A Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Helps Accident Survivors Like You
Have you been struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian or involved in an auto accident? A proficient Philadelphia car accident lawyer well versed in Pennsylvania law can guide you. Call The Law Offices of Samuel Fishman to receive step by step guidance and compassionate care. Following are some facts about our firm:
- We have helped over 20,000 clients receive the deserving settlement amount they needed to move on with their lives.
- No one should have to suffer because of the negligence of another driver. We will investigate your case and aggressively fight for the compensation you need.
- Our law firm has been part of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association since 1996. We are proud to have helped so many people in our community get the justice they deserve.
- We offer our clients simple and unique strategies that work to get the best results possible.
We have 25 years of experience to put to work for you. We speak Hebrew and English to ensure that every client is comfortable discussing their accident with us.
Table of Contents
What Are The Common Types Of Philadelphia Car Accidents?
In Philadelphia, there are many different types of car accidents that occur. These varying types of accidents create varying forms of liability. However, in any case of an accident that wasn’t your fault, you have a right to file a claim for damages.
Car accidents can range from minor fender benders to deadly multi-car pile-ups that result in serious injuries and fatalities. Many times, hit-and-run or drunk driving accidents will occur that have severe or even fatal consequences. Common types of car accidents are:
A car crash can be an absolute nightmare. The physical pain, the emotional toll, the financial strain—all of these aspects are difficult to bear. You may think that you have no other option but to deal with it on your own, but consulting a Philadelphia car accident attorney can provide you with more and better solutions.
A Brief Explanation Of Leading Causes Of Car Accidents
Most car accidents are caused by human error- either the driver’s or the pedestrians. Distracted driving and driving under the influence are the leading causes of car accidents. However, there are many other causes of car accidents. Some of the most common behaviors that lead to car accidents are as follows:
- Not following traffic rules
- Careless Driving
Speeding is one of the most common reasons for car accidents. Many people believe that they can drive faster than the posted speed limit without incident. However, this is not always the case. Speeding increases the chance of losing control of the vehicle and increases the severity of any accidents that do occur. Reaction times are also slower when driving at high speeds, which can make it difficult to avoid an accident.
Not following traffic rules can also lead to serious consequences. Nearly 40% of car crashes happen at intersections. Failure to stop at red lights or ignoring a stop sign can lead to a collision with oncoming vehicles. Waiting patiently at a signal, or stopping at a stop sign may seem like an inconvenience, but it can save lives. The law is in place for a reason. Obeying the rules will help keep everyone on the road safe.
Careless driving is another major cause of car accidents. This can encompass many different behaviors, such as texting while driving, talking on the phone, or even just not paying attention to the road. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and focus on the task at hand when operating a vehicle. Any type of distraction can lead to catastrophic accidents.
Fatigue is also a common cause of car accidents. It is important to get a good night’s sleep before getting behind the wheel. Driving while tired can lead to slowed reaction times and impaired judgment. If you feel tired while driving, it is important to pull over and rest. Continuing to drive while tired can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Causes Of Automobile Accidents By Nonhuman Factors
Dangerous weather conditions can lead to devastating car accidents. This is particularly true in the case of severe weather, such as ice storms or hurricanes. Driving in these conditions can be treacherous, and it is important to exercise caution. If possible, it is best to stay off the roads altogether during severe weather.
Road Conditions are another factor that can lead to car accidents. Potholes, debris, and even wet leaves are all potential hazards. Poorly maintained roads can be especially dangerous, as they can cause vehicles to lose control. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and drive cautiously in order to avoid these accidents.
Vehicle defects can also cause accidents. This can include anything from bald tires to faulty brakes. The failure of any part of the vehicle can have disastrous consequences. It is important to regularly maintain your vehicle and be aware of any potential issues. This will help to avoid any accidents that may be caused by defective car parts. An accident from defective car parts may result in liability for the manufacturer, or for the driver if he or she was negligent in maintaining the vehicle.
What Types Of Injuries Do Car Accidents In Philadelphia Cause?
Car accidents can cause catastrophic injuries that can be life-threatening. Some accidents can be severe while others can be minor. Even if the vehicles travel at low speed, it can lead to injuries and disabilities. Following are some potential injuries from a car accident:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back injuries
- Wrongful death
Medical expenses may be hefty and may turn out to be a financial burden after you have sustained serious injury. For example, a herniated disc surgery may cost an injured victim nearly $150,000 or even more. Therefore, compensation is a must for the survival of the injured victim and the family members.
