Millions of people sustain injuries in traffic accidents every year. Because these car accidents happen so frequently, it’s very likely that you will be involved in at least one crash in your life. If you’re involved in an accident that was not your fault, it’s important to take legal action and contact a Philadelphia car accident lawyer at once. But, dealing with the fallout from an auto accident, even when it was in no way your fault, can be very difficult. Thankfully, Philadelphia car accident lawyers are here to help you.
At KaplunMarx, our award-winning Philadelphia car accident lawyers offer years of experience and have handled hundreds of car accident cases throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Here are some of the top answers to questions about Philadelphia car accidents.
You’ve just been hit by another driver–what do you do now? Here are some basic tips from a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer that will help you deal with the process:
Finally, contact a Philadelphia car accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case. We can help you avoid the traps that insurance companies try to get away with when your guard is down. Speak to us before speaking to the insurance company so you do not make a mistake that could affect the outcome of your claim.
The importance of having a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer in place as soon as possible to protect your rights after a car accident cannot be overstated. There are multiple facets of an accident that need thorough investigation, and our law firm will look at all possible angles to ensure we can recover compensation for our injured clients.
The traffic accident may seem clear-cut on its surface, but oftentimes there are factors that need to be looked into, like what the other driver was doing at the time of the accident, whether or not a car part was defective, and how the design of the roadway contributed to the crash. We do that deep dive for our clients, which is just one of the many ways we help them achieve the best possible results.
Our team of Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers understands what is needed to win car accident cases. We don’t skimp on the details, and we are never afraid to go to trial if the at-fault party’s insurance company is not willing to make a fair offer. The most important factor needed to win this type of case is proving negligence.
You must show that the other driver was negligent in a way that caused you harm. This isn’t easy, but we have the expertise needed to prove negligence. We leave no stone unturned when investigating so we can secure compensation on your behalf.
After a car accident, you may need to pay medical bills, which is hard to do when you are taking time off of work to recover from your injuries. As a result, you may assume that you are in no position to pay for representation from the best car accident attorneys in Philadelphia.
Fortunately, victims never need to worry about the cost of hiring a car accident attorney. Why? Personal injury attorneys work on contingency fees instead of charging clients hourly rates or flat fees.
In a contingency fee arrangement, the Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer takes a percentage of the compensation awarded to the victim instead of charging the victim upfront for his legal services. In short, this means you will not have to pay the Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at KaplunMarx unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. If you aren’t paid, we aren’t either.
The value of a car accident claim varies on a case-by-case basis. Some of the factors that can affect the value of a claim include the severity of the victim’s injuries and the way the injuries were treated. In general, victims are entitled to three different types of car accident injury compensation, including:
Medical costs: This can include hospital bills, doctor’s bills, lab tests, and physical therapy. These tend to add up quickly. If you don’t have health insurance in addition to auto insurance, you may have massive outstanding medical bills. We will work to recover compensation to pay your medical bills from the person that hit you. Also, we look at whether there may be future expenses necessary for ongoing medical treatment and will work to recover that for you as well.
Pain and suffering: Figuring out how much money is proper for pain and suffering after a car accident can be more of an art than science. We will paint a picture of what happened to you as a result of the accident and ensure you are compensated for emotional damage, post-concussion issues, a decrease in the quality of your life, and more.
Wage losses: This includes both current and ongoing wage losses if your injury has made it impossible for you to return to your previous job. People rely on their paychecks, which is why getting hurt in a car accident can have a monumental effect on your employment and future prospects of employment. We make sure you are compensated for the damage your car accident injuries have done to your career.
Let a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer review the details of your case to determine roughly how much compensation you are entitled to by law. Then, focus on recovering from your injuries while we fight to secure compensation on your behalf.
Car crashes often occur as a result of one driver’s negligent behavior behind the wheel. Examples of negligent behavior that can lead to a traffic accident include:
A Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer at KaplunMarx can gather evidence that proves that the other driver was engaging in one of these negligent behaviors at the time of the accident. We work tirelessly to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions so our clients can recover the compensation they deserve.
The at-fault party is responsible for compensating the victim for his injuries. But, how you can prove the other driver was at fault? To prove liability, you must show evidence that the accident occurred as a result of the other driver’s negligence.
Negligence is another word for carelessness. In Pennsylvania, all motorists have a legal duty to exercise the degree of care that is necessary to avoid causing foreseeable harm to another person. The failure to exercise that care is known as negligence.
For example, a driver that is under the influence of alcohol while behind the wheel is engaging in negligent behavior that could put others in danger. Therefore, this driver would be held liable in the event that he collides with another car.
