Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Top-Rated Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents are a serious public health concern, ranking at the top when it comes to unintentional fatalities and injuries in the US. Statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penn DOT) reveal that there are more than 125,200 total motor vehicle accidents reported every year in the state. More than 1,000 people die and another 76,200 victims are hurt in these collisions, which carry devastating consequences for entire families. Beyond the physical pain, individuals suffer financial and emotional losses that affect their quality of life.
If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a car accident, you might have legal remedies under state law. Victims may be entitled to recover monetary damages from the at-fault driver, but the process can be complicated at a time when you are trying to heal. As such, trust our team at Quinn Law Group to enforce your rights and obtain fair compensation for your losses. Please contact us to set up a free consultation with an experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney. Some background information about the relevant laws is also useful. Consultations are free and fully confidential.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Philadelphia
Following a serious car accident in Philadelphia, it is normal to feel confused, stressed out, and overwhelmed by the process. By taking a few simple steps, you can put yourself in the best position to protect your health, well-being, and financial interests. Here are five key things that you need to do after a car accident in Southeastern Pennsylvania:
- Stop Your Car and Exchange Information: If you’re involved in a car accident, you’re required by law to stop your car and exchange information with the other driver. This includes your name, contact information, and insurance information.
- Seek All Necessary Medical Attention: Emergency medical needs always come first. Though, even if you do not believe that you were seriously hurt in the car wreck, it remains important to see a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident.
- Report the Accident to the Police: An injury crash should always be reported to state or local law enforcement. The police will create an official accident report, which can be useful when filing insurance claims or taking legal action.
- Document the Crash (And Your Damages): After the accident, try to collect as much evidence as possible. This can include photos of the scene, the vehicles involved, contact details for witnesses, as well other documentation of your damages.
- Consult With a Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney: You cannot trust an insurance company to protect your best interests. Our experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers will protect your rights and help you seek maximum compensation.
Auto Accidents Can Lead to Serious Car Accident Injuries: You Need Immediate Medical Care
Philadelphia car accidents can lead to serious injuries, including head injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, and more. You may be far more seriously injured than you initially realize. It is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a car accident, even if you do not think you’re seriously injured. The adrenaline rush caused by a car accident can mask the pain.
Not only is waiting to get medical treatment bad for your health and well-being but delaying medical care can make your car accident injuries worse and can also impact your ability to recover compensation for your damages. You will not be able to recover personal injury compensation for a car accident claim unless you have medical records. Be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident.
An Overview of Pennsylvania’s Auto Accident Liability Laws
Were you hurt in a car crash in Philadelphia or any of the surrounding counties? It is imperative that you have all of the knowledge and resources that you need to protect your rights and effectively navigate the claims process. Motor vehicle accident claims are handled under state law. Here are some of the most important things to know about car accident cases in Pennsylvania:
- A Car Accident that Results in Physical Injuries Should Be Reported: If any person was injured in a motor vehicle accident, that collision must be reported. Not only is it your duty, but it is in your best interest to make sure that your car crash is reported in a prompt manner. Call the Philadelphia Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, or another local law enforcement agency.
- Pennsylvania has a Partial No-Fault Insurance Law (Opt-Out): Pennsylvania has one of the most unique car accident insurance systems in the country. The Commonwealth is a no-fault insurance state that allows motorists to opt-out. For drivers who do have no-fault coverage, their initial car accident injury claim is through their own insurance company. It is called a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim. That being said, all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians in Pennsylvania can file an at-fault personal injury lawsuit if they were seriously injured in a car crash.
- A Comparative Fault System of Liability for Crashes: Under Commonwealth law (42 P.S. § 7102), car accidents—and other negligence-based personal injury claims—are subject to comparative fault. You can still recover compensation even if you are partially to blame for your own car accident in Philadelphia. However, in this type of scenario, your settlement or verdict will be reduced by your degree of fault. Every percentage point of blame matters. If you are found at fault for 35 percent of a crash, your recovery will be 35 percent lower.
