If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, then you might be entitled to recover damages for your injuries.
Call the experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer at The Law Offices of Samuel Fishman at (215) 464-4600. We will help to file an injury claim and will fight for your rights.
If you would like to get more information regarding our accident lawyers, please contact us online for a free case evaluation.
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When to Hire a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer?
Accidents are a reality of daily life, whether on the road or on foot. After an accident, you may need the assistance of a Philadelphia car accident lawyer to help you seek compensation, gather necessary evidence, and determine the actual value of your claim.
Car accidents happen in Philadelphia and across the United States. They can be caused by a number of different factors, including negligent drivers driving carelessly, lack of vehicle maintenance, and weather conditions.
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 process easier.
People who need a Philadelphia car accident attorney will find that legal guidance can be quite useful. 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 a serious injury or even death for anyone who is involved in the crash. Philadelphia accident attorneys are in the perfect position to assist those injured, since they understand Pennsylvania laws related to car accidents and also know what action needs to be taken in order for damages to be recovered.
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 time and insurance companies often seek to pay less than the damages you actually incur.
Different Types of Car Accidents
There are different types of car accidents in Philadelphia, ranging from rear-end collisions to rollover accidents. The different sorts of accidents create different forms of liability. Basically, if someone hits you from behind, you have a right to file a claim for damages.
If someone hit the front of your vehicle and caused damage to your vehicle, then they may be liable for those damages as well. Car accidents can range from minor fender benders to deadly multi-car pile ups resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. Many times, hit-and-run accidents occur that have severe consequences.
Common types of car accidents are:
- rear-end collisions
- side collisions
- head-on collisions
- being run off the
- texting while driving
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 car crash attorney in Philadelphia can provide you with more and better solutions.
A Look at Car Accident Statistics in The United States
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 33,244 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2019, in which 36,096 deaths occurred. In 2018, the number of deaths that occurred due to motor vehicle crashes was 36,865. The decrease of 2% is caused in 2019 as compared to 2018.
Being one of the largest cities 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.
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 every year. Northeast Philadelphia Automobile Accident lawyers are reporting that car accident cases have increased by significant numbers in recent years. This is partly attributed to Philadelphia drivers being distracted by the use of the 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.
Now, let’s take a glance at the 2018 program data. Speeding citations numbered 170,944, seat belt citations numbered 18,094, and DUI arrests numbered 11,944. The 2019 program data shows a dip in two out of three types of citations: 162,755 for speeding, 18,302 for the seat belts, and 11,776 for DUI arrests. Thus, only seat belt citations increased from the previous year, while other citations decreased.
Pennsylvania Auto Crash Severity Statistics
In 2010, the percentage of traffic fatalities who were passenger car occupants was 38%, light truck occupants were 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%. Thus, we can see 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 down to 82.7%. The percentage rose again to 85.2% in 2016, and in 2017 also showed a slight increase at 85.6%. However, in 2018, the percentage recorded was 88.5%, which suggests that a large number of people began to use a seatbelt during this time. In 2019, there was a slight dip, with the percentage numbering 86%.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident in Philadelphia?
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 lawyer as soon as possible if you are thinking of filing a car accident lawsuit.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Car Accident?
In a car accident, if you are injured as a driver or passenger in someone else’s vehicle, the first thing to do is call 911. This will ensure that authorities arrive at the scene to assist anyone with injuries, secure the area, and can help determine who was negligent.
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 car accident claim are:
- pain and suffering
- loss of enjoyment
- medical expenses
- physical impairment
- mental anguish
Lost wages are also another very common form of damages that you could be compensated for if they are a direct result of the accident. Lost wages could come from missed time at work or because your job performance was affected due to pain and you had to take sick leave.
The amount of damages that you can recover for lost days depends on how severe your injury is. In some cases, there can be property damage as well. Property damage can also be recovered in a claim.
Full Tort v/s Limited Tort
In Pennsylvania, insurance companies provide full tort and limited tort coverage. In 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 the responsible party for the pain and suffering. There are certain exceptions where you can still sue the party at fault for your pain and suffering.
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 the accident was caused by an uninsured driver, 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. This is one of the exceptions for people who have limited tort automobile insurance.
- 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 the bicyclist or a pedestrian got injured by an automobile then the injured person will not be bound by the limited tort policy. For example, if you have been injured by a vehicle while crossing the road or riding a bike then your automobile insurance policy does not apply even if it was a limited tort.
- If you have sustained a serious injury, there is an exception that exists for limited tort. However, every case is different and the exceptions may vary depending on the severity of the injuries.
What is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is additional insurance coverage given to people who are hurt in an accident caused by 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 who are hurt in a car accident caused by someone who does not have enough insurance to cover their medical costs. This is also additional insurance that an individual purchases from an insurer.
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.
How Can A Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Help You?
Car accident lawyers in Philadelphia do not just provide legal representation for personal injury claims; they also act as sources of advice that can help drivers understand what to do in case of accidents, especially if it is their first time experiencing a car wreck.
In addition to seeking compensation for injured parties, a Lawyer for a Car Accident knows the best defense strategies that can be taken in order to counter a claim, thus avoiding hefty compensation claims from victims. They can also provide their clients with legal assistance in matters concerning car insurance claims and how to file for reimbursement.
Philadelphia traffic accidents are common occurrences on the road. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, it is prudent and useful to seek legal advice.
A Philadelphia car accident attorney knows the law and can help you get fair compensation for your injuries and damages. For example, if you were hurt because of distracted driving by a negligent driver who was texting while driving, then our attorneys may be able to help you get reimbursement for lost wages plus pain and suffering with strong evidence.
Contact A Northeast Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney at Law Offices of Samuel Fishman
Samuel Fishman is a legal expert who knows personal injury law because he has been practicing it for many years. We would be happy to discuss your case during a free Philadelphia car accident consultation.
A Philadelphia auto accident lawyer has the legal knowledge and skill set necessary to seek out the possible damages in motor vehicle accident cases involving negligent, willful, or reckless conduct. This improves your chances for favorable verdicts and better settlements.
We will explain to you what options exist, and the value of your claim, and answer any questions that you might have about the entire process. We understand that getting hit by a distracted driver can change the course of your life and we are here to fight for your rights. Contact us for a free case evaluation that will be informative about your case.