Proving liability is the key to winning compensation in your case, but it’s not easy. Let a Philadelphia car wreck injury lawyer at Kaplun Marx help. We have years of experience proving liability in countless accident claims, so we know what it takes to win your case.
Typically, it is the at-fault party’s insurance company that is responsible for compensating the victim in a car accident case. But, what happens if the driver that caused the accident does not have insurance?
It is illegal to drive without auto insurance in the state of Pennsylvania. Despite this law, there are still countless uninsured drivers on the roads in this state. If you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you are still entitled to compensation for your injuries. But, recovering this compensation may be more difficult.
First, check your insurance policy to see if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Drivers are not required to have this coverage in Pennsylvania, but many choose to add it to their policy anyways. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance company in order to recover compensation for your injuries.
If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you can take legal action against the at-fault driver. However, even if the at-fault driver is ordered to compensate you by the court, he may not be able to do so unless he has valuable personal assets.
Cases involving car accidents without insurance are among the most complex traffic crash claims. Speak to the best Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer at KaplunMarx today to learn more about your legal options.
People injured in car accidents in Philadelphia can seek financial recovery in compensatory damages. These damages are typically split into two categories: economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses are all out-of-pocket expenses that incur related to the injury sustained in a vehicle accident. This often includes lost wages that result if the injured party cannot go to work for some time due to their injury. These losses also have medical bills and co-pays the injured party paid to treat their injuries.
Another aspect a local attorney may consider when calculating damages from a car crash is future wages and reduced earning capacity. These damages can be a little less clear, so a well-practiced auto accident attorney could hire an expert economist to help determine if the claimant can no longer do their job or progress in their career due to their injuries.
Non-economic damages are pain and suffering related to injuries sustained in a car accident in Philadelphia. They can include going to the doctors, the extent of treatment, the residual effects of the injury, the permanency, and scarring. While there is not an exact monetary value associated with these losses, they are still considered in a damage award due to the lasting impact they can have on a person's life. A court will consider whether a person can no longer engage in their hobbies or day-to-day activities and set a value based on their specific circumstances.
When are Punitive Damages Awarded?
Punitive damages are a mechanism that can be used to right a wrong. However, it must be an egregious wrong for a court to pursue that remedy. These exemplary damages are typically awarded when the defendant has engaged in malicious, intentional, or incredibly negligent conduct.
Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages do not aim to compensate the plaintiff but rather punish the defendant. For car accident cases, they may be awarded if the driver was intoxicated or texting at the time of the wreck.
Everyone in Pennsylvania is supposed to drive with auto insurance, with the minimum coverage ranging between $15,000 – $30,000. Additionally, the minimum coverage for property damage is $5,000. However, some people have policies with much more coverage.
The first level of coverage a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer could go after a motor vehicle collision is the liable party's auto insurance. If that does not cover the extent of the damage, a lawyer may look at uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This is coverage a driver can purchase on their own and provides them with coverage beyond what the other person has or may not have. This is a highly encouraged type of coverage to obtain so that motorists in the area do not have to rely on another person's auto insurance to make them whole after a car wreck.
A municipal damage cap applies when a local driver is struck by a government-owned vehicle. This statutory cap is $250,000 and cannot be circumvented. Seasoned Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers could investigate all avenues for recovery after a person is injured in a vehicle wreck.
While a local attorney may offer advice on whether to settle a car crash case or take it to trial, it is ultimately the plaintiff's decision. This choice often comes down to the extent of the claimant's injuries, financial losses, and the settlement offer being made by the defendant's insurance company.
State law requires full disclosure of settlement offers. A Philadelphia lawyer could explain the settlement offer and what they believe could potentially be recovered in the trial. If the offer is too low, an attorney may suggest taking the case to court.
However, litigation is often time-consuming and expensive. As a result, some claimants may decide they would instead negotiate a settlement rather than take the case to court.
Why Might an Injured Driver Refuse a Settlement Offer?
The number one reason someone might refuse to take a settlement offer is that the amount offered is far too low. While a fair offer might be able to be negotiated, sometimes defendant drivers and their insurance companies refuse to pay for the full extent of a plaintiff's losses. In these cases, an attorney in Philadelphia may suggest taking the car accident case to trial rather than settling.
Determining an offer during settlement negotiations is the same as calculating damages in litigation. For example, a Philadelphia attorney could provide evidence of defendant driver negligence and claimant losses to ensure a fair settlement award for the auto collision.
A settlement offer should consider the plaintiff's past and future medical care, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It should also consider any long-term implications of the car wreck, such as permanent disability or disfigurement.
The injured party will not accept the initial settlement offer in most cases. However, negotiations between the defendant and plaintiff can continue until they reach a fair amount or decide to take the case to court. Negotiations can even continue during litigation.