What To Do After Facing A Car Accident
If you are unaware of your legal rights, it is essential to learn about the different options that exist in your case. To get better assistance on how to proceed after suffering a car accident, the driver should:
- Call for help
- Ask a passerby to make a call on their behalf if they cannot
- Seek immediate medical attention
- Gather as much evidence as possible by taking pictures of the accident scene, or ask a bystander to do so if they cannot
- Collect the phone numbers and addresses of any witnesses
- Do not engage in any arguing
- Never sign any document before speaking with an attorney
Be sure to have a first aid kit in every car to help to treat any potential injuries or wounds. This kit should include:
- Adhesive tape
- Elastic wrap bandages
- Eyewash solution
- Road flares
- Jumper cables
- Mobile phone (do not use while driving)
Mobile phone cameras serve as one of the best options to capture photographs of the accident scene. With this kit, you will take extra precautions and have a better chance of remaining safe until you get proper medical treatment.
Insurance companies will generally try to offer the lowest settlement they can. They want to make profits and will search for loopholes. However, if you are aware of your legal rights, you will be empowered to make the right decision. Discuss your case with a Philadelphia car accident attorney who will act as your ally.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Philadelphia Car Accident?
If you were not responsible for causing the crash, many states allow drivers to recover economic damages such as lost wages and medical expenses from the at-fault driver.
Personal injury damages include compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. If you were unable to work because of your injuries, these types of compensation can assist you with your lost wages.
If your injuries resulted in long-term medical treatment or a permanent disability, you could be compensated for your future lost wages. To recover this compensation, you must file a personal injury claim.
It is important to note that a jury can award damages in a personal injury case if it finds the defendant’s actions were negligent, reckless, or so egregious as to amount to willful and wanton conduct.
The damages that you can recover in a car accident claim include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Medical expenses
- Physical impairment
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of potential to work
Lost wages are a very common form of damage that you can seek if you can’t work due to the accident. You can also seek payment for lost wages if your job performance was affected due to pain.
The amount of damages that you can recover for lost days depends on how severe the injury is. In some accident cases, there may even be resulting property damage as well, which can be recovered.
Philadelphia Car Accident FAQ
Q. Can I still recover damages if I was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident?
Yes, you can recover damages. When one party files a claim for economic damages, the other driver will get something known as seat belt defense. Furthermore, an individual may take precautionary measures by wearing a seat belt to avoid or reduce injury. Whether you were wearing a seat belt while involved in a car collision or not, you still have the right to pursue damages from the negligent party.
Q. How Do I Go Outside the No-Fault System?
In PA, it may be possible to step outside of the no-fault system by filing a third-party claim against the negligent party. Third-party claims are available in case of bodily injury or non-economic damages. However, the injury must include one of the following
- Permanent impairment;
- Total disability.
Full-tort coverage also permits Pennsylvanians to bypass the no-fault laws prevailing in PA. Under this coverage, the drivers may pursue compensation for personal damages from the negligent party.
Q. What if the at-fault driver doesn’t have car insurance?
If the at-fault driver does not have car insurance, you need to file a damage claim with your insurance company or file a lawsuit against the negligent party. When you suffer an accident, you may expect that the other driver possesses an insurance policy, as this is required in Pennsylvania.
Q. Under what circumstances are insurance claims rejected?
Your claim will vary depending on your medical expenses and other damages. However, to protect profits, insurance companies will seek to pay you as little as possible. They may reject your claim due to several reasons such as:
- When you were partially or wholly at fault;
- You did not receive a medical evaluation;
- You have not experienced any injuries;
- The claim is more than your maximum coverage.
If you provide any wrong or misleading information to the insurance company, they may reject your claim and suspend payment. Therefore, you must make every effort to provide correct information.
Q. What Should I Do if I Need a Cash Settlement Now to Pay for Medical Bills?
Before accepting any cash settlement from an insurance company, you should always consult with an attorney. The insurance company of the driver may seek to include “full” reimbursement for medical bills while treatment is still ongoing. This may limit your ability to recover other medical bills or other damages. Therefore, it is advisable to not accept any early settlement amount as it may prevent you from getting a full settlement amount.
How does the claim process work in a Car Accident Case?
It is important to proceed extremely carefully after a car crash. Following are some important steps you must follow:
- Inform your insurance company about the accident.
