Additionally, you should not cash insurance company checks until you are ready to accept them as a settlement.
Even if the insurance adjuster indicates further compensation is forthcoming, you have likely accepted this sum as a settlement. When pursuing a claim for wrongful death, you should speak with our Philadelphia car accident attorney as soon as possible. We will be able to assist you in filing a wrongful death claim and obtaining the compensation you deserve for the loss of your loved one.
What is the Concept of "No-Fault" Insurance in Pennsylvania?
Certain benefits, such as medical and pay loss coverage, are covered by the injured party’s insurance policy regardless of who is at blame for a collision. If you or a family member who resides with you are injured in a car accident, the source of compensation for you and your family will be the benefits you purchased on your insurance policy.
At-fault Motorist: The One Accountable for Remaining Sum
If you exhaust the benefits you acquired, you can then pursue the remainder of these losses from the policy of the at-fault motorist. For instance, if you purchased a $5,000 medical benefit on your vehicle insurance policy and were injured in a car accident caused by another driver, your insurance company is still obligated to pay up to $5,000 in medical benefits. If your medical expenses surpass $5,000, the party at fault (and their insurance) will be accountable for the remaining sum. If you were not at blame for a collision, your insurer could not increase your rate.
Our Philadelphia car accident attorney must ensure that your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company pay the appropriate benefits. Additionally, we should ensure that your insurance premiums do not increase if you were not at fault for the accident.
What Are Limited and Full Tort Insurance?
According to Pennsylvania law, insurance firms must sell and disclose two types of vehicle insurance: “limited tort” and “full tort” coverage.
Limited Tort Insurance
Even if they were not at fault for the accident, “limited tort” coverage might prevent an injured person from collecting compensation for pain and suffering. There are various significant exceptions to this restriction for pain and suffering. If one of these exclusions applies to your collision, limited tort does not apply, and you are eligible to get full compensation from the person at blame.
If one of the following exceptions applies to your injury, limited tort will not restrict your entitlement to compensation for your pain and suffering:
- You were traveling in a commercial vehicle.
- You were a pedestrian who was not inside a vehicle when you were struck by another vehicle.
- You were a motorcycle rider.
- The motorist at fault gets convicted of DUI.
- The vehicle in question was not registered in Pennsylvania.
- You incurred a “serious impairment to a significant bodily function” to have sustained a “serious injury” under Pennsylvania law.
- Your insurance carrier did not give you the requisite notice or documents as required by Pennsylvania law regarding your limited and full tort options.
Full Tort Insurance
“Full tort” coverage permits the recovery of economic and non-economic losses resulting from a car accident. Whether a claimant is deemed full tort by selecting this option on their insurance policy or using one of the restricted tort exceptions described above, they are entitled to a full recovery.
Contact a Philadelphia Car Accidents Attorney Today!
Regardless of the circumstances, getting a favorable result in a car accident lawsuit is difficult on your own. Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys are well-versed in minimizing their clients’ liability exposure. Employing a qualified and well-respected personal injury law firm is the best way to level the playing field and obtain the appropriate settlement or verdict.
Our firm cares about our clients. We are committed to obtaining car accident victims’ rightful compensation. Call The Villari Firm for a free consultation with our Philadelphia car accident attorney if you or a loved one has been injured. Our team is ready to speak with you. Our dedicated car accident attorney in Philadelphia will listen to your story and explain what our firm can do for you when you call.