Only one person is rarely responsible for a vehicle wreck. Generally, the plaintiff shares some percentage of the blame.
Insurance companies will look at the plaintiff's actions at the time of the car crash to find some level of guilt. If they find some evidence of negligence, they will often reduce the value of the settlement award proportionately.
Since insurers are trying to minimize their payout, they may place too much blame on the plaintiff. For this reason, it is essential for people seeking a settlement for a vehicle accident case in Philadelphia to retain a dedicated Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer first.
Despite the decreased speeds, parking lot accidents in Philadelphia can be devastating for those involved. If a driver is speeding or inattentive, they could strike an unsuspecting pedestrian or biker, causing grave harm.
If you or a loved one were hurt in a parking lot or garage collision, consider speaking with a skilled Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer. Legal counsel could review your case and determine if you are eligible for financial compensation.
Risks Associated with Parking Lots
There are several significant differences between parking lot accidents and other vehicle wrecks. Unlike major roadways, parking lots and garages have increased pedestrian and bicyclist activity. This requires drivers to be aware of people crossing the street, walking behind or between stationary vehicles, or otherwise entering the lane of traffic.
Furthermore, elderly adults and young children are at especially high risk of injury if they are involved in a parking lot collision, even with the vehicle traveling at lower rates of speed.
It is a misconception that injuries in parking lots cannot be severe due to slower speeds. However, due to the size and weight of most vehicles, any collision could still result in catastrophic injuries. This includes severe neck or spine trauma, head injuries, broken bones, lacerations, and crushing injuries.
How Do Insurance Companies Treat Parking Lot Wrecks?
Insurers will look at the same aspects of a parking lot wreck in Philadelphia as in a regular roadway accident. The first thing insurance companies will look for is liability. For instance, if a driver is backing out of a spot and a pedestrian is walking behind the vehicle, the driver must pay attention to their surroundings and check their blind spots. If the driver were texting or otherwise distracted and struck the pedestrian, they could be liable for injuries.
After liability is established, insurers will decide as to damages. Therefore, it is especially important for people injured in a parking lot crash to work with a skilled Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer who could ensure they are fairly compensated for the harm they have suffered.
State law requires insurance companies and courts to look at the actions of all involved parties when determining liability. Under a contributory negligence theory, if the injured plaintiff is determined to be partially responsible for the accident, their recoverable damages may be decreased. For instance, if a pedestrian were struck by a car speeding through a parking lot, but it is found that the pedestrian darted in front of the vehicle, they could potentially hold liability.
Most motor vehicle collisions result from someone acting carelessly or recklessly, also known as negligence. This can include:
Sometimes, reasonable conduct by a driver is considered negligent due to the circumstances under which the person is driving. For example, poor weather conditions, such as fog or snow, can make it necessary for motorists to slow down. Under these circumstances, a motorist could be negligent for driving the speed limit. In addition, any driver who causes a car wreck due to negligence could be held financially responsible by a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer.
In the wake of a car crash, comparative negligence comes into play to determine fault. In Pennsylvania, if a person who wants to bring a claim is 50 percent or less at fault for their accident, they may be able to recover compensation for their injuries and damage. However, if an injured party is found to be more than 50 percent at fault for the accident that led to their injuries, they will be barred from recovering any financial compensation. After a car accident, an investigation is undertaken to determine who was at fault, sometimes a percentage of blame is assigned by an auto insurer, but this is not the final say on the matter. A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania car accident lawyer can help with the investigation and present your case for placing fault on the other driver.
If you have been injured in a car accident, it may be wise to consult a local attorney about comparative negligence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, car accident cases. In addition, you may be eligible to collect financial compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages from missed work, pain, and suffering.
When there is more than one tortfeasor in a Philadelphia, PA car accident case, the comparative negligence doctrine dictates that each defendant party pay an amount of compensation to the plaintiff proportionate to their degree of fault. However, if a party is 60 percent or more at fault, the plaintiff could collect all of the damages from that party.
The comparative negligence doctrine governs any injury claim in Pennsylvania. Whether it is a slip and fall case or medical malpractice, the victim must be less than 50 percent at fault to recover compensation. These damages will be split between all parties partially responsible for the accident unless one party is at 60 percent at fault. Therefore, by understanding comparative negligence in Philadelphia car accident cases, an injured party may be better able to build a strong case.
Never admit fault at the scene of an accident. While it may not seem like it, apologizing for a collision can be considered an admittance of responsibility by an insurance company or a court. Therefore, even if it feels rude, it is essential not to make the mistake of apologizing after being involved in a vehicle collision in Philadelphia.