- Report the accident to law enforcement and get copies of any relevant documents (such as the police report) for future reference.
- Provide all essential documents to the insurance providers, including details of the insurance and your registration number.
- Choose a competent lawyer to gather evidence for your claim.
The insurance representative will inspect your claim by reviewing the accident and the impact it had on the victim(s).
A Look At Car Accident Statistics in The United States
Philadelphia is the fifth most populated city in the country. The population of Philadelphia has surged as students and workers continue to move within the city limits. The outcomes of crowded roads and busy traffic are car accidents.
According to the reports from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), nearly 10,108 car crashes took place in Philadelphia in 2020. These numbers are among the highest recorded in PA counties. If we look at this data from a daily perspective, it shows that, on average, 28 car accidents took place in Philadelphia every single day.
The total percentage of accidents in Philadelphia that resulted in injury was 63%. When it came to fatal accidents in the state of Pennsylvania, 14.5% of them were located in Philadelphia County.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 36,865 deaths from motor vehicle crashes in 2018. In 2019, there were 33,244 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2019, in which 36,096 deaths occurred. Thus, there was a 2% decrease in fatalities.
You may be wondering how frequently car accidents happen in Philadelphia or what factors cause car accidents to happen so regularly. Many residents of Philadelphia choose not to operate a personally owned vehicle, relying on public transportation or their own two feet instead.
Yet, the number of car accidents continues to increase most years. Northeast Philadelphia automobile accident lawyers are reporting that car accident cases have increased by significant numbers. This is partly attributed to Philadelphia drivers being distracted by the use of smartphones.
Pennsylvania Historic Fatalities and Targets For Different Years
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), we can see that Pennsylvania fatalities are decreasing over time. However, the target goal was not met. Though Pennsylvania is making progress in reducing auto accident fatalities, there is still work to be done. Every year, there are still too many people dying in motor vehicle accidents. We need to continue to work to make our roads safer for everyone.
- From 2010 to 2014, the average number of fatalities recorded was 1,265.
- From 2011 to 2015, the average yearly number of fatalities was 1,240.
- From 2012 to 2016, the average number was 1,221.
- From 2013 to 2017, yearly fatalities averaged 1,186.
- From 2014 to 2018, the average number was 1,182.
- From 2015 to 2019, average fatalities numbered 1,146.3.
Pennsylvania Historic Serious Injuries And Targets For Different Years
As per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), if we look at the number of people severely injured in Pennsylvania, we see that these injuries are increasing somewhat sharply.
- From 2010 to 2014, the average number of serious injuries recorded was 3,340.
- From 2011 to 2015, the annual average number of people who got severely injured was 3,235.
- Between 2012 to 2016, the annual average number of seriously injured was 3,434.
- From 2013 to 2017, the number of serious injuries averaged 3,588.
- From 2014 to 2018, annual reported serious injuries averaged 3,849.
- From 2015 to 2019, the average annual number of serious injuries recorded was 3971.2.
Pennsylvania Historic Fatalities Per 100 Million Vehicles Miles Traveled (MVMT) For Different Years
As per the reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the graph highlights Million Vehicles Miles Traveled (MVMT) every 5 years. We can see that this graph is showing a decrease in the MVMT.
From 2010 to 2014, the MVMT observed was 1.27. From 2011 to 2015, MVMT reported 1.242, slightly lower as compared to previous 5-year data. Between 2012 to 2016, the MVMT observed was 1.22, slightly lower yet. From 2013 to 2017, the MVMT reported was 1.18, and it decreased further to 1.169 from 2014 to 2018. From 2015 to 2019, the MVMT observed was 1.121.
Pennsylvania State Crash Report For Different Years
If we look at the 2017 program data, the reported number of speeding citations was 166,802, seat belt citations numbered 18,025, and DUI arrests numbered 11,647.
In 2018, speeding citations numbered 170,944, seat belt citations numbered 18,094, and DUI arrests numbered 11,944. In 2019, program data indicates 162,755 citations for speeding, 18,302 for seat belts, and 11,776 for DUI arrests. Thus, only seat belt citations increased from the previous year, while the other two types of citations decreased.
Pennsylvania Auto Crash Severity Statistics
In 2010, the percentage of traffic fatalities who were passenger car occupants was 38%, light truck occupants comprised 30%, large trucks/bus/other vehicle occupants numbered 3%, and 14% were from motorcycle accidents. Non-occupants of vehicles numbered 15% of fatalities.