- Strict Statute of Limitations (Two Years): In Pennsylvania, car accident injury lawsuits are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. What does that mean in practical terms? You must file your claim within two years of the date of the crash—otherwise you may be unable to pursue compensation at all. Speak to a top-rated Philadelphia car accident attorney right away after a serious collision.
A Note on New Jersey Car Accidents: While there are similarities, there are also important differences between Pennsylvania’s car accident laws and New Jersey’s car accident laws. The Philadelphia auto accident attorneys have the Quinn Law Group have the knowledge and experience to handle motor vehicle injury claims throughout Southern New Jersey.
Know the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents
Traffic collisions occur because of carelessness, but the legal term for liability purposes is negligence. You must prove that the accident happened because the at-fault motorist did not exercise reasonable care behind the wheel, and this misconduct was the direct cause of the crash. Some examples of driver negligence include:
- Failure to yield right of way.
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Running red lights and stop signs.
- Making illegal turns or lane changes
- Texting, talking on the phone, surfing the internet, and posting to social media; and,
- Other forms of distracted driving that do not involve phones, such as eating, putting on makeup, using a GPS, and adjusting the radio.
Seeking Compensation for Auto Crash Losses
By proving the essential elements of a negligence case, you may be entitled to financial damages for your medical costs and lost wages. You might also qualify for noneconomic damages for the losses that affect your quality of life. Unfortunately, the big insurance companies that are responsible for handling most car accident injury claims are not eager to pay out full settlements to injured victims. It is the goal of the insurance company to resolve your case for less. Our Philadelphia car accident lawyer fights tirelessly to help injured victims maximize their recovery. Along with other types of damages, we can help you pursue maximum compensation for:
- Automobile repairs or vehicle replacement.
- Ambulance costs and emergency room care.
- Hospital bills and other medical expenses.
- Lost wages and loss of earning potential.
- Pain and suffering & emotional distress.
- Physical disability or disfigurement.
- Wrongful death of a family member.
Challenges with Car Accident Cases
One aspect of vehicle collision laws that could create hurdles in your claim is timing: Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations for these cases. You have two years to initiate litigation in court, measured from the date of the crash. If you do not file a lawsuit before the statute expires, you are forever barred from obtaining monetary damages. Additional challenges include:
Pennsylvania applies the law of comparative fault in car accident claims, which focuses on any misconduct by the victim. If you breached the legal duty of care, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
In an auto collision claim, you will initially be dealing with the insurance company that provides coverage for the at-fault motorist. Insurers are for-profit businesses, so their priority is protecting their own fiscal interests. Even when your rights seem clear, you might get a denial or lowball offer to settle. The insurance company will always try to pin the blame on you whenever possible, based on the comparative fault law mentioned above.
How an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Can Help
While filing a claim with the driver’s insurer responsible is the first step in the legal process, you will need to take your case to court if the company refuses to pay fair monetary damages. The Quinn Law Group will be at your side throughout settlement negotiations and litigation. Our founder and managing partner Sean E. Quinn is a nationally recognized litigator with extensive experience handling complex car accident claims. We are proactive and results-focused. You can rely on a Philadelphia car accident lawyer for all essential tasks, including:
- Conducting a thorough investigation into fault and contributing factors.
- Collecting evidence to support your claim.
- Reviewing your medical records.
- Working with experts, including medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and economists.
- Preparing all claims forms and submitting them with supporting documents to the insurance company.
- Discussing settlement with the insurer to resolve your claim by out-of-court agreement.
- Filing a lawsuit
- Representing you in court and managing litigation, including motions, appearances, written discovery, depositions, and a trial on the merits.
Set Up a Free Consultation with a Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney
You can rely on Quinn Law Group to handle these and all other important tasks, as our firm’s primary focus is personal injury cases. To learn more about how we can help, please call (215) 360-3666 or visit us online to schedule a free consultation. After reviewing the details of your case, a Philadelphia car accident lawyer can advise you on the next steps. We represent car accident victims throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, including in Philadelphia County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Bucks County.