Likewise, it is crucial to avoid making any potentially incriminating remarks to the reporting officer, the defendant, or the defendant’s insurance company. Even if a plaintiff is not primarily responsible for their accident, any proportion of fault assigned to them will be reduced from their total recoverable damages. In cases involving catastrophic injuries, this reduction can be substantial.
It is a mistake not to seek medical treatment promptly after a vehicle collision for both health and legal reasons. Some injuries in auto wrecks do not immediately present themselves. For example, a severe traumatic brain injury could take weeks to manifest, causing irreversible harm the whole time. It is recommended that people involved in car accidents in the area seek medical care just in case.
In terms of it being a legal mistake, in Philadelphia, there must be proof of damages for a car wreck case to be successful. This can be done through medical bills and testimony from the treating physician. Further, a doctor can provide proof that the vehicle wreck directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries and explain the long-term implications of a plaintiff’s harm.
Similarly, it is a mistake not to follow doctor’s orders, have significant gaps in treatment, or miss follow-up appointments. A defendant’s attorney could argue that the claimant was not seriously injured or that they suffered their injuries in a separate accident.
It is not uncommon for a defendant driver’s insurance company to call the claimant and ask to take their statement about how the accident occurred, their injuries, and other relevant information. While this may seem innocent or mandatory, it is often a tactic to reduce defendant liability. Insurers often ask one-sided or confusing questions that could lead to the plaintiff accidentally saying something incriminating. In addition, if the statements are recorded, it can be challenging to work around them. Therefore, Philadelphia attorneys almost always advise against giving recorded statements to the defendant’s insurance company after a car wreck.
The use of a cell phone while operating a vehicle is illegal in Pennsylvania. Motorists are prohibited from driving with a cell phone in their hand or next to their ear. Cell phones distract drivers from the road and often cause accidents and injury to both the distracted motorist and innocent parties, including other drivers, pedestrians, and bikers. Cell phone usage includes phone calls, texting, and using social media apps while driving.
On the other hand, most modern vehicles have a Bluetooth feature that allows driver’s cell phones to connect to the car’s system. This and other hands-free devices are not illegal to use while operating a vehicle. However, using these devices is not recommended because it still results in a level of distraction.
How Does Cell Phone Use Impact Liability?
Civil claims stemming from vehicle collisions rely on the legal theory of negligence. If a motorist fails to drive safely and responsibly, a court could find them negligent and therefore liable for any resulting damages they caused.
When it comes to accidents involving cell phone use, a local attorney could use evidence of a defendant texting at the time of the collision as proof of negligence. However, cases become more complicated if it is found that the plaintiff was also texting at the time of the wreck.
The defense may file to subpoena the claimant’s cell phone records to see if they were distracted and, therefore, a contributory cause of the accident. If the claimant’s cell phone was being used at the time of the wreck, the defense could ascertain that the plaintiff contributed to their injuries. While comparative negligence does not necessarily mean a claimant cannot seek legal restitution, it nonetheless can severely impact their overall damage award. A Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer could explain how comparative negligence could impact their legal recovery during a free case consultation.
Despite texting while driving being illegal, accidents involving cell phones in Philadelphia occur far too often. These collisions can be devastating, often resulting in catastrophic injuries or even death. Due to the severe harm, these can cause, the recoverable damages are often substantial. However, if a plaintiff is found to have been using their phone at the time of the accident, their damage award could be greatly reduced.
If you were hurt in a collision with a distracted driver, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel. Call our office today and schedule your complimentary case consultation.
After getting into a car wreck, many people ask, "How can a car accident lawyer help me?". Hiring a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, car accident attorney can be one of the most beneficial things you do for yourself. Studies have shown that people who retain a car accident lawyer see upwards of a 40% increase in the value of their claim. In addition, having a personal injury lawyer with a deep understanding of helping people injured in car accidents can provide insights that can help increase the compensation you ultimately receive for damages related to your accident.
It is essential to consult with a car accident attorney as quickly as possible after an accident. A significant factor in making a recovery from a car accident is proving liability or that someone other than you is responsible for the accident. Therefore, gathering evidence quickly is crucial, especially if the accident happened at an intersection or a side-swipe type collision. As you can imagine, physical evidence, video surveillance, and witnesses to a car accident tend to disappear quickly, often are never to be found again.
Like snowflakes, no two car accidents are completely alike, which makes it even more important to hire a lawyer who has seen it all. Do this as soon as possible because time is not on your side after a car accident.
If you have been injured in a traffic accident, do not wait to reach out to the best Philadelphia car accident lawyer. The lawyers at KaplunMarx have over 200 5-star reviews for a reason: we DO NOT back down.
Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers can navigate this complex process and ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation with a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer on our team by calling or filling out the form on our website.
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