Pennsylvania Auto Accident Fatalities
In 2019, the percentage of total traffic fatalities who were passenger car occupants was 34%. Light truck occupants numbered 28% of fatalities, non-occupants comprised 20%, motorcycle accidents were 14%, and occupants of large trucks, buses, or other vehicles comprised 4%. We can see clearly in the graph how passenger car occupants make up over one-third of these fatalities.
Pennsylvania Seat Belt Usage: Changes and Trends
Seat belt usage increased overall from 2014 to 2017. In 2014, the percentage of people who used seat belts while driving was 83.6%. In 2015, the percentage dipped to 82.7%. The percentage rose again to 85.2% in 2016, and in 2017 also showed a slight increase to 85.6%. However, in 2018, the percentage recorded was 88.5%, which indicates that a large number of people began to use a seatbelt during this time. In 2019, there was a slight dip, with the percentage at 86%.
How Long After A Car Accident Can You Sue In Pennsylvania?
The statute of limitations varies depending on the nature of the accident. In general, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years from when the plaintiff knew or should have known about their injury.
If the time specified in the statute of limitations expires, then you may not be able to file a car accident lawsuit in Pennsylvania state court, subject to very few exceptions. For this reason, it is best to consult a competent Philadelphia car accident lawyer as soon as possible if you are thinking of filing a car accident lawsuit.
How Will Pennsylvania’s No-Fault Insurance Affect My Case?
In Pennsylvania, insurance companies provide full tort and limited tort coverage. With full tort, you have the right to sue the party at fault for all damages, including pain and suffering. However, in limited tort, you cannot sue for pain and suffering. However, there are certain exceptions to this.
According to the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Responsibility Law 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1705(d), certain exemptions apply when choosing a limited tort policy:
- If the driver who caused the accident was intoxicated (DUI), or if he or she agrees to participate in an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program, the limited tort policy does not apply.
- If an uninsured driver caused the accident, then the injured victim will not be bounded by limited tort insurance.
- If the vehicle that caused the accident was registered in another state, then limited tort does not apply.
- If the person who sustained injuries was a passenger on a bus, cab, Lyft, Uber, motorcycle, or any other rental vehicle then the injured victim is entitled to full tort coverage.
- If a bicyclist or pedestrian is injured by an automobile, then the injured person is not bound by a limited tort policy.
Despite these exceptions, it’s important to remember that every case is different. Exceptions can vary depending on the severity of the injuries.
What Are Uninsured And Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is additional insurance coverage given to people who are hurt in an accident due to the negligence of an uninsured or unidentified driver.
It is important to have uninsured motorist coverage because even though it is against the law to drive without insurance in Pennsylvania, many people do. This type of insurance will cover your medical bills and other damages if you are hit by an uninsured driver.
Underinsured motorist coverage is for people hurt in a car accident by someone who does not have enough insurance to cover the medical costs of the victim. It is important to have this type of insurance because unfortunately, many people only purchase the minimum amount of insurance required by law. If you are hit by someone who has the minimum amount of insurance and your damages exceed their coverage, then your underinsured motorist coverage will pay for the difference.
When To Hire A Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer
Car crashes happen every day in Philadelphia and across the United States. Accidents are a reality of daily life, whether on the road or on foot. After an accident, you may need the assistance of an accident lawyer to help you seek compensation, gather necessary evidence, and determine the actual value of your claim.
When you are involved in a car accident, it can be a challenging time. You may have personal injuries or other damages that you need to take care of. Having a professional on your side will make the entire legal process easier. This is especially true for those who have been injured due to the negligence of another driver and who now require compensation to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
A car accident can lead to serious injury or even death for anyone who is involved in the crash, and personal injury lawyers are in the perfect position to assist those who are hurt. These professionals understand Pennsylvania laws related to car accidents and know what actions must be taken to recover damages.
If you have been injured in a car accident, then you may be entitled to compensation. You may be able to recover from your insurance company, but this process can take a long time. Additionally, insurance companies will seek to pay less than the damages you incur.
Contact A Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney at The Law Offices of Samuel Fishman Today!
The team at Samuel Fishman has the legal knowledge and skill set to seek damages after motor vehicle accidents involving negligent, willful, or reckless conduct. With a resourceful and diligent team on your side, you can improve your chances for a favorable verdict and a better settlement.
Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney | Samuel Fishman
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