Although nobody goes out to run errands or drive to work and plans to be in a car accident, accidents happen every day and impact our lives and our property. Have you recently been hurt or suffered property damage in a car crash in Philadelphia? Expenses can build up, and the implications can trickle through to your personal life, your work life, and beyond.
You must not wait to speak with an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer to discuss a personal injury lawsuit. You want someone who’s familiar with local judges and understands the particulars of local traffic. They can help you plan and ensure that your physical and emotional wellbeing suffers as little as possible. In Pennsylvania, you only have two years to file a lawsuit after a car crash occurs. Utilize that time effectively by working with an attorney you can trust.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Immediately after a car accident, there’s so much adrenaline going through your body, and it can be hard to remember what steps to take. We’ve broken it down so that you can keep some things in mind.
The first thing to do is to contact a law enforcement officer. Having a record of the accident will prove helpful. They can write up a report, and possibly issue tickets, if necessary. Depending on the severity, an ambulance or other emergency services may come to the scene. If they do not, all injured parties should go to a hospital for evaluation by a licensed medical doctor. Prompt assessment and treatment are vital if you’re injured. If you don’t need to go to a hospital, you should still schedule an appointment to see a doctor. It’s best not to see a chiropractor, acupuncturist, or another alternative care practitioner until after a medical doctor assesses your condition.
If you need follow-up care after your initial appointment, get it as soon as possible. Act on the doctor’s directions and make the necessary appointments. You may need x-rays, MRIs, PT, or other care. It’s key that you follow the doctor’s recommendations and care plan. First, this will help you heal. Second, if you don’t follow medical advice, the other party in a lawsuit could say you contributed to the worsening of your condition.
Find our evaluation form on our website. It will take you through some basic questions which will help our Philadelphia attorneys begin to evaluate your car accident case.
Most Common Car Crash Injuries
Common car crash injuries include whiplash, back injuries, and head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Other injuries may include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, internal bleeding, and soft tissue injuries. A car crash victim can suffer shock and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Certain injuries will require more compensation than others. As an injured party recovers, the true nature and amount of care to treat them becomes more apparent. A Philadelphia lawyer can assist you in determining how much your auto accident case is worth by reviewing the extent of your injuries.
As you work to recover from the accident, you want to save all of your receipts and document your expenses. This information should help your Philadelphia car accident attorney understand and track your physical, mental, and financial damages. Is it harder to remember things after the accident? Is this because you had a head injury, are experiencing extreme anxiety, or both? Getting the help you need, including sessions with a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist, is critical. You may miss work or school because of the accident. You may have to attend occupational or physical therapy to regain the use of an injured hand. What’s most important is that you are able to participate in the appropriate care so that you can heal, whether that involves therapy, doctor’s appointments, or physical and occupational therapy. All of these aspects will contribute to your attorney’s ability to build your case.
How Can a Philadelphia Car Wreck Attorney Help?
All medical costs are damages that should be included in the total sum you are owed. After suffering a serious motor vehicle accident, the job of a local lawyer is to help you become whole. They are there to recover damages that will allow you to return to normal, where you were before the accident occurred. If that is not possible, they are there to help you get to a point where you can start to move forward.
As an example, say your loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash and can work to a limited extent. Yet they can no longer perform the duties of their former job. Their attorney should argue that they should receive a settlement or judgment that will allow them to live comfortably and get the care they need. The award amount may also include funds to train them for a new position they can take as they recover.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Car Accident?
A car wreck victim can recover damages for many costs, including medical bills, lost wages, compensation for property damage, attorney’s fees, and more. Damages are broken down into two types. There are economic damages, which are actual losses, and non-economic damages, like compensation for pain and suffering.
Economic damages include current and future medical bills and costs for prescription and over-the-counter medicine for treatment. They can also include the fees of a therapist or psychologist. Economic damages include medical devices, such as crutches, wheelchairs, and the cost to put a wheelchair ramp or lift in a home. They include transportation costs to and from medical appointments. Economic damages include reduced earning capacity and lost income from a job the individual had before the accident. These damages also include attorney’s fees and court costs.
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress (emotional anguish), and costs for scarring or disfigurement that cannot be medically repaired. The amount for emotional distress is different from the cost of visits to a psychiatrist or psychologist and medication to treat a mental health condition that is a result of the accident. The amount for emotional distress covers compensation for the negative experience that the victim suffered because of the accident.
A Philadelphia lawyer can give a full assessment of an individual’s particular economic and non-economic damages in their car accident case. Each case is unique. A lawyer may work with an expert to estimate the amounts of future medical bills and pain and suffering.
Important Motor Vehicle Accident Laws in Philadelphia
There’s a two-year statute of limitations for a personal injury case in Pennsylvania, and this is critical because it impacts your ability to file for damages. Additionally, there are important laws around car insurance that impact motor vehicle accidents. A Philadelphia lawyer can explain more about the impact of these auto insurance laws and how they affect a car crash lawsuit. More specifically, how they limit when an injured party can sue.
PA is a “choice” no-fault car insurance state. This means an individual can choose to buy no-fault insurance when they purchase their policy. In the no-fault option, the insured party first files a claim with their insurance company under their own personal injury protection, also known as PIP, to receive compensation. Their insurer pays them up to a specific limit, including medical bills and lost wages. The claim does not pay for emotional distress or pain and suffering. Only when the amount is greater than the policy’s limit can an individual file a lawsuit against the other driver.
When an individual chooses the no-fault option, they are choosing the “limited tort” option. The word “tort” is a term for a wrongful act. It means an instance when one party harms another. Limited tort insurance is less expensive than “full tort” insurance and can prevent a victim from receiving full compensation after a car crash.
It’s important to note that an individual chooses between “limited tort” and “full tort” at the time of purchase. It’s not possible after an accident to change the type of insurance. A “full tort” policy means the insured doesn’t choose the no-fault system. When an individual is injured in a car crash, they can file a lawsuit against the other driver to receive compensation.
How “Modified Comparative Fault” Affects Recovery
Pennsylvania follows a “modified comparative fault” rule. This rule concerns situations in which two or more parties are at fault for a car accident. During a trial, the jury is asked to determine how much a plaintiff deserves in damages as well as their share of the blame for the accident. The plaintiff’s damages are then reduced by a percentage equal to their share of fault. If this sounds complex to you, it’s because it is.
Many auto accidents involve fault on the part of both parties. A Philadelphia lawyer is beneficial to a client who wants to know their total potential damages following their car accident. The client may have extensive injuries, but also bear some responsibility for the accident. In certain situations, a negotiated settlement will be a better option than a trial. A client who bears a significant percentage of fault for an accident may learn the cost of going to trial substantially reduces their compensation. A qualified and experienced attorney can explain the implications and pursue the best possible outcome for the client.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Philadelphia
Some common causes of auto accidents include reckless or careless driving, running of red light and stop signs, driving under the influence, failure to yield to pedestrians, and distracted driving. These types of car accidents are so common that the city dedicated resources to study how to reduce them. As a result, the city is currently making many changes, including modifying bike and vehicle lanes, placing speed cameras on certain roads, such as Roosevelt Boulevard, and engaging in public education efforts to encourage drivers to travel more slowly on city streets. The City of Philadelphia is also on a mission to reduce incidents of speeding, which have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
If you’ve been found at fault for a car accident involving one of these offenses, you should talk to a Philadelphia attorney about your liability and the liability of the other party or parties. Because of their prevalence, you may have a certain percentage of fault if you committed one or more of the acts above.
When a Car Accident Also Involves a Ticket
A driver who has been involved in a car crash can be ticketed for the offenses named above. Additionally, certain offenses, such as reckless driving, carry the potential for criminal prosecution and a monetary fine. This is true even if the other party is found to be entirely at fault. Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys primarily handles civil cases, which involve financial disputes over damages. When necessary, they will work with or consult a criminal defense attorney if a driver is charged in a related criminal case.
As an example, a driver who was driving under the influence may hit a driver engaged in reckless driving. The reckless driver may receive a ticket or be prosecuted for this offense. However, the party who was driving under the influence is likely to bear total fault for the accident. Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys can review the details of a police report, photos of damaged vehicles, and witness accounts. A Philadelphia vehicle collision attorney will then be able to explain what percentage of fault their client has and how much the client’s damages could be reduced
Dealing with Auto Insurance Following a Wreck
Your car insurance company may want you to talk to an adjuster or one of their attorneys. This benefits them. Before answering any questions, you should have a conversation with someone who can prioritize your interests. An experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney can determine the approximate amount of your damages and the likelihood of your success in court. Your injuries may impact your future earnings potential, your future wellbeing, and much more. They can negotiate a settlement that ensures you’re able to care for your physical and emotional wellbeing.
In contrast, your insurance company may encourage you to accept a settlement quickly, which allows them to close your claim. It’s unlikely that you will benefit from a quick resolution, if only because you may not know the extent of the damages. Frequently, the cost exceeds what the other driver or their insurance company is willing to pay.
When an insured party like a driver gets in an accident, the insurance company often hires an attorney to represent the driver. This type of arrangement forms a tripartite relationship.
The attorney an insurer hires may not be candid about the potential recovery amount. Although that attorney’s primary duty is to the insured party, insurance companies sometimes interfere with the relationship between the attorney and the insured party by limiting the scope of the hired attorney’s work. When your auto wreck case involves extensive or long-term damages, it is a good idea to speak with a legal professional in Philadelphia who does not have to report to your insurance company. They’ll advocate for you primarily.
Why You Need Our Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers
You should hire a lawyer if you were hurt in an auto accident and needed medical attention. These kinds of accidents can cost you a lot in medical bills and cost you to lose money if you have to take time off work. In some cases, insurance companies will not be willing to pay what you need for repairs and bills. That’s is when you should hire an attorney to fight for you and get the money that you are owed.
Many people think they can settle their car accident claims by themselves. The problem is, they begin the negotiation process, only to find out that the insurance company isn’t being fair. Of course, it isn’t. Insurance companies are in business to make money, not to hand it out. Many people who don’t have an auto accident attorney right from the start unintentionally reveal information that is harmful to their claims.
Your chances of settling your claim for the right amount of money without an experienced, knowledgeable attorney are quite low. In most cases, a good car crash attorney in Philadelphia will get you far more than the attorney fee will cost you. We know the law, we know how to negotiate, and insurance companies, after decades of dealing with us, know we will take every case to trial if they don’t provide the right offer to our clients. This makes a huge difference in how they negotiate with us.
Call a Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney
Our attorneys are waiting to discuss your personal injury or property damage case. We have multiple Philadelphia car accident lawyers who can support you during this stressful time and assess the cost of your financial recovery and your chance of winning at trial. Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys are ready to listen to your concerns and explain what you should do next. Call now to get started. En español.